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Schlow Library: State College’s Little-Known Study Spot

Finals week is arguably the worst time to find a place to study on campus or around town. The Patee-Paterno Library is constantly full, and good luck studying at a noisy place like Starbucks. But what if one of State College’s hidden gems was right under your nose all along?

Meet the Schlow Centre Region Library, located on the corner of Allen Street and Beaver Avenue. You may know it as the CATA stop on Beaver Avenue across from the Phyrst, but you probably have no idea the resources that it provides.

The $10 million library was opened in 2005 and is operated by the Centre Region Council of Governments. Focusing on popular culture information like best-selling novels, the Schlow Library has something for everyone. Anyone with a library card (students can get one) can borrow books, DVD’s, e-books, and even get three song downloads per week. With the HUB’s projector broken and no Red Box downtown (which is ridiculous if you ask me), Schlow might be the only place for students to rent and legally watch new releases like Man of Steel.

What may draw most students to the Schlow Library this week isn’t the novels, movies, or music, but its ability to offer students an uncrowded and quiet study space right in downtown. With over 38,000 square feet of space spread out over two stories, students have ample room to quietly study close to home. Not to mention there’s no wait to find an open outlet to charge your laptop.

Groups can also utilize the library’s small-group project rooms, which are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis, which can be compared to the meeting rooms located in the Knowledge Commons. The library also offers volunteer opportunities for students interested in education and social services, which can be used to boost their resumes.

According to Director Cathi Alloway, the Schlow Library is the “living room of downtown and a destination place that makes for a really nice crossroad between State College and the university.”

On top of resources for students, the library also offers activities for the children and full-time residents of the area like any other public library. They held a Polar Express event this past weekend for children of the area and host the authors like Mary Roach, the writer of “Packing for Mars,” a book that previews what it would be like living in space. The event will be sponsored by Penn State’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, showing that the library uses its status as a community resource to increase town-and-gown relationships with the university.

The library is better known among students as being attached to the CATA downtown sale office. The two share the building in order to decrease costs, but are run as separate entities. The office includes an indoor lobby where you can sit and wait for a bus instead of standing in the cold (McLanaman is also known to sleep there from time to time). If you lose something on a bus, the office will also help you track it down.

So when you can’t find a place to study this week, keep the Schlow Library in mind. For more information on the library and its hours visit their website.

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About the Author

Ted Hozza

Ted is a senior majoring in Community, the Environment, and Development, or as his friends here at Onward State like to call it, Architecture. You can probably find him at the Phyrst late at night with other Onward Staters if he's not somewhere else editing articles. You can follow him on Twitter @TedHozza or email him at [email protected]

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