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Firestone: Magic and Mystery

June 24, 2020
Richard Ma

Firestone Library underwent a transformation the summer before my sophomore year. As a first-year, I remember seeing entire swathes of the first floor under construction. When I came back last September, I was stunned. Immediately upon entering, on my left there was an entire new wing of the library: the Trustees Reading Room, a wide open space lit up by floor-to-ceiling windows and staircases along one wall of the room with bookshelves on the other wall.

Past the circulation desk, was another huge open space that I had known only as a taped-off construction area a few months before. Much like the Trustees Reading Room, this space is vast and seems to always have the perfect lighting, rain or shine. And beyond this lies the Tiger Team Room, a vibrant, clattery café encased in marble, with smooth stone tables in the sun where you can study with friends or just enjoy a cup of coffee. The tea room is probably the loudest and happiest place in Firestone, and it has become my new place to study.

Firestone’s new additions were a major improvement, but there was plenty to this library already. Although it’s a popular place to study, it’s also worthy of exploration in its own right. Whether you’re looking for small, comfy spaces or large sunlit rooms, there are dozens of cozy places that beg you to lounge and relax. Rumors of hundred-dollar bills discovered in random books. Hidden quirks and surprises waiting to be found. A mazelike lower level with a central atrium.

During one break when I was on campus, I wandered around Firestone for hours, looking for a way into its tower and finding other really wonderful places. These places aren’t quite as secret as I’d hoped, but they won’t reveal themselves to you on their own, you have to go looking for them.   

The Atrium study space