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Kate Della Pietra / Columbia Daily Spectator

Though Butler and Milstein may be some of the most familiar of Columbia and Barnard’s libraries and study spots, they also tend to be among the most packed during finals season. Instead of going through the familiar struggle of trying to find a seat, get off the beaten path by trying out these hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems, courtesy of Spectrum.

Absolute Bagels

We don’t think that there’s anything better to soothe study stress than a pillowy oven-fresh bagel from Absolute. If you’re worn out from long nights at Butler or NoCo, take a friend and some study questions over to MoHi’s very own bagel heaven.

Brownies Café

Though Brownies might not have the name recognition as Joe Coffee, it is definitely no less of a great study spot. This café, located in the basement of Avery, has a large seating area, a respectable number of charging outlets, and features a selection of tasty espresso-based drinks to keep your energy levels high throughout the day.


If you’re one who tends to study better with background noise (and endless amounts of tasty dishes), consider heading over to JJ’s to finish that study guide.

Mathematics Library

Though the math library is smaller than some of the more well-known locations on campus, and doesn’t provide any food options, it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a quiet location for individual study.

Butler Library, Eighth Floor

If it’s the day before your final and you haven’t even cracked open your textbook, then head over to the eighth floor of Butler. Though this study spot tends to be a little drab-looking, the individual study carrels and ample natural light during the daytime make it perfect for a serious study sesh.

Gottesman Library (Teachers College)

If NoCo’s full, consider heading over to Gottesman Library in Teachers College. Aside from being modern and well-lit, we think the best parts about this library are that food and drinks are allowed inside—and the second floor is a designated talking area.

Morningside Heights Library (New York Public Library)

If you can almost feel the stress in the air, but don’t have time to hop on the subway, take a trip over to 2900 Broadway: It’s different enough to count as a change to the palate, but familiar enough to feel comfortable.

Gabe M. Wiener Music & Arts Library (in Dodge)

If you’re studying for Music Hum or are simply prowling around campus for an individual study carrel, consider making a visit to the Music and Arts Library.

There you have it, a comprehensive list of one-of-a-kind study spaces that’ll hopefully save you from the Butler seat scramble next week. Best of luck in finals, and if you’re interested in finding even more study spots on campus, feel free to reference the Office of Student Services’ list of study spaces on campus.

Staff writer Michelle Zhuang can be contacted at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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