Academic Bat Cave–AKA the Library

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Every graduate student needs a place to recharge, gather their materials and track the moves of the ever elusive degree. Luckily, IU has just the spot.

While it may not be underground, and there is no Alfred to cater to your every need, IU is host to numerous libraries, which is…close enough!

There are 8 large libraries, not to mention the mini libraries that are available in wherever your department headquarters may be located.

The main library, the giant limestone monolith known as the Herman B Wells library, however, is a veritable academic Batcave! This library has your standard academic resources, such as books on every topic one can imagine.

And then there is the entire lower floor that is dedicated to food (and the audio-visual equipment complete with DVDs that can be rented out…but really it’s all about the food)

There is a wide variety of food, though most of it is general college student grub. There is a sandwich shop where you can buy delicious subs that suit your fancy, as well as salads, pasta dishes, and other cold-served picnic food. There is also a Chick Fil-a, and a Starbucks.

The main level has a cafe as well that is open until 2:00am! Coffee, sandwiches and bagels as well as an assortment of other snacks can be purchased here.

If the nourishment wasn’t enough to draw you, you can also go for the opportunites of academic enrichment, if you’re into that.

It is good to note that this library has a dual personality; it’s divided into two separate sections.

The East tower and West tower.

Rather than distract from the description with an extensive, overly colorful metaphor about West Side story, I’ll just get to the point.

The West tower is also known as the “undergraduate side” which is where you can find numerous computers, and books on various topics usually reserved for the undergraduate studies. There is also a color printer there, where you can pint enormous color posters for your presentations  or pictures of Chris Hemsworth to hang in your house.

The upper levels of the West tower have group study areas, where you can meet with other students to discuss projects. There are also group study rooms that can be rented out in two hour intervals. There are computers and dry erase boards in most of them, so while you frantically attempt to finish your paper, you can write out a detailed list of all the reasons why you had to put off starting on it.

The East tower is right across the walk way, and here you can find the reference section, as well as the stacks. This side is a safe haven for graduate students to cram more knowledge into their already capable brains. There is a reference reading room on the bottom level, where encyclopedias, dictionaries and the like can be located.

The remainder of the floors are the stacks, arranged by subject matter. There is a Slavic studies floor, as well as an East Asian studies collection, located on the 8th floor.

Speaking of the 8th floor, I will let you in on a secret…beyond the bathrooms, tucked behind the elevators, is a location where only those brave enough to venture into graduate school can go.

The graduate student lounge!

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Here is a secret place where only graduate students get to hang out, or panic, as the case may be. We’re talking card swipe access. It’s quiet, clean, and just the place to finish your projects. There are computers, a printer, and several wide screen monitors on the wall for use. On either side of the lounge are mini lounges, where one can nap, should the need arise.

While the building looks menacing on the outside, inside there is a vast treasure trove of resources that are essential for any graduate student.