Ode to McCabe Library

After four years at Swarthmore, I’ve spent a lot of time in the three main libraries on campus (McCabe, Cornell, and Underhill). While I do love Cornell Library since I work there, McCabe Library is probably my favorite library to do work in.

Every floor of McCabe has its own vibe, so I can choose what energy I want to bring to my work that day. If I feel like working with friends, I’ll hang out in one of the group study rooms on the second floor. If I’m trying to focus on a lot of work, I’ll head to the basement, or I’ll work in one of the cubicles on the second floor. If I’m just hanging out, I’ll stay on the first floor. I know people who study on the third floor, but when I’m on the third floor it is typically because I’m watching movies or TV: DVDs (and graphic novels!) are kept on the third floor where there are also video viewing rooms.

While I can access an almost infinite amount of digital resources through Tripod, the Tri-Co library system, I like to go through the shelves on McCabe to look for physical books when I’m doing research. Since the books are shelved by subject, I can find a lot of other books that might be relevant to my research just by going to the right section of the library.

During COVID, McCabe snacks were on pause, but they have returned! Now every night I have a break built into my work schedule, when I go to the first floor and get some hot chocolate and Oreos.

Another fun thing about McCabe Library is the monthly exhibits that are all around the library. Recently, there was a very cool Studio Ghibli exhibit, where you could take home a small plant and look at concept art from the films. I also liked the Sanrio exhibit, where I was able to get a fun Pompompurin pin! I also enjoy the events that happen in McCabe, such as the Rosine 2.0 Casebook Exhibition that some of my classmates contributed to.

The sun sets through an autumn tree, viewed through a narrow window in McCabe Library.

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