With midterm season in full swing, the Emory community is split into several different divisions of study habits. Some people memorize organic chemistry mechanisms in their respective study lounges while others digest the monotony of financial accounting in the comfort of their rooms, supposedly without the temptation of Netflix.

If you stick to any of the habits mentioned above, I have no choice but to call you a goon.

The intellectually transcended reader would reaffirm my accusation provided that they — like me — also study in the intellectual Elysium that is the Robert W. Woodruff Library.

Sporting 10 floors, each of which appeals to each student’s palate, Woodruff Library satisfies even the most picky of studying needs, provided you use the space correctly. Woodruff is also the only library open for the unfortunate all-nighters, so keep this in mind on particularly busy evenings.

First and Second Floor

The first and second floors are often heavily occupied sections of the library — for good reason. Equipped with large tables and whiteboards, these floors of the library simultaneously support the demands of a group project and the needs of the flirtatious casanova who asked that cute girl in QTM 100 out on an inevitably unproductive “study date.”

Despite the loud hullabaloo that is often associated with that section of the library, I would argue that the first floor in particular is a mecca for the concentrated essay writer who needs to pull an all-nighter. The new study booths are comfortable and spacious, providing plenty of room for both your laptop and the several books that you probably should have read weeks ago.

Most notable is the fact that this floor is where Peet’s Coffee and Tea is located. While ordering an iced coffee at 12:30 a.m. and proceeding to shotgun it like a frat boy at a University of Georgia tailgate may earn you some looks of disgust from the baristas, it is the perfect fuel to ensure that you do not go gentle into that good night.

For those staying past the hours of Peet’s, a bowl of candy is located in the Goizueta Business Library on the second floor. In an emergency, feed yourself with Jolly Ranchers and mints — the sugar rush can keep you going that little bit longer.

Third and Fourth Floor

In short, these floors are horrible for studying. The average student needs one laptop, one notebook and all the necessary reading material in order to prepare for a midterm. The presence of televisions or monitors on most of the desks in this part of the library greatly reduces the real estate per table that can be used for actual class material. The standalone desks sport the opposite problem: By consequence of being too big, they become horrible magnets for awkward acquaintances that are looking for a place to study. The result: 45 minutes of unpleasant conversation about midterms, choices of major or something else equally banal under the guise of “banter.” Steer clear.

That being said, if you require the use of several monitors — for example, for viewing a spreadsheet and sending emails simultaneously — then these floors will fit your needs.

The Stacks

The personal studying spots in the stacks are the zenith of what workspaces can be. Witness the large, spacious square areas, the matted grey tops of the desks carefully caressing the backs of your textbooks as if a mother weaning a child, the cool air conditioning vents providing a comforting white noise to drown out the sounds of pages turning. Bask in the resplendence of the heavenly white radiance of the LED lights — mesmerizingly beautiful — reflecting off the top of your Peet’s coffee like sparkling stars in the night sky, as God intended. The blend of personal space and comfort make the booths of the stacks ideal for punching through a thick workload and can give you a sense of hope that no other location in the school can. And although the floors may close at 3 a.m., one must accept that the stacks give and the stacks take away; be glad that they even exist at all and do not sin or charge the library with wrongdoing.

For collaborative work, the rooms in the stacks are excellent as well, yet not nearly as convenient as the lower floors in the library since you must book the rooms. A true procrastinator who demands the optimal space at the last minute is not future-oriented enough to do such a thing.


This comprehensive guide will hopefully educate the heathen who studies anywhere else but Woodruff Library, and remedy their goonish tendencies. To the already enlightened, hopefully this has given your knowledge of the library even more nuance and will augment your already excellent study habits further. No matter what your opinions are, hopefully with the help of this guide, even you can stay awake during the nightmare that is midterm season.