Bwog continues its tour of Butler alternatives today with an excursion to the Math and Science Library.

Everyone knows that Avery is the Paul McCartney to Butler’s John Lennon: the second-most-famous one, the arguably better looking (or more aesthetically pleasing) one. Avery is gorgeous, it’s close, it’s quiet, there’s Brownies in the basement, there are scores of attractive Italian people sitting outside smoking clove cigarettes, you get the picture. The Math and Science Library, visible if one squints from a cushy seat in Avery, separated only by Uris and the B-schoolers who hate us, is a far cry from Avery’s glitz and glamor. The Math Lawn and Mathematics itself are both generally acknowledged to be lovely spaces, but, at least at first view, the Library on the 3rd floor of Math doesn’t quite match the building’s external glory.

It is a tiny library, just one U-shaped room with 6 or 7 computers, around 10 fake wood (no oak!) reading tables and some 70’s-style purple rocking chairs. Bwog took a seat around a small round table in a brown cushioned chair that could be found in the basement of every reader’s grandparents. Initially, after surveying the comparatively much-less-than-lovely digs, Bwog longed to run back to Avery, tucking ourselves in a corner, and eavesdropping on kefia-toting grad students whispering about Gaudi at that annoying reserved-for-Architecture-students table.

However, after taking a stroll through the stacks, we began to change our mind. The stacks are open, there’s no buzz-in process a la the Burke Library at UTS, and they make the least terrifying rows of books this LibraryHopper has ever encountered. The room is not exactly light, but there are large windows overlooking Earl and the steps down to Broadway. There are several desks and chairs with dusty plants in lovely old glass vases. On the opposite side of the Math Library, Bwog found 5 or 6 cubicles. There were several people in the 1/3 full library who had planted themselves and several intimidating-looking textbooks at the cubicles and were scribbling furiously and looking extremely stressed, which this Bwogger, not exactly a math person, assumes is a good thing. Continuing our walk around, we noticed several framed posters of famous mathematicians and scientists past. There is no swipe-in process at the Math Library, but everyone Bwog saw seemed to be a diligent-looking if rather serious math-or-science student: no impostors here.  

Bwog left the library among fall sunbathers on the Lawn, glimpsed Avery’s chandeliers and the clouds of Gauloise smoke in the distance, and headed to Butler for a cheesecake brownie.