Published by flag-gr Usuario Anónimo — 10 years ago

Blog: Life in Athens
Tags: flag-gr Erasmus blog UOA, UOA, Greece

The Library of Ippokratous street in the Centre of Athens, is quite famous among the University students. It goes by numerous different names such as “Students' Club” or “Studying Rooms”. And you will find people who have spent many hours there studying -like myself!- really attached to this building. I remember that during my first library sessions in the University of Valencia, during my erasmus, it was strange being in a new library environment and it took me quite some time getting used to it!

The Library is situated in 15, Ippokratous street, which is a 5-minute walk from the Panepistimio metro station and just about that far from the Faculty of Law. It is a very old building that has been serving the very same cause for several decades now. It has the neoclassic structure and architecture, which in a way, gives it even more “life”.

There are five floors in the building. On the ground floor, you can find “Irida”, which is something between a conference room and a theatre. It is quite old, just like the rest of the building, but there is something really special about this room and I can't figure out exactly what it is. There are red velvet seats and a ceiling that is high and it gives you the impression of space -so you can spend many hours in there without feeling limited or out of breath. The classical decoration makes you feel that you're in another time -in an almost medieval scenery. Irida is used for the University's photography lessons that take place every afternoon and last 2-3 hours. Each student chooses one day per week and they have to go to class on that specific day, because every day there is another professor that handles the syllabus according to their own pace and methods. There are also some screenings of older movies, usually every Friday at 21:00, but sometimes also the rest of the weekdays. The screenings are organised by the University's Cinema Department and are completely free to the public. After the movie is over, there is a conversation-debate, based on a certain issue raised by the movie or as a general critic to it. The members of the Cinema Department are leading the conversation, but any of the viewers can take part in it and express their opinion.

On the first floor of the library, one can find the various clubs' offices and announcements. There is the Cinema Department's office, where the meetings of the club take place as well, and the Photography Department's office, which is rather smaller since it only serves as a “secretary” for registrations etc. There is a billboard right outside these offices, where all announcements regarding the classes are made. Participation in both these clubs is free, but I think that one has to pay for the registration, a fee which is around 10 euros or so. I should mention that there is also a Theatr Department -in fact there isn't just one, but there are three groups and someone may get in one of them by auditioning. I am not sure where the classes are being held, but I know that the auditions are in Irida, at around October, and the announcement for them can be found on the announcement board of the Library's first floor.

On the second floor, there is the library and the studying room on the left and the cafeteria on the right. In the studying room, you will find many law students, since our faculty is one of those that do not have their proper library. As far as the library is concerned, the librarians are polite and willing to help you find any book you are looking for. In order to borrow a book, you should give your student pass or identity to the librarian -who will keep it until you return the book, since, unfortunately, there is no such thing as an electronic system yet. You sign a form with your data, which the librarian will keep alongside your pass. Normally, you can only borrow a book -or more at the same time- for one day, but if you keep it a couple of more days, you will not have a problem. However, if you keep a book for more than 5-7 days without even letting the librarians know, they will complain to you about the delay once you return it and sometimes they have even confescated your student card, which you will have to go get at a certain office -I am not sure where, because, thankfully, I have never experienced that. The library, as well as the studying room, functions from 08:00 to 20:45 and it remains closed during the weekends. The studying room is right infront of the library and consists of wide tables with chairs, where the students sit together and study. There are no “private” desks on the second floor. I think that on the second floor, there is room for around 200 students or maybe even more. You can stay there as much as you like, but the rule says that if you take a break, you shouldn't be absent more than 30 minutes, or your seat may be taken. However, this rule rarely applies. Right next to the studying room and library, there is a corridor with a couple of benches and a payphone. On the right, there is the building's cafeteria, where students can purchase coffee, sandwiches, snacks, or even fruit and fresh salads. There are many tables and chairs inside the cafeteria, so that students can take their breaks, talk with their friends without disturbing the fellow students studying on the next room and rest for a while -take into consideration that many students stay at the Library all day long, so their afternoon break is crucial to their energy, concentration and well-being. The cafeteria is open from 8 o'clock in the morning until 7 o'clock in the evening.

On the third floor, one can find many offices, where bureaucratical matters concerning the University are being solved. There, you can fill in some forms and applications in order to register for the Students' Restaurant or other university students' “perks”. In the back of the third floor, there is a computer room, where students can work for free in the library's computers, as well as navigate the internet. I should mention that there is free internet connection in the building for all the University of Athens' students. All you have to do is connect with the same username and password you have for the virtual classroom (which, in our university, is called “my-studies”) and you can browse the internet with your own device -your smart-phone, laptop or tablet. However, if you're not a student in the University of Athens, you can still connect to the internet through one of the computers I mentioned before -no passwords needed. The computer room has been really practical for me when I need to search some supplementary information or notes or if I have a USB memory stick with me and I need to read one of its files. The computer room remains open until 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

On the fourth floor, you can find the second studying room of the building. There is no library there, just study tables. There are some common tables, like on the second floor, but there also some individual desks, that give you a sense of privacy and for many students they are an opportunity to concentrate much better. Since this room is much quieter than this on the second floor, it is always full during the exams' period. Usually, it is already full at 09:30 in the morning and you'll be extremely lucky to find a seat. This explains why the librarians are much more strict regarding the time one can be absent from the fourth floor. While I said that on the second floor the 30-minute rule hardly ever applies, on the fourth floor, if you are absent for more than 15(!) minutes, the librarian who is in charge, takes away your books and leaves them next to the desk, so that your spot is liberated. I find this a bit of an exaggeration but I can see why it happens, since the fourth floor is this “popular”!

There is also a fifth floor on the Library, but there is absolutely nothing there -I think there might be a roof/terrace or something, but it is locked. Another characteristic of the Library, that all of us, who have spent so much time there, are familiar with are its ...stairs. Its wide, round marble stairs that we are so bored to walk whenever the elevator is broken -which happens quite a lot, since I have mentioned like a hundred times that the building is too old- but we are more than happy to sit on and hang out there during our breaks. Since many people study on the Library, the cafeteria's desks and the benches outside of it are occupied pretty much all the time. This makes the stairs the next best thing, but it's not like we're compromising -we actually love it there. Most of my memories that include conversations in the Library take place on those stairs rather than the cafeteria!

I could go on and on about the Library, but I'm going to let you find out the rest for yourselves!

Comments (0 comments)

Want to have your own Erasmus blog?

If you are experiencing living abroad, you're an avid traveller or want to promote the city where you live... create your own blog and share your adventures!

I want to create my Erasmus blog! →

Don’t have an account? Sign up.

Wait a moment, please

Run hamsters! Run!