In an attempt to cross another college off my bucket list (and kill time I had waiting for my experiment to reflux), I visited a friend at Magdalene College for a quiet couple of hours studying in their library.
Magdalene College is most well known as home of the famous Pepys Library, although I merely visited the main college library. It was interesting how they have laid out the space, not as a single large room with study pods as it is at Murray Edwards, but instead split into several cosier rooms. This also meant students were a little more social – since you could take up a small room with a group of friends and study together without the need to maintain such a strict silence. It was a nice refreshing change from studying in the Chemistry library, which has a slightly industrial feel to it.
In general, Cambridge students are allowed to study in most of the college libraries provided they are accompanied by a college member (although in exam term colleges frequently restrict this further). I believe we can also visit any of the department libraries as we like – although I’ve only ever studied in departments where I’ve been taking lectures or the Central Science Library (which I’d highly recommend, it’s very old-style and Cambridge feeling – great for focusing on essays). There are well over 100 libraries in the university, so you are never short of study space!