I can't work in the same room as "the little drummer boy!"
December 23, 2009 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Help! What are some quiet study spaces that are open to the public during the holidays?

Public and University libraries around here are closed between Christmas and New Year's, aargh!
I'm in Southwestern Ontario to visit family for the holidays, but I have to get some work done before Jan. 1st, and trying to work here is driving me absolutely insane! Even if my family could be quiet, their house is dark and uncomfortable and entirely terrible to work in.
Libraries in the area are closed for the holidays, and most cafes are both very busy and wouldn't be thrilled with me sitting with a laptop for hours on end. Any ideas of student-friendly workspaces that aren't wrecked by holiday hours would save my sanity in a big way!
posted by Bergamot to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The lobby of the hospital near my house tends to be fairly calm and quiet.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:11 PM on December 23, 2009

Don't discard cafes too soon - they have served me very well in the past and I have studied there for whole afternoons without interruption. It would probably be good form to buy more than one drink though if you're going to be there for more than 1.5 hrs or so...
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:16 PM on December 23, 2009

If noise is a big concern for you, you might try making a pair of these jackhammer headphones. It was painfully simple and very cheap and effective.

I am really sensitive to music and talking while I'm trying to study, and I found that for me the only place nearly quiet enough was the library, and even that could often be too distracting (damned cell phones). So I made some jackhammer headphones, and that greatly increased the number of places where I could study. It works best with some soft music, or some white noise, but I am really happy with them. I know I must look like a huge dweeb, but to me it was worth it. I added some band stickers to mine and they are one of my most cherished study tools now.
posted by ZeroDivides at 4:09 PM on December 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

You might want to look at public libraries in neighbouring towns if yours is closed between Xmas and new years. I know mine is open because I will be working there! And I expect the silent study room to be full as usual. Generally, the larger urban area's libraries are only closed for stat holidays.
posted by saucysault at 5:33 PM on December 23, 2009

The lobby of a niceish hotel might do, too.
posted by workerant at 5:47 PM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

You might get more specific ideas if you narrow your location a bit. You could be in my town or five hours away.
posted by saucysault at 6:06 PM on December 23, 2009

Laundromats, if the background hum of washing machines isn't too distracting.
posted by dr. boludo at 6:47 PM on December 23, 2009

Are you in this home town, which has a university? If so, are there hall ways, stairwells, waiting areas that are open? Lounges in the residence foyers?
posted by girlpublisher at 8:08 PM on December 23, 2009

Look for a coworking space. I tried to find one for you but Southwestern Ontario is pretty non-specific. Most offer a quiet place to work for around $20-30 a day.
posted by bigmusic at 8:21 PM on December 23, 2009

Some diners might be amenable to your hanging out there for hours, depending on
1) when they're open
2) when you're there
3) if you keep ordering coffee/cocoa/coke/food

Are you against places like Barnes & Noble or Panera?
posted by knile at 10:14 PM on December 23, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks all for the answers.

I'm near Brantford, ON, but have a car available to me; I was trying to avoid cafes/ laundromats etc. because I am pretty sensitive to noise.
Coworking spaces seem like a great idea, I'll have to look into that in the future - and jackhammer headphones very well may be on a future to-do list, thanks!

I suppose I'll end up trying out different cafes / diners until I find one that's not too holiday-busy, or maybe see if I can rent a cheap hotel room or something.

Thanks again, MeFites, and wish me luck!
posted by Bergamot at 5:41 PM on December 25, 2009

Best answer: You might want to run up to Cambridge Library then as they are open as of Sunday. Otherwise, the Brantford airport has wifi but will be noisy. If this comes up again you should check (or post your availability) on kajiji for cat/dog sitting duties where you can sit for a few hours on their couch and be a companion to pets while their owners are away for the holiday.
posted by saucysault at 11:42 AM on December 26, 2009

Response by poster: I don't know why I didn't think of the Cambridge library, saucysault, but that's perfect - it's actually much closer to my parent's house than Brantford is, so it's perfect (and the petsitting idea is pretty great too!)
posted by Bergamot at 7:01 PM on December 27, 2009

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