Berkeley Bucket List – Library Edition

I’m on a mission to visit every single one of Berkeley’s 24 libraries during my final year at Cal. As the first month of school comes to a close, I’ve decided to highlight some of these spots that aren’t as popular as, say, Doe or Moffitt. Let’s take a look!

Anthropology Library (Anthropology and Art Practice Building)

The Anthropology Library sits on the second floor of the Anthropology and Art Practice Building, surrounded by various art and design studios, classrooms, and museum collections. Its location at the southeast edge of campus means that it is fairly close to anyone coming from Southside, as well as right across from Caffe Strada if you need a quick bite.

Best place to sit: Near the window! Strategically sitting in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows allows you to have tons of natural lighting, plus a great view for people-watching.

Large bookshelves surrounding soft blue armchairs and table in Anthropology Library.
Anthro Library – home to 59,000 print volumes, as well as cozy chairs and a gorgeous view!

McCone Library (McCone Hall)

McCone Library, the Earth Sciences and Map Library, is home to one of the largest map collections in California (over 470,000 maps), and a quiet and comforting first-floor study space. I fell in love with this building after taking Geography 70AC here my freshman year, and I’ve been back many times since to visit the library and say hi to the saber-toothed tiger statue on my way in.

Best place to sit: Take a study break and head all the way up to the fifth floor. McCone has a wonderful set of outdoor balconies, each one with a more beautiful view than the one below it. I highly recommend spending time on McCone’s fifth floor balcony and ending your day with a lovely sunset overlooking the Bay.

Sunny midday Bay Area landscape view from 5th floor McCone Building
View of a sunny day in the Bay from the 5th floor McCone balcony.

Morrison Library (inside Doe Memorial Library)

Housed to the right of Doe Library’s main entrance, Morrison Library is the university’s traditional reading room. This library isn’t necessarily somewhere to study, but rather, a relaxing and peaceful area free from work and electronics (in fact, laptops and cell phones are not allowed). With its high ceilings, chandeliers, and ornate lamps, Morrison reminds me of life at Hogwarts and is the perfect place to spend a few hours reading and resting.

Best place to sit: Anywhere! You can’t go wrong with any of the soft, cushy chairs and couches in this room. As soon as you settle into one, beware – they are very easy to take a nap in!

Morrison Library, with fluffy couches and chairs, orange-colored lamps, and a patterned roof.
Morrison Library – the comfiest place on campus!

Marian Koshland Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library (Valley Life Sciences Building)

The Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library boasts a collection of any and all materials related to life sciences, natural resources, public health, and more. I have such a soft spot for the VLSB Library! When I’m on the western end of campus, I love to spend some time here, as it never gets super crowded and is open fairly late. A nice study break from the VLSB library is spending some outdoor time on the nearby patio or exploring the rotating museum exhibits.

Best place to sit: Skip the bottom floor and head straight for the stairs in the back. Climb up to the second and third floors to find individual cubicles, which are great for getting work done or taking a midday nap. Also, say hi to the T. rex and pteranodon, Osborn and Marsh, on your way in. During the holiday season, they’ll be wearing festive hats!

Two dinosaur fossil models stand in front of the library.
Osborn and Marsh guard the entrance to the Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library.

Some honorable mentions that I encourage you to explore on your own: Howison Library in Moses Hall (my all-time favorite library, currently closed to undergrads so I wasn’t able to sneak a picture); Main Stacks (I know Main Stacks sometimes gets a bad rap, but trust me, there’s lots to explore down here); and East Asian Library (I’m here so much that this library wasn’t really “new” to me, but definitely check it out).

That wraps up our library tour for today, thanks for tuning in!

Cordelia Varona

Author: Cordelia Varona

Hi everyone! My name is Cordelia, and I am a fourth year from Daly City, CA, majoring in Cognitive Science and double-minoring in Data Science and Education. Outside of being a Campus Ambassador and writing for Bear Talk, I am involved in Matriculate, Greek Life, Residential Life, Cal in the Capital, and research. Go Bears!