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!  

MindAmend

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.

Ask Me Anything on Reddit – A Year In Review

On the faithful day of March 11th, 2021, Amanda took to reddit to see what the r/mcgill community were asking. After a tumultuous year full of change, we are reviewing some answers to showcase some of the things that are back at the McGill Library.

Resources

Q: What are the 3 top library resources/services you would recommend a new student at McGill look into?

A: Number one resource I would recommend for new students are the subject guides! Links are available right off the homepage. Each faculty, department, subject, etc. has been broken down into guides that indicate all the best resources to use for research in that area. 

Number two is citation or reference managers. There are tools like Zotero and EndNote which can help you organize your sources, generate citations, and input them into a Word document with ease. This is one of those things that I wish I knew about when I was a student (yes, they’ve been around that long) since it makes your life so much easier.  

Number three is our Ask Us chat service, or just talking to a librarian in general. This was also something I didn’t know you could do as a student. When I went to go find my research, I just assumed I knew everything and didn’t need help, but honestly my search skills were trash! I had no idea what I was doing. If I had just emailed my librarian and asked the best way to find articles in my subject, I probably would have gotten better grades too.  

UPDATE: These three resources are still some of the best starting points and super useful for new students. Since then, we have also create an orientation booklet full with library informations, games, and well-being tips. You can check it out on the orientation page.

Cool Features

Q: What is the coolest library feature students don’t take advantage of?

A: In a similar question I mentioned more of our services so for this one, I had the help of our Outreach Assistants to pick out some of the coolest places in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library that you can take advantage of when we reopen!

First, the Zen Room! It’s tucked away on the 6th floor of the McLennan next to the washrooms.

The McLennan 4th floor Visual Arts Collection is accessible and beautiful – perfect for a study break!

And if you need to blow of steam, there are stationary bikes on the main floor of Redpath.

UPDATE: Firstly, while majority of the library is open the zen room remains closed! You can find updates by checking out the page. The 4th floor Visual Arts Collection is open and the chains in front of the art are great places to relax. Lastly, the Innovation Commons is back in action with an all new One-Button Studio. To learn more read our latest blog post.

Book Loans

Q: Can I check out a physical book from McLennan?

UPDATE: Our book loaning services are back to normal! Simply find the book you would like to take out by wandering through the stacks or requesting a pick-up and take it to the front desk or one of our self-checkout machines.

Study Pods

Q: If you were a student at McGill, which library would you study at? I have a few favourites, but I’m curious what yours would be!

A: Personally, I’d probably study at the Music Library. I love those comfy chairs that face the window out onto Sherbrooke. That’s exactly the kind of place I would curl up for the day. I checked in with our Outreach Assistants on this though, since my ideal study spot is my couch 😛 They vote for the Humanities and Social Sciences Library (aka McLennan-Redpath Building) since it’s got that community feel and easy access to the café! They both miss those bookable study pods, and I can’t blame them. 

UPDATE: A year later our study pods are back open! You can book a room on the reservation website. The Music library, especially with the sun coming out more often, is an awesome space to get that Vitamin D while studying with it’s wonderful windows.

Fun Things to Access

Q: What cool things are there in the library that students do not generally know about and how might they access them (in an imaginary world where the pandemic is over).

A:

Okay I could probably go on and on about a bunch, so I’ve picked 4 for your viewing pleasure today! 

Our Digital Scholarship Hub launched pre-pandemic, but we never got to have an official opening for the space. In addition to a designated hub, there are experts who can help you on subjects like text analysis, data mining, data visualization, scholarly publishing, research data management, and more! 

The Innovation Commons (formerly Research Commons) is also adding some cool new features for when we return to the library, like a one-button studio so you can record content. 

The Book Arts Laboratory is in our Rare Books and Special Collections department. They have two functional printing presses. I made a card for my mother on one of them and it was gorgeous!  

Oh! And don’t forget about that Seed Library over on the MacDonald Campus, which helps to offer seeds and other gardening resources to our McGill Community.  

UPDATE: The Digital Scholarship Hub is now open! You can check out their spaces, resources and events on their website.


Thanks for going down memory lane with us! If you have any other questions about what has changed in the library email hssl.library@mcgill.ca