In addition to being part of the Princeton Public Library staff, I also write novels for children and teens. (You can find all of my books on the third floor, in fact!) Especially when I’m on a deadline, I can be glued to my computer for hours at a time. Things that are important to me during those long workdays: Making sure I get up frequently to stretch, walk around, enjoy some fresh air. Having a selection of my favorite writing music on hand to keep me inspired.
And, perhaps most crucially, choosing just the right location in which to park myself.
Fortunately, our library offers many incredible workspaces for our customers. I’ve put together a list of my favorites. Maybe you haven’t been to the library since the renovation of our second floor. Or maybe you usually come in to pick up your holds and then zoom right back to your car. I encourage you to read over this list and, the next time you come to the library, take some time to explore all its cozy nooks and crannies!
(Also, yes, the title of this post is a Star Trek reference. I can’t resist dropping one whenever possible!)
The West Living Room (second floor)
The tables on the second floor with the orange chairs, right behind the information desk, are my go-to writing spot here at the library. These wide, flat tables are great for spreading out multiple materials. Bonus: You’re right at the front of the floor, so you can see people coming and going, which reminds you that you’re part of a bustling library community!
The Terrace (third floor)
Did you know we have a terrace on the third floor? It’s true! With tables, chairs, plants, and access to the library’s free wi-fi—as well as smashing views of downtown Princeton and the surrounding neighborhoods—the terrace is a wonderful place to enjoy a snack, read your book, and get some work done in the fresh air.
The Reading Room (second floor)
When you step through the doors of the reading room, it’s like you’ve stepped out of our dimension and into another, alien one in which sound waves simply do not exist. With large tables to spread out and work, this is the quietest spot in the library, and an ideal location for any customers who are particularly sensitive to noise and distractions.
The Study Carrels (second floor)
There’s something delightfully old-fashioned and comforting about the four study carrels in the back corner of the second floor. Sitting there reminds me of my college days, when I would be at the university library until the small hours of the morning, cramming for an exam. And since these carrels are tucked away in a corner of the library, they’re one of the coziest and quietest spots we have to offer.
The North Living Room (second floor)
In the North Living Room, you can sit in a cushioned chair, read a book, relax, and look out through a broad wall of windows onto Wiggins Street and the beautiful Princeton Cemetery. Writing desks and outlets to charge your electronic devices make the airport seating a wonderful place to, quite literally, recharge.
The Teen Center (third floor)
If you visited the teen space at any point in January 2017, you probably saw me sitting there with my noise-cancelling headphones and my laptop, typing away to meet an intense deadline. I love working in the teen center. Several windows offer a spectacular view of Witherspoon Street, the chairs and tables are all on wheels, and there are comfortable sofas ready and waiting for your next study break. It’s a flexible, colorful space that’s perfect for meeting with small groups or tutors. Keep in mind that this is a space specifically engineered for teens, and they are the priority when it comes to seating and space availability. Otherwise, anyone can enjoy this space!
The Corner Nook (first floor)
Tucked into the corner of the first floor, near the travel and world language books, this quiet spot is perfect for an intense round of work or studying. Or maybe you want to open up some of our oversized travel books (located in this very nook!) and explore various locales from around the globe. From this round table and chairs, you can still see some of what’s happening on the first floor, but you’re separated enough from the main traffic to enjoy a distraction-free work zone. Thanks to two walls of windows, you also have a nice view of Witherspoon Street and exposure to ample natural light.
As you can see, our library offers a variety of wonderful places to work, study, read, or simply relax. The next time you stop by, make sure to take a few minutes and explore a part of the library you’ve never seen before! And don’t hesitate to task a staff member to help you. We’re happy to show you around!
Photos courtesy of the author.
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