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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Temple’s new Charles Library has quickly become a hot spot for studying, snacking, meeting friends and everything in between. But if you’re like me, you may not have a clear idea of exactly what is taking place in the many nooks and crannies of the enormous building. Many times I’ve even wondered: Am I even allowed over there? And then I’m greeted by the dead silent and nearly vacant study area that seems to have no purpose.

After a little bit of research, luckily I’ve done the hard work of figuring out exactly what resources are offered in the Charles for you. To start, The Charles Library houses the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio. Again, if you’re like me, you may be wondering, what does that mean? The LCDSS is a space that specializes in research and technology, including things like digital humanities and arts, geospatial technology and 3D printing software. Sound up your alley? Even if none of those things intrigue you, the LCDSS offers knowledgeable staff and group/individual break out rooms should you need to use their facilities for a class or personal project. Good to know! 

Probably the biggest and most advertised feature of the Charles is its “BookBot.” This is a short term for The Automated Storage and Retrieval System, which essentially uses robots to fetch and return library books as students need them. Temple’s BookBot contains nearly 1.5 million volumes, all of which can be requested via the library’s online catalog. In order to take a book out, stop by the One Stop Assistance desk, where a librarian will walk you through how to have your book retrieved. In fact, the One Stop Assistance Desk really is just that — they can help you do things like check out course reserves, connect with a subject librarian for your research topic, book a breakout room and troubleshoot simple technology issues. And if that’s not enough, the library also allows you to take out things like digital equipment, laptops and books from other libraries should Temple not have the one you’re looking for. Because, hey, you never know.

In such a large and often crowded building, it can be difficult to know where the best study spots are. After a great deal of exploration of the study spaces offered, I’ve arrived at the conclusion that if you can find a place to sit on the third floor, in the open reading area, you have the perfect spot to study or enjoy a light snack from Stella’s while looking out the large windows at the treetops (which makes me feel like I’m studying in a really cool, modern treehouse.) However, the emphasis here is on IF you can find a seat. In my experience, at nearly all hours of the day, the tables in this space are completely filled, leaving me to forage for a stand alone chair or give up all together. The good news, however, is that the Charles has many study areas, including a fourth floor quiet reading area, as well numerous individual break out rooms which can be reserved for when you really need to get down to business. 

All of this good information aside, anyone who has been in the Charles to study, work on a group project, or even just meet friends will likely tell you that people really do mean business in there. If you make too much noise, or draw too much attention to yourself, your likely to receive some dirty looks from people with their noses buried in their laptops. To avoid this awkward encounter, I’ve comprised some Charles Library Dos and Don’ts:


  • Bring things like headphones, a computer, a phone charger and water to make sure you’re prepared for a long study sesh.

  • Ask for help when you need it! Stop by the One Stop Assistance desk with any miscellaneous questions you might have

  • Grab a treat! Stella’s Cafe offers an assortment of pastries and coffees that make for the perfect study snack. My favorite is the Iced Draft Latte with oat milk, its rich and creamy without being bitter — a great drink for non-coffee lovers looking for a caffeine boost


  • Talk loudly. Generally, people in the Charles are their to get work done, and loud conversation, especially in the study areas, is unlikely to be well received by your peers. (Plus, you don’t need everyone hearing your personal tea!!)

  • Bring a loud or smelly snack. That one person loudly crunching on chips or stinking up the room with BurgerFi can easily take a peaceful quiet area and turn it into a distracting and frustrating one. No one’s going to judge you for packing a light snack, just be considerate.

  • Spread out too much. Many of the Charles’ study spaces are organized by tables with multiple seats at each. While it may be tempting to spread your notebooks, laptop and other personal items out (especially on the rare occasion that you’re the only one at the table), make sure to leave space for others.

With all of this information and “Dos and Don’ts” in mind, you should be good to go for your next trip to the Charles! Time to get out there with your books, laptops, snacks and refreshments and most of all… the class readings that have already accumulated on your to do list. Get em’ done!


Hi! I am a staff writer for Temple University's HerCampus chapter in the Campus Life and News Section! Interests include ballet, skateboarding, running and yoga, my precious beagle Max, and astrology (I'm a Taurus sun, cancer moon, Sag rising;))
When Rachel isn't obsessively drinking iced coffee by the gallon or binge watching true crime videos on YouTube, you can probably find her writing about her failed love life. She is currently a  junior (*she's ancient*) journalism major at Temple University, and is a Her Campus Temple Campus Correspondent, a Temple Student Government Social Media Manager and a 2020 Owl Team Student Coordinator.