The Definitive Guide to Campus Study Spaces

As we dive head first into finals season, the biggest concern among students is finding somewhere to cram for said finals. If you’re a first year, you’ve heard all the stories about how crazy campus gets during exams. Fear not, for we’ve compiled the ultimate list of Queen’s Campus study spaces for your perusal, and remember, where you study is important. It says a lot about you so choose wisely. 

Bracken Library

Location: Basement of Botterel Hall, at the corner of Stuart and George Street

Need to Knows: Generally has the earliest closing time of all the campus libraries (no late night studying binges here, folks).

What to expect: Among the stacks of books in the tiny corrals you’ll generally find medical students and the occasional nursing student and Life Sci’s who like to go there to feel like medical students.

What studying here says about you: You don’t need beautiful surroundings and natural light to focus on your studying. A plain desk and white basement wall will suffice for you. In first year, you may have been the one who studied in your dorm room and now that you’re in second year you’re finding you can’t focus as well at home so you’ve branched out to the least distracting of all libraries.

What regulars call it: Bracken (for those not familiar with the library this may sound like a sea monster from Pirates of the Caribbean, but I can assure you that’s what it's called).

Douglas Library

Location: The old building at the corner of University and Union.

Need to Knows: You know how in Stauffer each floor is quieter than the next? Well, Douglas picks up where Stauffer left off in this respect, meaning it’s a pretty quiet place.

What to expect here: Nice surroundings, big desks, and natural light on the upper floors. The basements are well...basements. Everyone from engineers (do they even have books?), to musicians, to ArtScis study here.

What studying here says about you: You’re either a Harry Potter fan enjoying studying in the aptly named Harry Potter room, marveling at how much your school looks like Hogwarts and taking Instagram pics to share with everyone you know. Or, you’re just slightly too cool for the riff-raff of Stauffer/couldn’t find a seat at Stauffer and made the long trek (poor you) across University and Union for your second attempt at finding a seat.

What regulars call it: Mostly I’ve heard it called Dougie but there are some who have dared to shorten it even more to just Doug.

Lederman Law Library

Location: Sir John A. McDonald Hall, second floor.

Need to Know info: Has strange hours sometimes, so check the website before venturing here.

What to expect: Natural light, big tables and you guessed it, lawyers (future lawyers, anyways). Or girls trying to pick up those future lawyers by showing off their studious side.

What studying here says about you: You’re most likely an upper year (first years are far too terrified of the concept of the law building never mind the sometimes scathing looks from the law students for invading their territory) who is totally over the whole studying ‘scene’ and just want a quiet place with nice surroundings to get down to work.

Shortened Name: Doesn’t really have one, unless you say either Lederman or The Law Library.

Stauffer Library:

Location: You don’t really need me to tell you where Stauffer is, do you?

Need to know info: 24 hours of Stauffer becomes a thing in exam season and with it comes the crazy crammers who have been known to bring everything from pillows, blankets, kettles and yes, even tents to ensure they are never without a seat.

What to expect: Stauffer is probably the most basic of all the libraries on campus. By basic, I don’t mean ‘plain’ (catch my drift?). Stauffer is a man-eat-man world during exams; grab a seat wherever you can find one.

What studying there says about you: You are studying to be seen, and anything you learn is a bonus. You’re also probably too lazy to discover the more interesting study spots on campus.

Shortened Name: Stauff or Club Stauff

The Tea Room

Location: Corner of Division and Union Street.

Need to know info: The Tea Room has very small tables and limited electrical outlets (so charge up those laptops before embarking on a Tea Room study session).

What to expect: Engineers (obviously), hipsters who like tea, or girls that are scoping out potential dates for next year’s Sci Formal.

What studying there says about you: You can tolerate loud, cramped spaces and like food to complement your academics.


Location: Second Floor of the ARC 

Need to Knows: It is next to impossible to find a seat so get there early and claim your territory (seriously, this is like the Stauffer of coffee shops).

What to expect: As it is the Stauffer of coffee shops, I think you know where I’m going with this, it’s pretty basic.

What studying there says about you: Like those that study at the Tea Room, you can handle cramped, noisy places for studying. You also like a never ending stream of food (cake) and coffee to keep you going through those never-ending study sessions.

BioSci Atrium

Location: That big building on Arch Street, I think you know the one.

Need to Knows: It’s got a Tim Horton’s, and it almost never closes.

What to expect: It’s an atrium and it gets noisy in between classes when the lecture halls empty and refill. The chairs are uncomfortable (if you can find one, otherwise enjoy that hard stone floor), and it’s cold most of the time.

What studying here says about you: You’re probably here because you need to be for a study session or lab later and are passing your time productively.


So there you have it, your definitive guide to study spaces on the Queen’s Campus. If you study somewhere not on the list, then for goodness sake, keep quiet and don’t tell anyone. Props for your originality.