Out on the Town: Public libraries

In my experience, Tufts has a culture built around studying. On this campus, studying is much more than a requirement: It is an important mode of socialization for many. Healthy study habits are crucial to those for whom studying is so important. One way to shake up the grind of schoolwork is to study in different locations. I find it breaks up the monotony of reading, writing, etc. This semester, I have checked out some of the public libraries in Greater Boston, and I think they are worth a trip for the sake of healthy studying.

The first library that blew me out of the water was the Arlington Public Library, named “Robbins Library.” The Robbins Library is less than two miles away from Tufts on a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue, west of campus in Arlington. To get there, one can take the MBTA 80 bus headed to Arlington Center, which stops on Boston Avenue. Taking the bus to the end of the route leaves you a few hundred feet from the building. Inside the library, there are many rooms for studying, with varying numbers of people. I liked sitting in the vacant fiction section on the first floor, with a large globe keeping me company. If you get hungry, Mamadou’s bakery across Massachusetts Avenue offers delicious whole loaves of bread for $6. Eating a warm piece of sourdough and reading a book in the library is heavenly— I highly recommend it.

The second library worth checking out is the Cambridge Public Library, a block or two from Harvard Square. One can get there with either the MBTA 96 bus or the Red Line. From Harvard Square, walk north past Harvard Yard and turn right on to Cambridge St. After a few minutes of walking, the library will be in plain view on your left. This library has great amenities for studying. There are multiple floors with different atmospheres. If you want an old-school library feel, there is a dimly-lit section with dusty bookshelves. If you want a more modern feel to your studying, there is a section on the upper floor with comfy chairs overlooking Cambridge Street. Being able to people-watch from the enormous wall of glass on the second floor broke up my hours of oh-so-enthralling assigned reading. Like the Arlington Public Library, this one combines ease of access with a distinct feel different from the on-campus libraries we are used to.

With my column coming to a close for the semester, I would like to thank each and every one of you who chose to read it. I’ve had such a blast exploring Greater Boston. Being able to write for all of you has only deepened my love for this unique city. No matter what your interests are, I urge you all to get off campus as much as you can. With Greater Boston, the devil is in the details. Each block has something interesting to uncover. Hidden green space permeates every nook and cranny, breathing life into the brownstones. I cannot stress it enough: This place is truly special.


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