A Place To Sit

The review of a library desk

It is quiet except for the hum of the outside world. Through the windows the view of students rushing to class persists. Inside students sit still amerced in text books and laptop screens. Some stare off into space or out the windows. Here schoolwork no longer feels stressful. A scene like this can be found at Western Washington University’s Wilson Library. Specifically at the study desks in Wilson Library East. Wilson East is situated at one corner of Red Square, the center of all Western student life.

If you are familiar with the area the location of the study desk I use in Wilson Library East seems pretty straight forward, but as you enter the building you will realize that the library’s layout is a bit confusing. The library’s main entrance faces away from Red Square. Instead it faces north toward Old Main Lawn which was the center of campus for a long time, and still is for the old University buildings. Through the library’s main entrance a staircase sits. Up the first flight of stairs and on the first landing is a doorway to the left. Through that doorway is what I believe to be the third floor of Wilson East. I say ‘believe’ because some say the third floor is up another flight. This could be because the first floor is slightly below ground level. Anyway, from this doorway you enter a room with rows of bookshelves. At the end of the isle is a line of personal desks on the east wall, opposite to the wall facing Bellingham Bay. This is where my desk of choice sits.

Western Washington University Wilson Library East Desk

When you sit down you are stimulated first by the graffiti on the three wooden walls of the desk that keep it private and undistracted by its surroundings. On the back wall that faces its user is a empty shelf and lockbox. That I am aware of the lockbox has no key. Past desk users have shoved garbage in its cracks. The desk’s white surface seems relatively unscathed. The chair is metal with a fabric seat. It is comfortable enough to get work done, maybe even comfortable enough to take a nap in-between classes. The privacy of its location also helps with the nap aspect.

The best attribute of this desk is the natural light from the window it is pushed up against. In the pacific northwest we need as much natural light as we can get. And as a student an equally important aspect of this desk is its location in range of free WiFi with a good signal. With no distractions this is one of the best places to get a substantial amount of schoolwork done.

Some pertinent words of wisdom from one of the desk’s graffiti artists

The dorms definitely do not compare to Wilson East’s desks ability to persuade you into doing schoolwork. Quiet, privacy, and the stark background are all to thank for this desk’s ability to out do your dorm room. I mean your dorm might have a cozy bed and a snack drawer, but this desk will help you get your homework done hours faster then you would in an environment like the dorms. Not only that, you can bring snacks with you.

It is not perfect here though. One of the problems I face is forgetting some of my study material in my dorm room. Then I am left sitting at the desk with nothing to do but wait for my next class. If I studied in the dorms like some of my peers I would not have that problem. At the desks I find that the biggest distractions are the windows and the people. It is prime people watching. Which is not really a plus if you are trying to get something done. Another problem is its lack of desk space. You will have to find another spot for big projects because this desk only leaves enough room for a computer or a textbook and your notes unless you get creative with the shelf and your lap. But those are not big sacrifices to do well in school. This is just one of the library’s many locations that can be helpful for a student if utilized correctly.

Approximately all that will fit comfortably on the desks white surface

I still visit my study desk in Wilson Library East frequently. Being there calms me knowing that it is possible to get all my work done in a stress free manor. The desks in Wilson Library have cons but the pros definitely out way them. For a student a place like the library is heavenly for studying. There are less distractions, unless you like people watching. It does not even matter if you go to Western. I have seen many Bellingham community members utilize this space as well as the rest of the library’s resources. If you are looking to get a substantial about of work done finding a place like this is worth it.

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