HSSL Spaces for Studying (and niche playlists to match)

With finals approaching, now is a good time to find which spaces in the McLennan-Redpath Complex can suit your studying needs. Enjoy a list of some great spots to jam out to music and get your stuff done.

1.Cybertheque Pod 


This space works for those who like to be seen, but not heard. Located in the basement of the Redpath building, Cybertheque pods offer great amenities such as an internet-enabled computer hooked up to a large-screen display, which is ideal for group study, or solo work. However, these glass pods offer no privacy so maybe it’s not the ideal place to practise your interpretive dance performance to Grimes. Speaking of which, if you are in the Cybertheque, we think this playlist could match its futuristic vibe:  

Grimes reading Karl Marx

2.McLennan Floor 6  

Sshhh!! The best study space for total silence. The atmosphere can be kind of dark at times, but everyone around you is in total focus mode. It’s kind of nice to be stressed, but together 🙂 If you’re studying here, you need some intense focus music to get your essay done before midnight. Our recent find is this YouTube channel:  

Scroll to find what works for you and listen for at least 15 minutes and you’ll be in the zone!  


3. The Redpath Cafe  

Get out. This is not a study space, I’m hungry and it’s the only place I can eat.” I’m half-kidding, that would be mean, but if you’re looking for a place to study while eating, there are flex spaces still available and  the SSMU cafeteria is open again. The Redpath Cafe is the only place in the library to eat so if you are planning to stay there for a while and take your time, we suggest finding another space to allow other students to have a quick bite!  

Breakfast club but for lunch:


4.   BlackaderLauterman Library 


An underrated study spot is on the third floor of Redpath which houses the Blackader-Lauterman Collection. The windows are lovely if you are someone who needs natural light, and on the way up you will run into a wonderful stained-glass window. There is plenty of space and beautiful architecture books to browse if you’re in need of a study break.  

oat milk/ stained glass windows

5. Innovation Commons Booths  

All the way in the back on Redpath Floor 1, there are three perfect booths if you are feeling like you want something more comfortable. They can fit a great sized group and there is tons of light from the adjacent windows. Additionally, the Innovation Commons is always  buzzing with fun projects to inspire you to be creative with your work!  

In a diner booth  

 Study spaces in the library are as varied as you are. Hope you find something that works for you. Best of luck with your prep!! 

If you have any questions please email hssl.library@mcgill.ca.

World Poetry Day 2022: The Poetry of Healing

Poem by Emily Dickinson on top left and orange bird on hand in bottom right corner.

Celebrated every year on the 21st of March, World Poetry Day was adopted by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1999 as a celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity. As an ode to this beautiful art form, McGill’s Department of English launched its Poetry Reading Series for 2022: Fluid Vessels. Showcasing the work of remarkable voices from the British Isles, India, Nigeria, Australia, Jamaica, the U.S., and Canada, this series allows poetry lovers to interact with the artists who are running for The Montreal International Poetry Prize.

In November of 2017, McGill’s Social Equity and Diversity Education Office (SEDE) and the Sustainable Projects Fund (SPF) held a workshop on Poetry as a Tool for Healing and Joy, with Ontario-born poet and spoken word artist Brandon Wint.

This year, we urge you to bring back these echoes from the past, to celebrate poetry not only as a source of individual and cultural expression and diversity but as a tool for comfort and healing. That the past few years have been difficult for all is an understatement, but that they have entwined the global community together through common  threads of vulnerability is a plain truth. 

Poetry has placed itself front and centre as both our armour and our ointment during the past years. In 2020, We Are the Dream, an HBO documentary about Oakland’s youngest oratorical poets, took home an Emmy. Brandon Leake, a Stockton spoken-word poet, won NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” And poet laureates from California to New York have found a new calling, posting verses to comfort families grappling with pandemic fears and fighting against racial injustice (Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News). 

Image credit: kanopy

Contrary to The Love Poem by Carol Ann Duffy, we believe that everything has not been said by everyone, we have not run out of words. As the hardships of the time change the climate of our surroundings, people, as always, and with a strikingly sincere ability have found novel ways to express love and hope. We have found new ways to heal, and we have made sure to tell the world that it takes more than turbulent times and lockdowns to break us.

Then why read poetry, if one were to ask, we would have a plain but determined answer to give you. Because we need to heal, because there is a part of us that is looking to connect to a world beyond ours, to find comfort in the rustle of pages and answers in the middle of lines. Because all of us have gone through something together, and though it has only brought us closer, and stronger than ever. We deserve to heal. 

Immerse yourself within the world of poetry by diving into some of the many pages of verse that exist within the McGill Library.

Redpath Book Display: We Don’t Talk About Bruno, No, No, NO!

A seven-foot frame
Rats along his back
When he calls your name
It all fades to black
Yeah, he sees your dreams
And feasts on your screams

Does this ring a bell? It sure should, it is only one of the most popular songs of the year! Disney’s We Don’t Talk About Bruno (From “Encanto”) hit the charts soon after its November 2021 release, popularised by its catchy tunes and heavy social media presence.

It seems perfect then, that to bring everyone out of the midterm blues -and to lift the spirits of the ones who have a second-round of midterms lined up- the Humanities and Social Sciences Library (HSSL) brings to you our Mid-March Redpath Book Display, We Don’t Talk About Bruno!

Redpath Book Display shelves filled with books that either have Bruno on their covers or as an author.
Check out our display in the Redpath Library hallway on the main floor!

Presenting a diverse collection of books hand-picked from various disciplines such as Art, Architecture, Anthropology and many more, this display is dedicated to talking about Bruno!

We have always been ones to throw caution to the wind, no? So let’s take this chance and talk about Bruno! Spare a few moments to check out our quirky display between study sessions and acquaint yourself with the Brunos that have made their presence known through the years, whether in the titles of our special selection or as their authors!

♪♪ …Don’t talk about Bruno, no! (Why did I talk about Bruno?)
Not a word about Bruno
I never should’ve brought up Bruno!

You can find a full list of the books on display here.

For more information, contact us at hssl.library@mcgill.ca.