The Gothic Reading Room
If you need absolue--and we mean ABSOLUTE--silence, head over to The Gothic Reading Room. When we say silent, we’re talking about heads-turn-when-you-cough kind of silent. You can find it on the second floor of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Surrounded by portraits of the greats from Duke’s past, you’ll feel inspired to actually finish that reading assignment this time.
The Ford Library at Fuqua School of Business
If you’re looking for a study spot with minimal distractions, check out the Fuqua’s library in the business school, where you’ll be surrounded by a bunch of grad students you don’t know! Isolation: genius! This spot is especially worth taking advantage of if you’re looking to pursue finance, economics, or marketing, as Fuqua’s library has tons of catalogs of industry and company databases.
If you’re looking for a more casual spot to start your studying, Mad Hatter’s Bakeshop and Cafe is perfect! The restaurant is located at the corner of W. Main and Broad Streets, so, luckily for freshmen, it’s a just a few steps away from East Campus. There is unlimited free WiFi and unlimited food (although that part isn’t free unfortunately), including breakfast food, salads, sandwiches, and some delicious baked goods. What better way to cram for a math test than cramming scones in your mouth at the same time?
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As a first-year, Lilly will become your new best (and sometimes worst) friend. It’s right in the middle of East Campus, so freshman frequent it most, although you might see some other students seeking escape from Perkins Library every now and then. If you really need to grind, be sure to go up to the second floor or down to the (admittedly depressing) cubicles in the basement, because the first floor is always poppin’. Considered a second-home for many freshman, you’ll probably end up doing more socializing than working on the first floor.
The Link, which is located on the lower level of Perkins Library, is a perfect spot for working on group projects--especially in STEM classes. The Link is an expansive and flexible campus spot that offers innovative spatial and technological approaches to teaching and learning. There are tons of several classrooms and study rooms, although reserving a study room can sometimes turn into the Hunger Games. Also, there’s a Duke version of Apple’s Genius Bar right in the center of the Link, where you’ll find the live saving OIT Service desk that loans out iPads, video cameras, and computer/phone chargers.
Similar to The Link, The Edge is an innovative and collaborative study destination. There are nine project rooms available for reservation online and several open lounge and study cubbies for use without reservation. The Edge is also home to the Murthy Digital Studio and the Brandaleone Lab for Data and Visualization Services. Located on the newly renovated first floor of Bostock Library, The Edge has become a solid location for creative thought.
Gross Hall is located at the corner of Science Dr. and Towerview and is a perfect place to hide away and focus on your schoolwork. While it is primarily used for Chemistry, Public Policy and Social Science lectures, the traffic of students coming in and out of class is easily avoided on the second floor. The ground level also offers electronic shops, work benches, a computer room and plenty of group study rooms to work collaboratively.
Trinity Cafe is located directly under Marketplace and is extremely convenient for first-year students. The cafe itself offers gourmet coffees, smoothies, fresh pastries, salads, sandwiches and sushi. The space surrounding the cafe is perfect for studying with various tables and booths open to students. There are also multiple classrooms perfect for group projects and for students looking for a quieter working environment.
This cozy coffee house has two convenient locations and both are prime study spots if you thrive in the cafe atmosphere. You’ll find Durham hipsters and Duke students working side by side. It can get pretty busy so try and avoid during peak morning hours. If you feel the need to get off campus and want an ample supply of great coffee to keep you plugged in, this is your place.