February 11, 2022 | LIFE | By Rhetta Power

I recently had an interaction with a friend that opened my eyes to a seemingly obvious reality: not everyone on Colorado College’s campus uses the Charles L. Tutt Library.

After a productive study session on the fourth floor, my friend turned to ask me: “Is it always that quiet?”

I was confused by the question. Of course the fourth floor is always that quiet, I thought. It’s a silent floor; this is common knowledge. Then I thought to myself: maybe this isn’t common knowledge.

I spend (depending on the block) a good chunk of my afternoons and evenings studying or working in the library. I know the space pretty well. However, I often see the same people in the same spaces around the library. It’s clear that not everyone uses the library, and it’s overt that the ones who do use it in different ways, but why?

What’s what in Tutt? I wanted answers, so I talked to members of the CC community.

First off, I think it’s important to clarify some of the terminology used to refer to the Charles L. Tutt Library.

Some people refer to it as “Tutt.” However, I recently saw a YikYak post disparaging this, saying that it was confusing with the neighboring Tutt Science building. Librarian Nicole Gresham said this mix-up happens all the time, so it makes sense that I’ve heard people use “Tutt Library,” even though it’s lengthy.

Personally, I’m a fan of “lib,” as you get the simplicity and brevity of “Tutt,” minus the confusion. The lib has four floors and a garden level (the basement). These floors have a plethora of different vibes and services, so let’s work our way from the bottom up.

The garden level is a silent floor. When I spoke to students, this is generally viewed as the place to go when you really need to get some work done. Olivia Bouthot ’23 had this to say: “If I want to grind, I hit the garden level, behind the bookshelves where the vibes are most depressing and I blast Post Malone.” Post Malone-blasts in her headphones, not out loud.

The bookshelves that Bouthot mentioned house the majority of the library’s print and archive collection. The garden level has intensely studious vibes, with senior thesis desks, a spacious reading room, and some airplane seat-esque chairs with a bubble to block potential distractions around you. Taryn Klanot ‘23 loves these bubble chairs for writing, or if she really needs to focus and get something done.

The first floor does not have the same tranquility as the garden level. It has a variety of resources but isn’t used as a study space in the same way as the other floors. First floor activities include: checking out library books and COVID-19 tests at the circulation desk, getting tech support and equipment (chargers, headphones, etc.) at the Office of Information Technology (ITS), using the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) lab to work on mapping projects or theses, and using the 3-D printing machine.

The CC 3-D club meets by this machine. Member Toby Ellingwood ‘23 cites the club as one of his main reasons for coming to the library. He remarked that not enough people know about this cool resource at CC.

The second floor holds even more resources. It is home to the Colket Center for Academic Excellence. This includes the Ruth Barton Writing Center, the Quantitative Reasoning Center, the Office of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education, and the thesis writing specialist. These are great resources that I, and many of the students I talked to, use regularly.

Kenan Brittan ‘23 said that “the writing center and the QRC are really good resources, they’ve been helpful to me.” These resources are open to all students, and if you’re interested, you can book appointments through the Colket Center page on CC’s website.

The second floor is probably the most medium level in terms of volume. It is where I often see the most collaboration happening between students.

The loudest and most lively floor is, without a doubt, the third floor. It is the location of Susie B’s, a favorite of many CC students. Olivia Hahnemann-Gilbert ‘23 prefers the library compared to other study spaces because of Susie B’s, where she loves to get bagels and coffee. This sentiment was echoed by Bouthot, who referenced the eatery as an incentive for her third floor visits.

The combination of the chatter of the third floor and the coffee smells that waft from Susie B’s gives Bouthot “coffee shop vibes.” That is her ideal study space.

The third floor is a social space for many students. Klanot shared that she goes to the third floor if she’s feeling lonely because it’s “always good vibes.” She likes bumping into people she knows and saying hi. It’s true, you’re always bound to recognize someone on third. There are also study rooms on this floor if you’re craving a slightly more secluded study setting.

The quietness of the fourth floor makes a nice silence sandwich with the garden level. The fourth floor has the library’s map and newspaper collection, but this isn’t what students know it for. Klanot goes to the fourth floor because she finds it “relaxing and calming up there.” And there’s a nice view. In case you haven’t been, I can attest that Pike’s Peak looks especially sexy from fourth.

The studious energy of the garden level is maintained, but with more light and again, good views. Hahnemann-Gilbert referred to it as her “go-to place to do work.” Based on the amount of people I often see up there, I would guess others feel the same way. Although many of the students I talked to use the library at least semi-regularly, this is certainly not representative of the student body.

Overall, students’ ability to work in their homes seems to be the deciding factor in their use of the library. Hahnemann-Gilbert, Klanot, and Brittan all shared that they come to the library when they need some quiet, something not guaranteed in their respective multi-person apartments.

The summary of my investigation is that there is no one way to use the library. The variety of vibes and spaces allows for a unique experience every time you enter the doors. This really highlights the nature of what’s what in Tutt: it’s in the eye of the library-goer.

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