The Hidden Gems of Leonard Library

By Monica Guerra on October 21, 2012

Since the new Leonard library opened earlier this year, it has been a hotspot for students in need of finishing homework, groupwork, or just doing some studying. Students initially flocked to the first floor area to enjoy Peet’s Coffee, and slowly began to spread to the basement and second floor. Most students have visited or at least passed by the first and basement floor research commons, which harbor a mix of Apple and Windows computers, a quiet study area, and study group rooms. But very few people have explored the other five floors of the library:


Second floor gem: Digital Media Studio

Second floor

When you walk up to the second floor, on your left you see a lot of whiteboards and displays for student group work or study.

Second floor towards Digital Media Studio

But hardly anyone ventures over to the right, where the digital media studios are available from noon till 10 PM. The area is open to all students, with a majority of Apple computers and a mere couple of PCs, as well as study rooms with computers. If you’re claustrophobic (like myself) and want to get to get away from the first floor crowd, this area is ideal. There is always a computer available with plenty of open space all around you.

Third and Fourth Floor gems: Study areas for large groups

Third floor

Fourth floor

On the third and fourth floors, you’ll find the “library” part of the library. Rows of books that hide tons of places ideal for the group work and study, as well as amazing views of the Cesar Chavez and the rest of campus. Officially, only quiet study is available on the fourth floor, but it is loosely enforced.

Fifth and Sixth Floor gems: $100,000 Books and super secure library

The Fifth and Sixth floor are a part of the Sutro Library, not part of SFSU. Anyone (not just college students) is allowed onto the fifth floor, but there is high security. You need to leave all phones, backpacks and items- some books in the Sutro library are worth thousands of dollars. Why? Some special collections are over hundreds of years old, including Columbus’ voyages and travels, Mexican conquest history and literature, and ancient Hebrew manuscripts. Unfortunately, the sixth floor is completely sealed off from everyone and only Sutro staff are allowed in.

All information and many more handouts about the library are available in the first floor.

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