DTU's library. My home in December

It is 3:30 PM on a rainy December afternoon at DTU's Lyngby campus. Almost 1000 students are locked in the library watching the sunset while they read books and power points to prepare for their exams. This scene might seem quite dramatic but it would be worse if the library was not as comfortable as it is. DTU's library ("Bibliotek" in danish) is super special and makes student want to stay longer than they would in other libraries. This post will try to explain what makes this library so interesting and different from the previous libraries I had been to.

DTU's library is located in the 101 building where the canteen, the gym and the bar are so it has a hard competence. It is more appealing to eat, exercise or drink a beer but our duty is to learn and study so we have to do that every once in a while. The library can host up to 1000 students and is open 24/7 with the DTU card.

Once you enter the library (automatic door) the first thing that you see is a panel stating how many free spots there are at the moment. It doesn't always work but it gives you a bare idea about it.  The library has 3 floors besides the basement. The first floor is basically a "chill area". There are some sofas, an area to give speeches and even some poufs. You don't usually stay in this floor the day before a big exam but it is a good place to read a book, chill, wait for your friends to finish their homework or work on a group assignment. There is also a printing area and a place where you can ask for headphones, cables and all sorts of equipment.

If you go down the stairs from the first floor you will find the basement. This place is quite unusual. I have only used it to watch soccer games to tell you the truth. There are some 3D printers, some screens where you can either work on group projects, play Call of Duty or watch a Barça- Real Madrid with your fellow students. This is also the place where many books are stored. There is also a virtual reality hall that I'll have to try at some point.

Let me bring you back to the first floor. It's time to go to the second floor where some real study happens. The first thing that you will notice while going up the stairs is that there is a freaking airplane hanging from the roof, please don't ask why. Besides this unreal hanging airplane, the second floor looks more like a common library. It has plenty of computers, printers and desks where 4-5 people fit in. There are also some closed rooms and booths where you can do teamwork. This is quite useful because teamwork requires discussion and sometimes loud talking that might disturb those students that are studying or reading on their own.

The third floor also has closed rooms where people meet to work on the multiple assignments that DTU students usually have. This floor is also where the individual spaces for studying are located. Sometimes they are full but if you can find a spot your focus will probably boost. These are isolated areas where you cannot see your neighbor so you focus on your own stuff. This is where people usually do their individual homework or they study for final exams. Very close from this individual areas of study you can find the reading area where it is common to find students sleeping or reading in a hanging hammock. I have done that myself after a long afternoon of studying and it is very relaxing. Of course, every floor has a bathroom and a water fountain so you don't need to move too much during your study routine.

I have tried to describe this weird library so that you imagine how different it is from conventional ones but I think that you have to be a student to really feel how nice it is to study here. The libraries where I used to study in Barcelona where dull and boring, they looked more like jails and it was not appealing to stay there. DTU library is perfect to stay for a long time because it has the perfect spots both to study, to relax and to talk with your fellow classmates. It is true that silence is sometimes an issue as you can sometimes  see students eating a pizza 5 meters away from students trying to solve a super hard assignment but we end up solving our different in a fairly diplomatic way. There are no professors or people checking if we behave correctly. Most of us are responsible adults and we know to behave in a library. This is something that not only happens in the library but all around campus. This library is all about learning "the danish way" .  In cooperation and in a cozy environment students feel more eager to study than in dull and strict environments. At least that has worked for me and my friends.

If my description was not good enough or you still don't want to study at DTU after this post you can check the pictures of DTU Bibliotek that I have taken these past months.


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