• Izabelle Roach

Despite Dreary Atmosphere and Communist Bloc Architecture, Killam Comes Out on Top While Citadel Lib


If you’re a Trollope Times reader in the midst of, or having completed, your education, something you’ll understand is studying. No matter your grade level, it’s a practice that will plague you through as many years of education as you choose to inflict yourself with. Subsequently, you’ll understand how crucial it is to have a place to study where you can occasionally be productive. For many, this spot is a library. For this reason, I’m bringing to you a review of a few relevant libraries in the area of your run-of-the-mill Citadel High School student for you to keep in mind for your next study session.

Killam Memorial Library

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ ⅘

Study Space: Ample.

Food Options: Good and affordable (Subway, Second Cup & Killam Bistro).

Comfort Level: B-. Seats are softer than a plastic school chair.

Noise Level: Unusually quiet, per the average day.

A well-known name in high school library culture, the Killam is a main choice for many students looking for a study spot. Located on the Dalhousie campus, it is home to many harmless university students, though you would take better care to stay away from the many harassed IB students that frequent its hallways. You may have heard the term, “Killam rats” within the school, or heard someone say something like, “Oh, there goes Sara – she lives at the Killam.” Such expressions are used liberally.

For a productive study spot, you can’t do much better. The atmosphere is a bit dimly lit and some might go so far as to call it gloomy; this is somewhat beneficial, as it discourages happy thoughts about what you’d rather be doing than studying. Due to the eerie quiet that befalls the 2nd floor and above, it is an environment that encourages work. However, unless you need absolute and complete silence, I suggest avoiding the “stacks” (the area where the library materials are actually stored) unless you’re ready to have angsty university students throw you dirty looks at you when you sneeze or open a granola bar. In terms of productivity, the Killam is a solid option for anyone looking to get things done.

Spring Garden Public Library

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆ ⅗

Study Space: Often Limited.

Food Options: Singular option (Pavia). High-end coffee shop (pricey).

Comfort Level: A+. Myriad amounts of squishy seats.

Noise Level: Medium to high.

The public library is still a fairly new addition to the Halifax area. Located on Spring Garden, it is frequented by everyone from ages 1-100 looking for a pleasant sojourn. It has a very attractive atmosphere – it is very well lit, with lots of brightly coloured walls and furniture and tastefully modern decorations.

As a study spot, it has its pros and cons. Firstly, it is consistently busy. Brace yourself to walk through 2+ floors to find an empty chair or couch, and if you’re looking for a “study pod” (excellent, high-demand little hobbit holes for studying, dotted throughout the library) I recommend you get there the minute it opens. Once you find a spot, it’s a lovely environment for studying. Depending on your location, the noise can be anywhere from non-existent to very distracting – it’s a toss-up – so I recommend bringing a pair of earphones, noise cancelling if possible.

It houses the coffee shop Pavia, which produces delicious food and hot drinks, though I myself am rarely willing to pay the $7-8 that it asks for hot chocolate and a cookie. However, a perk of its excellent location is that it is in close proximity to a number of food shops downtown - so fear not for study snacks, they are well within reasonably-priced reach.

Citadel High School Library

Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆ ⅖

Study Space: Adequate, for the most part.

Food Options: Caf Cookies and semi-functional water fountains.

Comfort Level: Average

Noise Level: Usually kept around average by Ms. Booth.

Set on the second floor of Citadel High School, this is a trusty spot for your day-to-day frees. Enormous windows make a beautifully lit space, though the view of the outdoors may harvest tempting thoughts about how appealing it would be to be outside rather than huddled over your math homework.

It is usually fairly well populated with students. The inevitability of seeing people you know often makes it difficult to focus on any task at hand, not to mention the sporadic presence of classes in the seminar room, which drastically ups the noise level. The environment, however, is friendly. For this reason, this library is much more effective for group work than individual study. Food options are limited to lunch leftovers and the little cafeteria window. The chairs, however, are comfier than the plastic ones in your classrooms, so if you skip class, this is a fairly pleasant alternative. Everyone has different things that help them focus, so our opinions may not be exactly in sync, but I hope this article has provided enough objective information for you to make an educated decision about where you’d like to try studying!