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Onward Debate: Which Side Of The Library Is Better?

Two years ago, two of our staffers went head-to-head debating what side of the library they consider the front. Now, we’re back for more.

No matter what you consider the front of the library, you’ve probably got a favorite side you gravitate toward. Some argue that the new collaborative commons on the Pattee side reign supreme, while others enjoy the seclusive Paterno wing.

Two of our staffers went head to head to offer up their thoughts on which side of the library reigns supreme.

Ryen Gailey: Paterno

Ever since my freshman year, I’ve come to love and favor the Paterno side of the library.

One of Paterno’s biggest selling points is its proximity to Starbucks. Honestly, when you’re deep into the Pattee side of the library and already settled into a spot, the walk to Starbucks can feel miles long. I would much rather just be on the same side as Starbucks and easily go grab a snack whenever I want.

Another huge advantage is the desks nestled into every floor with built-in outlets and a great amount of space. I find sitting at a typical desk much more comfortable and better for studying than a huge open table like the ones spread out throughout the Pattee side. Sure, the new commons are gorgeous and great for collaboration. But if you’re trying to finding a spot where you can study alone, Paterno offers far more choices for that.

Too many times on the Pattee side you either have to reserve a room or sit in the commons at a big open table where likely there will be other people taking up too much space, hogging the outlets, or acting as a distraction.

Even on the Paterno side in the rooms you can reserve, they’re far superior because they’re not awkwardly exposed with huge glass windows where people are constantly walking by staring at you.

It’s also significantly less busy and crowded which is a huge plus when you’re prepping for a long night studying and don’t want to have to stress about finding a spot. Practicality is the name of the game here, and the Paterno side will always have my heart.

Tobey Prime: Pattee

Pattee is the best side of the library, and it’s not even close.

For starters, let’s talk about the different spaces of Pattee. If you wanted to get together with friends to work on a project, the Knowledge Commons below the main floor provides private rooms in which you could set up your laptop on a TV and get to studying. If you’re looking for a quieter setting, you can go to any floor above that, and the higher you go, the quieter it gets. Personally, I’ve logged in a healthy amount of hours on the third floor because it’s the most peaceful place to study for finals.

Finally, there are the Stacks. There have been some weird things that happened here, but it is a neat study space separated from the main part of the library.

The only drawback about Pattee is its lack of a Starbucks to get that caffeine fix in. However, if you don’t already have that venti coffee in hand before a library session, you still have more things to think about than what side to pick.

Look at it this way: Every Penn State tour ventures through Pattee, not Paterno. If that doesn’t tell you which side is better, I don’t know what will.


Which Penn State library do you think is better? Make your case in the comments below.

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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