Check out this study spot: The Providence Athenaeum

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If you’ve had one too many existential crises in the Rock or are too perplexed by the bizarre pod couches in the SciLi to get any work done, there is a whimsical alternative hiding right down College Hill — the Providence Athenaeum.

The Providence Athenaeum (pronounced ath-uh-ney-um) is located on Benefit Street, a block down College Street past the Rock. The Athenaeum was preceded by two earlier libraries, the Providence Library Company, founded in 1753, and the city’s Athenaeum, founded in 1831. These two libraries joined their collections in 1836 to establish the Providence Athenaeum.

The Athenaeum continues to function today as a member-supported, independent library (you have to be a member to check out content, though there is a student library card rate), and is open to the public as a reading space, historical site, and a place for cultural events and programs. Renovations in 1978 added a children’s wing and the Philbrick Rare Book Room for the library’s special collections.

The stoic, Greek Revival building houses over 150,000 books, periodicals, movies, and other content. Perhaps reminiscent of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, accessible by a catwalk-like second floor, extend through the library, forming mysterious nooks and corners. Desks are hidden away within these alcoves, creating secluded study spaces. Below the library is a reading room with tables and seating.

If you’re tired of studying, spend some time wandering the creaky corridors and catwalks, browse the contemporary and historic collections (with works ranging from Faulkner and Dickinson to the modern classic Fifty Shades of Grey), flip through the old card catalog, or just enjoy the old-book smell that wafts through the library.

Only a short stroll from campus, the Providence Athenaeum is too close to not check out at least once. Whether you drop in for an afternoon of studying and exploring, or even just for that prime Insta opportunity (make sure to caption it with #libraryporn, #nerdalert, and/or #imquirky), the Providence Athenaeum is a great addition to any study spot rotation!

The Athenaeum is open from 9a.m.–7p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9a.m.–5p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1p.m.–5p.m. Sundays.

Image via Kenji Endo ’18.


Secret Study Space: Vol. V

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Curious about the photo? Click here.

With midterms breathing down their necks, most students have reluctantly decided to (shudder) study. While there are a few things that make this sleep-inducing activity enjoyable, going to the Rock or SciLi is certainly not one of them. Rows of tired faces, lack of outlets and an undercurrent of tension and stress make for a horrible horrible study space. So what’s the alternative? Allow me to (re)introduce—secret study spaces. These spots are wonderfully isolated, quiet and are the elixir for boosting your academic productivity. (Find the picture of our newest secret study space after the jump.) Continue Reading


Secret Study Space: Vol. IV

Looking for a nice place to study that’s a bit off the beaten path? Here’s your spot. Furnished with a water cooler, a whiteboard, a microwave, reading material for study breaks, and more, this room has everything you need. Located in a quiet spot on campus, this building offers a nice change of scenery from the SciLi, Rock, and other major study spots. See if you can find it!


Study Etiquette: Shared spaces at Brown (that aren’t libraries)

This semester, I am taking my third visual art studio class at Brown. That means I’ve already gotten through two semesters of sharing List’s white-washed, fluorescent-lit workrooms without running into the kind of situation that I did a couple weekends ago.

It was the kind of situation where you can imagine yourself lashing out at those around you, but don’t actually, because you know it will be more fun to complain to your friends about it later, FlogDailyHerald-style.

So here it goes: I listened to a total of ten hours of K-pop (Korean pop music), all of which could be heard over the sound of my own in-ear soundtrack of sensitive girl music (admittedly there was some James Taylor in there) and the new Bombay Bicycle Club album (well, I had to make myself look cool after the aforementioned confession, didn’t I?). I tried to tune out my peers’ ambiance music, but alas, I did not succeed. I am now confident that I can sing more than half of these catchy Korean melodies from memory.

With midterms now upon us, the libraries have become packed with crazed, zombie-like students, influencing many of us to opt to study in an alternative location. Fortunately, Brown has lots of shared study spaces for you to take advantage of. Sure, they’re not libraries, but they still require you to use your manners and be polite. But how do you properly share those spaces with others? Check out our tips after the jump.

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