Five spaces on campus provide popular study environments


Madeline Pierce

Students study in the College of Law Library on Sept. 20, 2019. There a multitude of study spaces, libraries and more, available in every corner of campus.

By Jackson Janes, Assistant Sports Editor

The University offers tons of resources for studying, with over 20 libraries available to students. Here are my reviews for five of the most visited study spaces on campus.

Most Overrated: Undergraduate Library

Located directly south of Foellinger Auditorium on the Main Quad, the Undergraduate Library, or UGL, is arguably one of the most popular study spots on campus. It features two underground floors for studying: one “quiet” floor and one more social floor. While the quiet floor is a nice place to pop in some headphones and crank out some work, the more popular social floor is just too loud to get work done. Seating is also rarely available, but the private study rooms are a good option to reserve with a friend, even though they do not block out sound from the rest of the floor. If you want to work on group projects or hang out inside with friends between classes, this is the place for you. If you want to be productive and get work done, I would suggest finding somewhere else to study.

Most Underrated: Main Library

Located directly across from the Undergraduate Library and even connected to it by an underground tunnel, the Main Library is greatly underutilized by the student body. Complete with plenty of tables and chairs in the spacious second floor with beautiful towering seating, the Main Library boasts one of the most relaxing spaces on campus. The library’s location allows for easy access from classes on the Main Quad, though students often prefer Illini Union (more on this later) due to the restaurants, dining hall options and let’s be honest, the Starbucks on the first floor.

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(Not so) Secret Gem: ACES Library

Located on South Quad, the ACES/Funk Library is one of the quietest spaces on campus. While I am not an ACES major, this library is one of my favorites, as it has plenty of desks and tables available at any time of the day, aside from finals week, and has windows to look onto the South Quad and the Bell Tower. Depending on where you are on campus, it’s definitely worth the extra few minutes of commute. This is a place where you can be most productive.

It gets the job done: Illini Union

Illini Union, located on the north side of the Main Quad, features a food court, easy to-go options, two dining halls and even a bowling alley and arcade. In terms of studying, however, the Illini Union is a bit loud, especially when there’s someone playing the piano or the guitar and singing on the first floor stage. If you need to pass some time between classes, the Illini Union is a good option, since there are plenty of tables and spaces to sit and get some work done, though it can be loud and seating is sometimes hard to come by. 

Heard it’s great, but I’m not an engineer: Grainger Engineering Library

The Grainger Engineering Library, located on the north side of the Bardeen Engineering Quad, is massive and has tons of resources for students. The second and third floors are devoted to quiet studying, and the building has plenty of computers and other tools needed to succeed. However, I am not an engineer and have only visited Grainger Library to take tests in the testing facility in the basement (CBTF), so I associate the building with stress and dread. However, this library has an undeniably convenient location for engineering students or anyone who has classes on the North or Bardeen quads, and is an otherwise pleasant and great place to study.

All in all, the University has some of the best resources available for students, and the amount of study options for all types of students is second to none. For more information on campus libraries and other student resources, visit

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