The library-hater’s guide to West End study spots

Yes, I wrote this while I was supposed to be revising

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We’ve all been there. You’ve arrived at the library, coffee-filled flask at the ready, prepared for a long day of studying, or sitting at your desk looking at your phone and calling it studying.

But you get there and just can’t find a damned seat. All that’s left is the floor or a weird cube shaped armchair in the middle of floor nine which is nowhere near a plug. Long story short, you HATE the library, it’s overcrowded and anxiety-inducing, and even if you do find that perfect toilet-adjacent private booth with a nice Instagram-able view and no noisy neighbours, it’s still a downright depressing place.

If this describes your everyday struggle, then keep reading. What follows will be a comprehensive guide to alternative on and off-campus study spots for those of us who are so over the library and can't study at home because it's -10 degrees. Note: For all the basic bitches, please see Starbucks, Byres Road.

The McMillan Round Reading Room

If you’d rather not stray away from "library hill", look no further than the Reading Room, just in front of the Fraser Building. It can admittedly also be hard to secure a seat here if you don’t turn up early-ish, but the high ceilings and open-plan space makes it a far less stressful environment to study in. With access to Eduroam, vending machines and printers, you’ll feel just like you’re in the library only without the crowds and slow-moving lifts. This space is open 8am-9pm on weekdays and 9am-4.30pm at the weekend and you don't even need your library card.



No matter your preference, both the Queen Margaret Union and the Glasgow University Union offer great WiFi-fueled study spaces which are open late. The GUU has its own library, each seat with its own power outlet, which is a great place to get a long day of studying done. Both unions have a café and bars for those well earned study breaks. If you can tolerate the constant thuds from the university gym above, try the G12 café, which is attached to the GUU, for great coffee, internet connection and nice décor.


Located on Gibson Street, this spacious yet cosy café offers well-priced food, lovely views of the Kelvin river, comfy seating and of course, WiFi. Offshore is open until 8pm every day so you can get a full day’s work done here without venturing too far out of the comfort of the West End. It’s also dog-friendly so if you’re feeling the pressure then you can make yourself a furry friend to help get through it.

The Mitchell Library

It's like the Waitrose of Glasgow study spaces x

If you’re willing to go a little further afield and/or live near Charing Cross, try the Mitchell Library. It’s one of the Europe’s largest public libraries and also boasts a theatre, a café and free WiFi. Oh, and it's really fancy. This is the perfect off-campus place to go if you’re looking for a change of scenery, or perhaps to avoid seeing the guy you got with in Sanctuary last night.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum


Yes, you can study in a museum. With free WiFi in the building, you can set yourself up in the café and take worthwhile study breaks looking at stimulating art and historical artefacts rather than your phone screen. They also have a study centre and library, perfect for History of Art students or enthusiasts.

The iCafé

Last but not least we have, of course, the iCafé. If your main reason for going to the library is the computers, then this one’s for you. There are two to choose from in the West End, both located in the Woodlands area, both open 8.30am-9.30pm every day. They offer use of computers for a small fee, as well as free high-speed Wi-Fi. food and drinks. The iCafé does what it says on the tin; perfect for students and yo-pros alike.

Good luck and for anyone we haven't yet convinced, happy hunting for seat on level 11 at 8am tomorrow morning x