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Library Review: Avery Library

Bwog is back with yet another library review! If you want a warm and welcoming environment when studying for hours, change things up and stop at Avery. Everything from the main room to Brownie’s Café will make you want to visit this library again. 

Avery at its core is a warm, communal, and artsier version of Butler. Its intimate size and small fan following make it an ideal study spot. The main room is the classic wooden collegiate library set up with shelves full of books that have never been opened. However, the large communal tables and large, sumptuous chairs make for a comfortable place to flip through 300 psych flash cards or finish a term paper on apartheid in South Africa or suffer through paragraphs of Montaigne. Despite some tables being reserved for Fine Art and Architecture students, there is always a spot. The tall ceiling is intricately designed with small patterns in the white expansiveness of it all. The walls are lined with paintings of former Columbia presidents and thinkers supplying motivation to the most sluggish of students.

Continuing past the main room and down a few stairs is another great, quiet, and comfortable spot to lay down all your CC books and cram before the midterm. Very few students make it this far so you can have the luxury of spreading out. This area is not aesthetically pleasing, which might bother the Birkenstock, cave dwelling art history denizens, but makes for a comfortable spot for the rest of us. Rooms on the sides can be reserved for further comfort.

On the far right is a continuation of silvery bookshelves but if you continue back under and through a tunnel you will reach a nice, well lit mini-museum. In the far right corner of lower Avery resides a museum featuring archeological exhibitions. Importantly, the bathrooms are clean and the area is prime for studying in style. The exhibitions, furthermore, can serve as a great study break.

Return back to the main lobby of Avery and head left down a flight of stairs and through a set of uninviting doors to experience a hidden gem, Brownie’s Café. Not only are the sandwiches delicious but they offer a nice selection of grab-n-go sushi, salads, and beverages. They even sell Ito En. While the area is usually dotted with Art and Architecture grad students with their Persols and fashionable apparel, there is room for the undergraduate to eat and scroll through Quizlet before an exam. If you’re feeling adventurous you can ask a friendly looking grad student to help you with that daunting Art Hum assignment you’ve been putting off. Brownie’s takes the cake quiet literally in baked goods as well as coffees and teas. Their salads beat out every other eatery on campus.

Instead of nervously looking for an empty seat in Butler 209 or Ref Room, enjoy the warm, artsiness of Avery. Rub shoulders with some really interesting people and stretch out! Studying should be this luxurious.

Photo courtesy of Columbia Spectator (Brownie’s Café), Columbia University Libraries (Avery Main Room, Avery Secondary Room)

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1 Comment

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This is the largest collection of art and architecture books of any university in the US.

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