Data Doesn’t Lie: The Real Winner of the SciLi vs. Rock Debate

One of the first things we learn when it comes to forming an argument is the importance of evidence. Without cold hard facts, intelligent conclusions and believable theories are mere postulations, and claiming truth becomes a very tricky thing. Unlike certain news sources, here at BlogDailyHerald we value journalistic integrity and are committed to delivering the most accurate assessments of what is going on around campus. But what happens when what we’re reporting on is a matter of opinion rather than one of certainty? In this case, we finally decided to take that age-old advice and ask a librarian.

The infamous SciLi vs. Rock debate: a discussion older than Tupac vs. Biggie, older than the Yankees vs. Red Sox, heck, even older than life itself. Okay, maybe not, but it’s still something that concerns nearly all Brown students.

According to the data, 99% of all undergraduate students have swiped into either the SciLi or the Rock at least once during the last year. That means almost every single undergrad has had to make the choice between the Rock or the SciLi.

What this article hopes to accomplish is twofold. Obviously, the most important question I aim to address is answering the question of which library students actually prefer. I also hope to illuminate the patterns of usage for each in a way that paints a picture of the libraries as much more than just places to study. Hopefully, through the data, you will see that each library has a character of its own.

I’ll start with the latter: What does your favorite library say about you? The first thing we looked at were the concentrations of the majority of the students that went to each respective library. What we learned was actually somewhat surprising:

Rock-SciLi-Attendance (Spring 2014)Rock-SciLi-Attendance (Spring 2014) pg 2

The most obvious conclusion we can make from these graphs is that Brown students are incredibly indecisive about what they want to study. The other notable feature is that the SciLi caters to a more diverse range of concentrations. Around 15% of students who went to the SciLi last spring were studying social sciences compared to the 18% who went to the Rock. The distributions were also more uniform at the SciLi, while the Rock had over a third concentrating in the humanities.

Another cool statistic we received was time-of-day data. As you can see from the graph below, there are two peak times, right after lunch from 1 to 3 p.m., and right after dinner at from 7 to 8 p.m..



Even more fascinating is analyzing on which day of the week students most attended each library. The numbers remain relatively constant until Wednesday, but take an immediate dip afterwards.

Rock-SciLi-Attendance (Spring 2014) pg 5


If it wasn’t clear by now, then this next graph will definitely show you what we’ve all been waiting for: who is the winner in the SciLi vs. Rock debate?!


The winner is….the SciLi! As you can see in the above graph, starting at the beginning of 2008, the SciLi took the lead and never looked back. One promising piece of information for parents and professors is that overall library usage has increased and has steadily been climbing since 2006 (woohoo, we’re studious!)

Overall, the investigation most definitely shed light onto what actually happens in each library. The most compelling piece of data, however, is the fact that 99% of the total undergraduate population had actually used either one of the libraries at least once in the past academic year. Study on, Brunonia. And remember – work hard, play hard.


Leave a Reply