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Barr Smith Library


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A Fountain of Australian knowledge

Published by Michael Dib

The Barr Smith library is the primary library for use by students. Located in Hub central, the Barr Smith library origins comes from one of its many benefactors, the Barr Smith Family. In the late 1890s the University Council bestowed the honour of naming their library after the family.

A Fountain of Australian knowledge

(Source: http://dfunkd.com/detour/2007/07/20/the-barr-smith-library/)

The library itself is divided by its technological advanced nature and its old roots. On the ground floor you have access to the main entrance of the library. This room has several tables for students to enjoy a quiet session. A room within the entrance level provides university students with many recently used books, including book pickups if you had ordered a book via the reception or online. That room also has a high-tech scanner and printer for quick usage.

There are two ways to head down, through the narrow staircase that leads to all levels or one of the main staircases. Through the main staircase, you’ll find a door to your right. This leads to the room is known simply as the Quiet room. It's a small narrow room that allows students to escape the hustle and bustle of the Hub with near complete silence.As you go down the stairs you’ll have access to the reading room.

This room is the pride of the library. It was planned to store fifteen thousand volumes with seating for more than two hundred individuals. Throughout the decades it kept augmenting the amount of volumes it could store until reaching over two million volumes by 1999 and still growing. This room is a massive area with rows upon rows of tables and seats to study in. Its without a doubt the quietest room in the library. From my experiences it always seemed that if I dropped a pin it would disturb those studying on the other side of the room.

A Fountain of Australian knowledge

(Source: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/about/libraries/bsl/history/)

I made my way to this library countless times to study for exams or when I couldn’t concentrate in the hub. It was also easy to access the other parts of the library through here. Many of the books I needed were found here which made it very convenient to do research and study here

A Fountain of Australian knowledge

(Source:http://picssr.com/photos/adelaideheritage/interesting/[email protected])

The library has a very antiquated demeanor with aged wood encompassing the different bookcases and seating areas. Right outside the room you have access to a small room that showcases the history of the library. The walls are covered in paintings and portraits of relevant Australian figures from the past or donors themselves. The upper area has latin inscriptions which covered a 360 degree area. These words commemorated two of the most major donations that helped fund the library.

However, the most relevant area for students studying international politics, law and history is located a couple of minutes walk from the the reading room. It spans three floors  with the bottom being the most massive. Since its underground, the sound of life outside is almost completely asphyxiated. Here you will find many different types of volumes from antiquity to the most modern research books.

There is an area which has relics of the first World War and many other types of Australian antiques. The area next to the display area is a large study room with individual tables for maximum concentration.

Many of my more studious mates disappear to this room and are lost almost for good as they smash their last second assignments. Throughout the different levels you will have access to computers to either find the book you’re looking for or work on the assignments with recently acquired library books.

A Fountain of Australian knowledge

(Source: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/about/libraries/urrsa/)

The library is a hub of South Australian history. If you find yourself in Adelaide looking for a cultural experience, I would recommend taking a tour through the university service. Or, if you prefer going solo, you are more than welcome to go in. The University of Adelaide had removed the walls separating it from itself and the rest of the city, allowing full access to whomever wants to explore. You are also allowed full access of the library and all the books. However, unless you’re a student, you are unable to borrow books.

Often we would have high school students studying in one of the many areas of the library whenever they finished school. So after five in the afternoon it's not a rare sight to spot school students and their families in the libraries.

 

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