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Crawling Berkeley: I just want to study in peace…part 2!

Posted By Tejas Dave On Dec 3, 2012 @ 8:00 am In Sandbox | Comments Disabled

Last month (yes, it’s December now!) we brought to you our first library crawl [1]. But since there are a lot of libraries at UC Berkeley (in case you didn’t know), one crawl simply wasn’t enough. In this crawl, we bring to you Morrison, Bancroft and the Law Library. We hope this helps in finding a place to (pretend to) study during RRR Week, and we wish you the very best of luck on your finals.

Note: the Law Library is not open to undergraduates during Finals period.

Morrison Library – Eunice Choi



  • A quietness that isn’t intimidating like Main Stacks but instead allows people to fully focus on their reading/work.
  • A nice view of Morrison.

    A nice view of Morrison.

  • Extremely comfortable, squishy couches and seats of various kinds that make reading a pleasure. Note: the comfort could be sleep-inducing but otherwise it’s just awesome.
  • Couches.


  • Small, wonderfully antique-looking library located on the right side after you pass through the entrance of Doe Library that faces Memorial Glade.
  • Truly gives off the vibe of a posh, university library: warm, wooden paneled walls, paintings of people we don’t know, chandeliers, respectful silence out of consideration for those studying around you, plenty of books with titles that make one feel somewhat intellectually inadequate, excellent lighting that isn’t fluorescent but rather warm and soft, busts of people we yet again don’t know, gorgeous ceiling designs, and firm rugs that dampen what tends to be the distracting noise of squeaky shoes (especially on rainy days).
  • Strict policy on no cell phone sounds, no food, and perhaps even no laptops.
  • No laptops? What?

    No laptops? What?

  • An excellent place for people who want to get some reading done without interruption, with little chance of being discovered by friends who may distract you, or simply want to relax in incredibly comfortable couches (suggestion: at least pretend to read a book or newspaper if just relaxing and on the verge of sleeping?)
  • Current magazines and other periodicals are available for free use whole at the library.

Bancroft Library – Erik Swan

Bancroft Library Rotunda

Bancroft Library Rotunda

First of all, this isn’t your typical library. This is where they keep all the rare stuff. It’s essentially a laboratory for the humanities. As such, it’s only open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Located on the eastern side of Doe Library, it’s easy to walk right on through without even realizing you were in a different library. Through the front door there is a desk on your left, a gallery entrance on your right, and a corridor straight ahead. That’s it. But it houses some incredible stuff. They’ve got one of Shakespeare’s first folios, a first edition of ‘Paradise Lost’, and a page of the Gutenberg Bible. Some of these are even accessible by undergrads.

The reading rooms are dedicated to researching these texts and not really for studying. The gallery, on the other hand, is open for anyone’s enjoyment. The gallery rotates every 3 to 4 months [2], and right now it’s showcasing Ansel Adams’ beautiful photos of the UC’s.

To access the materials, you have to do a couple things. First, you have to make sure they have what you want, and if it’s kept at the Northern Regional Library Facility, you have to wait three working days to access it. There’s a reference e-mail [3] and a reference librarian at the library that you can use.  Then you have to request it [4], which for some things can be done online, but for others (like vault stuff and other restricted materials) must be done in person.

To actually get in the reading room, you have to register [5]. This registration is good for 2 years. As long as you’re over 18 and have a Berkeley photo ID, you’re good. Then you have to check some things like bags and ink (basically, only pencils, looseleaf paper, and laptops are allowed) and go through security.

After all that, you should have a piece of rare, classic literature in your hands. It’s really impressive how accessible it is to all students.

One of the biggest collections is that of African American literature [6]. Almost everything by major African-American writers is there.

We highly encourage you to make use of this once-in-a-lifetime resource. Chances are that you won’t get another chance to see these authentic classics once you leave.

Law Library – Tejas Dave

Law Library.

Law Library.

  • Relatively silent, except for doors opening closing, keys clicking and people walking
  • Visited the main reading room
  • Very bright and well lit
  • Comfortable rolling chairs
Rolling chairs are nice because they don't make much noise when you move them.

Rolling chairs are nice because they don't make much noise when you move them.

  • Interesting blend of long tables with chairs, chairs around a small roundtable and couches in the middle


  • Gives a very rich feeling
  • The outlets to seat ratio seems a little too low
  • Not open to undergraduates after 5 p.m., during the weekends or during law school exams (Nov. 30 – Dec. 14)
  • A lot like the Engineering Library (which we crawled last time) [1] but quieter and brighter
  • Interestingly enough, there are high school style lockers in the Law School.
We remember these...from high school.

We remember these...from high school.

Image sources: Eunice Choi, Erik Swan and Tejas Dave, The Daily Californian

Article printed from The Daily Clog: http://clog.dailycal.org

URL to article: http://clog.dailycal.org/2012/12/03/library-crawl-part-2/

URLs in this post:

[1] first library crawl: http://clog.dailycal.org/2012/11/02/library-crawl/

[2] every 3 to 4 months: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/omeka/exhibits/show/fiat-lux/

[3] reference e-mail: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/referenceonline.html

[4] request it: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/storreq.cgi

[5] register: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/info/registration.html

[6] African American literature: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/africanamerican/

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