Where to Study?

A guide for students looking to find their optimal study environment at one of the McGill Library branches.

The purpose of this library guide is to provide students with a summary of the study environments of each library branch so you can choose the best place for you to study. No two libraries at McGill have the same purpose, and each was designed to serve a different student population. This guide will, in alphabetical order, describe the various study environments and the resources offered, including adaptive technology (screen readers, print enlargers, document readers, etc.) and available reservations for study carrels.

Birks Reading Room

Beautiful study at McGill’s campus, great place for studying during the day, almost always quiet, but know that you will have to take your shoes off at the entrance.

  • Very small library: One large room with large tables for individual study
  • Quiet
  • Uses natural light during the day, table lamps for individual lighting
  • Few computers, none with adaptive technology software, small monitor screens
  • Elevator entrance on the side of Birks Building
  • Accessible bathrooms in the basement

Education Library & Curriculum Resources Centre

The Education Library is an excellent place to study in groups or on your own, if noise is not an issue. The E-zone offers more privacy and is quieter than the rest of the library.

  • Medium-sized library
  • Plenty of open study space for group or individual work
  • Can be noisy
  • Well-lit, but no individual lamps
  • The E-zone has 62 computer work stations
  • One adaptive technology workstation with screen readers and print enlargers
  • Separate quiet study room with computers at carrels
  • Wheelchair accessible through side entrance, then take elevator down one level
  • Accessible bathrooms located on the same floor as the library entrance

Islamic Studies Library

A beautiful library that is excellent for quiet, daytime studying, if you can find a spot.

  • Medium-sized library
  • Quiet
  • Dim Lighting with limited individual lighting
  • Limited study space for individual study
  • Wheelchair accessible through main level at a side entrance, must ring bell for elevator access
  • Accessible bathrooms on bottom level near elevator entrance

Cybertheque (Basement of Redpath Library)

If you are looking for an open study space that is 5 seconds away from a Tim Hortons, look no further! But beware, there is no elevator access to Cyberthèque, and it fills up quickly.

  • Conveniently located near the Redpath Café
  • Generally quiet, but often crowded
  • Glass-enclosed study pods (that can be reserved online), with limited privacy, but good for group projects.
  • No adaptive technology
  • Not accessible by elevator
  • Accessible bathrooms across the Redpath Café area from Cyberthèque

Redpath Library and McLennan (Main Floor)

The main levels of McLennan and Redpath libraries offer large, open, well-lit areas for individual and group study. One can experience heavy foot traffic.

  • Large, open space
  • Passing foot traffic through Redpath, generally more quiet in McLennan
  • Well lit
  • Excellent area for group study and individual studying for short periods of time
  • Group study rooms in the Group Study Zone. Can be booked online and offer more privacy than the Cyberthèque pods
  • OSD/myAccess Adaptive Technology Center at Redpath entrance (Rooms 5 and 5a)
  • Accessible bathrooms available on main level

Redpath Library and McLennan (Upper Floors)

This is an excellent area for individual study; it is very accessible and you may request a reserved carrel, if you are registered with the OSD/myAccess.

  • Open area with generally quiet study space on level 2 of Redpath
  • Very Quiet
  • Well-lit, without individual lamps
  • Group Study Rooms on level 2 of McLennan
  • Study Carrels on levels 4 – 6 of McLennan
  • Accessible bathrooms on levels 1 and 6

Life Sciences Library (Level 3 and 4 of McIntyre Medical Building)


  • Large library
  • Very quiet
  • Generally well-lit.  Individual study space lining the perimeter of the Life Sciences Library rotunda relies largely on natural light.
  • Areas for Group study space on level 3
  • Individual study space lines the peripheries of both floors of the library
  • Adaptive technology computer on level 3, ask librarian for location
  • Level 4 is accessible by elevator within the library
  • Accessible bathrooms across from elevators on level 3

MacDonald Campus Library

The MacDonald Campus Library is a great library for both individual and group study. It offers great adaptive technology options, but is not entirely wheelchair accessible.

  • Large library
  • Mostly quiet
  • Well lit
  • Offers several adaptive technology stations, including two in an eClassroom by the main entrance
  • Few areas for group study
  • Lots of individual study space
  • Wheelchair accessible with the exception of small section on upper floor
  • Bathrooms across from collections desk

Marvin Durchow Music Library

With its excellent lighting, adjustable chairs for tables with a variety of heights, a library elevator, and a variety of study options, the Marvin Duchow Music Library is the most accessible library branch on campus.

  • Large library
  • Mostly quiet with areas for audio use
  • Well-lit
  • Adaptive technology station on upper floor, ask librarian to direct you there.
  • Adjustable chairs and high tables
  • Elevator within the library to access upper floors
  • Lots of space for individual study and some space for group study
  • Accessible bathrooms on both floors

Nahum Gelber Law Library

This library branch is great for individual study. You may request a reserved study carrel if you are registered with the OSD/myAccess.

  • Large library with plenty of space for individual study
  • Quiet library
  • Dim lighting, but many tables have individual study lamps at desks to improve the lighting
  • Accessible bathrooms on each floor

Schulich Library of Science and Engineering

Schulich Library is a large library branch with a variety of study options. Due to its proximity to McGill Residences and the McGill Ghetto, it can be crowded.

  • Large library with lots of study space
  • Mostly quiet library
  • Very well-lit
  • Adaptive technology station on main floor
  • Many areas for individual and group study. Group study areas on level 5 are the most active
  • Quiet study space is available on levels 4 and 6
  • All main floors are elevator and wheelchair accessible (few areas between floors only accessible via stairwells)

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