Cybertheque (correctly pronounced Si-Ber-THECK) is one of the newer additions to the McGill library system. Below Redpath, the library is adjacent to the Redpath-Leacock tunnel. It’s best known for its vibrant colours, group study areas, electronic resources, and overuse of glass in its design. As far as I can tell, the only books allowed in the study space are Mac Books.
Noise Level – Cybertheque goers are generally serious studiers. They tend to stay quiet and keep to themselves. However, as a swinging glass door is the only thing separating Cybertheque from the chaotic pandemonium known as the Redpath cafeteria, the din seems to sneak into the study space. If you’re near the door at Tim Horton’s opening hours, headphones or earplugs are pretty useful. When the cafeteria closes down, the click of keyboards is the noisiest thing around. Bottom Line: Cybertheque might as well be next to one of the busiest cafeterias on campus, oh wait… (3/5)
Accessibility – Just downstairs from Redpath and McLennan, Cybertheque isn’t hard to get to. The only issue might be it’s confusing location for new-comers, located behind the stairwell downstairs to the cafeteria. Open almost 25 hours a day, Cybertheque is a popular destination for nocturnal students. Bottom Line: Cybertheque is never far away, hard to find, or closed. (5/5)
Study Setup – The desks in Cybertheque are, like the space itself, new and trendy. Some like the vast open tables, but for others it feels a bit too communal. With almost as many computers as Trottier, it’s nice for those without portable machines. When not crowded, the sprawling desks are quite nice. On the other side, the colourful couches offer a less formal study setting for those who don’t like the rigid structure of particle board to do their work on. Bottom Line: Cybertheque’s modern appeal includes its fancy new desks and computers. The more casual half looks more like an Ikea showroom than a library. (5/5)
Facilities – One of Cybertheques major weaknesses, the adjacent cafeteria, is also a strength. Only feet away from Tim Horton’s, those who use the library during the cafeteria’s opening hours are never far from a coffee break. For those boycotting McGill Food Services, it’s not hard to head upstairs and across Sherbrooke to Second Cup. The Redpath cafeteria has large bathrooms with awesome, high powered hand dryers – be sure to check them out. Bottom Line: Cybertheque is not far from food, or bathrooms, although late night goers might have to travel a bit farther for a bite to eat. (4/5)
Décor – Cybertheque was built using glass and colourful fabric. Some portions of the space resemble a children’s play yard, and others, a futuristic setting where we write quotes about education and reading on glass. The setting in Cybertheque can be mildly overwhelming, with the only escape from the overwhelming colours being a glance out at lower field. Cybertheque feels much more modern than other libraries on campus. Bottom Line: The colourful setting can be a bit of a sensory overload. The glass pods in the middle are reminiscent of fish bowls. (1/5).
Overall Appeal – Cybertheque’s main draw is in its accessibility. Always open, it’s hard to avoid studying here at least once in your university career. The library is much easier to use at night, when the crowds have left the cafeteria, and the bright, colour-enhanced, setting is all that is keeping you awake. Cybertheque is a great fall-back study space for those who prefer another locale on campus. Bottom Line: Seriously, this place is never closed. (3/5)
Total Score: 21/30 [3rd]
Strengths: Accessibility, Study Setup, Facilities
Weaknesses: Décor, Noise Level