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Library Room Reviews: The George and Jesse Siegel Reading Room

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In our continuing coverage of the rooms you’re reading this in, we bring you that room up on the fourth floor of Butler, the George and Jesse Siegel Reading Room.

Ah, the fourth floor of Butler: just high enough that you’ll sweat if you take the stairs and you’ll feel slightly guilty if you take the elevator. Despite it’s admittedly minor inconvenience, the fourth floor is home to one of Butler’s study-room gems: the George and Jesse Siegel Reading Room.

Counting the group-study rooms at the center, the George and Jesse Siegel Reading Room is shaped kind of like a barbell. Okay, fine, a really weird barbell that you should probably get rid of but still; it’s two rooms connected by a hallway.

In making the tough decision as to which side you want to study on, I highly recommend the room on the right. Unfortunately, apparently everyone else at Columbia would recommend it, too. The left room is the better room, but it’s usually crowded. You’re more likely to find a seat in the room on the right.

Why is the left room so superior? Well, it’s all about orientation. With a giant window on one end, the room on the left offers an impressive view of the Low Rotunda. The right room offers an impressive view of the side of Lerner. If you’re planning to spend hours staring at the same thing, do yourself a favor and don’t let it be Lerner.

A very strange but major flaw with both of theses rooms is the unexplainable nature of their chairs. You can waltz in on any given day, all bright-eyed and ready to study (hah), and there will be plenty of open table space but no chairs. You can get all excited about a window-facing seat before you realize that the room is missing four chairs and everyone’s giving you that look that means “there’s no space in here, go get back on the elevator, you plebian.”

Although these rooms can get ridiculously crowded during Finals and their chairs disappear at an alarming rate, they’re well worth your time. If you can get a Low-facing seat in this room, you’re golden.

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7 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous im supposed to feel slightly guilty if i take the elevator to the 4th floor? oops

  • An athlete says:

    @An athlete i love this room but #ihatenerds

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous is this the room that smells like vomit?

    1. No says:

      @No You’re thinking of room 403, the long one that goes along the south wall of Butler.

      I never thought it smelled like vomit, though–I always thought it smelled like dirty socks.

  • Kant says:

    @Kant “A very strange but major flaw with both of theses rooms is the unexplainable nature of their chairs.”

    existence is not a predicate.

  • CC 1992 says:

    @CC 1992 This room used to be called Burgess-Carpenter Library and it was pre-late-90’s renovation home to dilapidated bookcases of humanities and literature texts in every corner and 24/7 home to dilapidated graduate students and intrepid undergrads for whom Philosophy Reading Room, on the main floor just past College Library, was getting just too crowded and was already too close to Carman. I spent many a night in this space.

  • CC 1992 says:

    @CC 1992 This room used to be called Burgess-Carpenter Library and it was pre-late-90’s renovation home to dilapidated bookcases of humanities and literature texts in every corner and 24/7 home to dilapidated graduate students and intrepid undergrads for whom Philosophy Reading Room, on the main floor just past College Library, was getting just too crowded and was already too close to Carman. I spent many a night in this space. Not a computer in sight. Glorious it was.

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