Freshman Survival 101: Club Richter

Since I’ve been locked up on a caffeine high, compliments of Starbucks double shots (a gift from God) in the library for the past two weeks, I have decided to devote this column on the many interesting sights of Otto G. Richter Library, the place where the constant ongoings make studying on the first floor impossible, which is why I ended up watching last week’s Grey’s Anatomy on my laptop instead of studying.

Here are my observations on this intellectual alcove which seems to be the opposite of a quiet studying place:

1. The lack of available computers can turn normal, studious college students into ferocious barbarians, a la prey and predator. In order to secure a computer for yourself, you must circle the library in search for a person finishing up their game of Solitaire; then you must slowly advance toward the computer, never losing sight of the guy doing the same thing.

If he gets to the computer first, you’ll have lost and return to the bottom of the library chain. So make sure to push, shove, do whatever you have to, so you can beat the other guy and can play FreeCell in peace.

2. Isn’t it interesting that the library holds 80 million books, but always seems to be out of the one you actually need? I don’t need literary interpretations of “Endgame” by Samuel Beckett; I need the actual text! Also, I don’t need it as “Fin de Partie.” I need it in English!

3. It’s useless trying to find a book in the stacks; you may be lost amidst PQ 1625 and PN 6081 forever trying to find Jorge Luis Borges and wondering why you keep finding your way back to “Confessions of an Individualist” instead.

4. If you are having trouble with your roommate, then the library is the place to retreat to! Not only can one find many deserted corners to curl up in, but the armchairs downstairs make excellent beds!

Simply turn two armchairs toward each other, grab the New York Times as a blanket, and Voila! A comfortable bed that no mattress pad can beat!

5. If you’re single and you’ve been looking for that special someone but have not been successful, then look no further than the stacks’ fifth floor! Apparently, many single folks roam about there, such as the “foot guy” so christened by my friend, who was studying there when he asked her if he could draw her feet. She knew it was time to retreat back to the second floor after he asked her to remove her shoes and “wiggle your toes like this.”

So when you’re bored and looking for an array of interesting people, a place to sleep, a place to practice your hunting skills, or a place to get lost in shelves of books (literally) for hours, then Richter Library is where it’s at!

And if you are a desperate singleton then the Stacks is the place to be, but be aware that they close at midnight, so you better wiggle your toes fast!

Lisa Magedler is a freshman majoring in creative writing. She may be found Monday through Thursdays in the Stacks, probably watching Grey’s Anatomy instead of studying. She may be contacted at