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5 Underrated Study Spots at McPherson Library

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Vic chapter.

All active students know that the most important part of having a successful study session is finding a perfect study spot. A quiet and accessible space that’s comfy, warm, and has access to a nearby outlet. Here at the University of Victoria, there are many buildings on campus where students can study, but nothing beats the comfort of setting up camp and working for hours at the McPherson Library. 

However, as major projects, papers, quizzes, and midterms start to roll out in November, it is often difficult to locate a decent spot on any of the three main floors. The booths are always taken, groups of people squat all day on the chairs along the stairwells, and the second-floor tables are always packed with students chattering away. 

It might seem easy to snag a random chair near an outlet or try your luck in another building, but if you look hard enough, you’ll realize that there are some great study spots at McPherson Library. So grab a snack and a coffee from Biblio Café, and arrive ready to find a spot and get some work done.

Third Floor: Comfy Chairs, Tall Windows

The third floor of McPherson is a great place to study if you need both silence and natural light while completing your assignments. In the center of this floor, there is a large open study space that most people flock to, but the superior study spot lies right next to it. In the floor map of the library, this space is labelled as the Graduate Study Carrels, and the couches and tables set up next to its nearby windows, facing the Bob Wright building, are some of the best spots to study in the library. 

Situated right next to a heater and openable window, it’s a great spot for when you need to regulate your temperature. Feeling too hot? Crack open one of the windows. Feeling too cold? No need to worry! Kick your feet up against the window sill and feel the warm air slowly rise from the heater below.

Second Floor: Behind the Bookshelves

Everyone at UVic knows that the second floor of the McPherson Library is always chaotically busy. Students working in large groups often occupy the large study space, and it is very rare to find a seat in the cluster of tables near the windows. The second floor almost always appears to be full, but did you know that there is another hidden study spot behind the bookshelves?

Located just outside the second-floor Interlibrary Loans room (292) and the Digitization room (282) there are a few rows of working cubbies that not a lot of people know about. It is just out of reach of the students chatting at the large tables, while the style of the cubby is larger than the common McPherson study desk. It’s a reliable spot if you’re in a crunch and need to find somewhere to study as soon as possible.

Main Floor: The Secret Room

I know that the newly renovated study space by the ‘Ask Us’ desk on the main floor of the library is all the rage right now, but people have been ignoring one of the other best new study spaces that recently came with the renovation. In the far left corner of the building, behind the music scores and next to the multimedia desks, is the Unplug(ged) room, another rarely busy, quiet study space. 

Being its own room, this spot feels separated from the craziness of the library atmosphere. It holds many comfy chairs, tables, stools, and even a shelf with some board games and puzzles on it! It’s a great spot if you need a break from your study session, or need a change of scenery between your classes.

Lower Level: The Slenderman Chairs

I’m sure you’ve gone down to the lower level of the McPherson library and have been jumpscared by the creepy, black fabric stick-man chairs situated by the stairwell and the window. Sure, they are terrifying, but have you ever sat in one yourself? Out of all the couches and chairs in the library, they are probably one of the most comfortable spots to sit.

Looking like a large slenderman-like figure seated on the floor, these spots provide the best posture for typing away on your computer. If you often study lying down in your bed with your laptop propped up against your knees, then you have to try out these chairs! I have sat in them for hours while writing papers and I don’t even get neck pain. They are majorly underrated.

Lower Level Bonus: The Legacy Maltwood Gallery

The Legacy Maltwood Gallery is a section of the library’s lower level where different art exhibitions are put on display throughout the year. While visiting, you can enjoy detailed paintings, hand-made ceramics, and even video art. All for free! Sometimes, there’s even an empty chair set up in the corner next to an outlet, which makes a perfect study spot.

Most of the time this single chair in the gallery is empty, so if you see it, snag it while you can! I have sat there many times, and have often moved the chair around the space depending on my study vibe. Sometimes I’ll be in front of the paintings, while other times next to the ceramics. No one has ever stopped me from studying in this space, so you should too! If the chair isn’t there, or it is already occupied, just grab another one and bring it over! Being surrounded by art is a great way to calm yourself while you are working, so you should give it a try.

Jess Legati is the Marketing and Publicity director with the Her Campus @ U Vic chapter. Her job is to oversee the promotion and marketing of events that her chapter plans to host within their campus and community. Outside Her Campus, Jess is a third-year writing student at UVIC with a minor in digital and interactive media in the arts. She has worked with Her Campus as a writer in past years and released her first-ever self-written EP titled Touch the Sky, in 2022. In her time at UVIC, she has received two in-course awards from her department: the UVIC Bookstore Scholarship in Writing, and the Mary Aitken Legacy Scholarship in Writing. Jess spends most of her free time following the intense world of Formula One racing, but outside of motorsport, she is a chill gal who loves singing, playing guitar, and hanging out with her friends. She is super fond of fictional series like Marvel and Harry Potter and hopes to one day utilize her passion for visual media to write for television and film.