Yes! Swem is not the only way to get your literary fix in Williamsburg. Unbeknownst to many students and nestled right between campus and Colonial Williamsburg is a hidden gem – the Williamsburg Regional Library.
You may have seen it. Flanked by Scotland St, Armistead Ave, and N. Boundary St with a glass pyramid atop one entrance, the library is a striking building. You may have even ventured inside and seen the stacks of books, but there’s a lot more to the facility than first meets the eye.
This library offers a theatre and an art gallery. The bust events calendar always has something exciting — live musical performances, lectures, film showings, and fun workshops. Most of these are free, or very inexpensive. It’s also a great way for students to interact with the greater Williamsburg community.
Recurring events include:
- Dewey Decibel Concerts at 7:30pm:
- Indie singer-songwriters, classical baroque quartets, Broadway and everything in between
- Centuries of Art lectures on Mondays at 7:30pm:
- With topics ranging from photography across Virginia to arts & warfare in ancient Sumer, these lectures will fascinate any art-lover
- Thursday Afternoon Film Series at 2pm:
- In October, the films include horror classics such as Dracula, The Wolf Man, and Bride of Frankenstein.
If you want more information, I highly recommend looking at the WRL website.
Personally, I enjoy visiting the library regardless of what’s happening. There’s something to be said for being surrounded by novels and magazines as opposed to thick reference volumes and thorny scientific journals. Instead of students looking worriedly at computer screens or writing complex formulas on whiteboards, you can watch senior citizens reading the newspaper in armchairs near the window and young children pulling their parents toward the picture books.
Swem does not hold a monopoly over literature, and the college isn’t the only one to host interesting events for students. The Williamsburg Regional Library doesn’t have three floors, and it closes at 9:00pm on weekdays, but it’s a more intimate and welcoming space. I wish more students took advantage of all the wonderful things it has to offer.