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  • Virginia Kongos

It's elementary my dear Watson.

In the heart of campus, you'll find a refuge full of wisdom.

On the first floor of the Watson Library in the far-right corner there is a small slice of heaven that comes in the form of an old blue lounge chair.

Upon crossing the threshold into this academic safe haven, one can immediately feel a sense of warmth and comfort. This might be because the boiler room lies directly underneath the blue chair, but the librarians will tell you that it’s just the magic of the building.

It truly is the perfect place to study on a cold winter’s day.

This year’s seniors remember the library very differently than our newer students. For the Class of 2022, four years at Wilmington College has been a lot like a box of mixed chocolates—a year without the pandemic, half a year sent home, a year on-campus with strict rules and, finally, a year of tough decisions. Today, the library is open and seniors want their 2019 back. Back then, the library was a whole other world. Before it was closed, the second floor was always filled with study groups on weeknights.

Gabriel King, a senior at Wilmington, remembers the late nights spent upstairs studying for finals.

“Almost all of the freshmen in the Honors program would be there, and we would spend hours going over everyone’s notes, sharing study tips, and mostly goofing off,” said King.

Senior biology major Morgan McKnight says she owes part of her academic success to her freshman year study-group.

“It was tough that first semester because some of us couldn’t make it to SI sessions and we needed extra help. No one told us to be there. We just decided to help each other out,” said McKnight.

Watson Library won’t be returning to normal anytime soon. A lot needs to change before they can have 20-person study groups upstairs again. The library’s staff are worried that if they don’t have enough students coming through the doors, the evening hours will be removed like they were in 2020.

Even if restrictions are lifted, students fear an important part of the Wilmington College experience could be lost. For them, the library was more than just a book storage, it was a space that fostered friendships.

“I wouldn’t have passed Bio I without that group,” said McKnight.

Until students can gather again, remember the big blue chair for one—it’s warm and it’s waiting for you.

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