Library Reviews: Episode 4 – Redpath

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Redpath isn’t so much a library as a hallway with some desks set up in it. The main study space in Redpath lies in the high-traffic connection between McLennan and the  cafeteria/Cybertheque. The library houses some of the more technology-based parts of the library system, such as computer labs, film viewing rooms, and laptop checkouts. The hallway also often has pictures of things, which I’ve yet to actually stop and look at.

Noise Level – Because Redpath is situated on the main route between cafeteria and McLennan, it can get quite loud. Many users of the hallway are on their seventh study break in the last hour, and are having an urgent conversation about the sweet party they went to last night. With little protection between the actual hallway and the study space, the noise level more strongly resembles that at a coffee shop than a library. Bottom Line: The R in Redpath probably stands for “really loud.” (1/5)

Accessibility – Like McLennan and Cybertheque, Redpath is easy to get to, and perhaps a bit easier to find than, say, Cybertheque. The opening hours match those of McLennan, currently open 24 hours. The main issue that users might find is that, due to the small number of spaces, it can be quite busy. In fact, the first two times I went, I wasn’t able to find a seat. There doesn’t seem to be enough space to meet the demands of users. Bottom Line: Easy to get to and open late, Redpath is pretty accessible, if you can find a seat, that is. (3/5)

Study Setup – The desks in Redpath are similar to those in McLennan and Cybertheque, with dividers separating most spaces. It’s easy to get in the zone when you’re studying here, as the desks give you a sense of independence from the people around you. The lack of computers makes it unusable for those looking to do computer-based work without laptops. Bottom Line: Redpath has some nice desks and chairs, which help you get into a study mood, but no computers are a problem for some. (4/5)

Facilities – Redpath is near the cafeteria, which is just downstairs. It’s also close to downtown, much like McLennan or Cybertheque. The bathrooms just across the hallway aren’t hard to find, but a bit limited in size, much like the library itself. Bottom Line: You need not travel too far for a study break when you’re at Redpath. (4/5)

Décor – Redpath’s setting is much like McLennans, but without the bonus of being able to look out the window at a nice setting. Rather, the window overlooks smokers taking a break. The library features the same, unattractive concrete as McLennan. The only saving feature is the interesting exhibits set up in the hallway. Bottom Line: The Redpath experience is certainly not enhanced by the unappealing décor. (1/5)

Overall Appeal – Redpath seems to be one of the more popular libraries on campus, for reasons I can’t determine. The main draw is the nice desks, allowing studiers to escape the world around them. The poor location is the cause of most of the problems that plague the library. The library is generally unexciting. Bottom Line: Redpath doesn’t offer anything unique or great in terms of campus libraries. (2/5)

Total Score: 15/30 [4th]

Strengths: Study Setup, Facilities

Weaknesses: Noise Level, Décor, Overall Appeal