What’s the Best Spot in Shannon Library?

April 3, 2024 By Alice Berry, aberry@virginia.edu Alice Berry, aberry@virginia.edu

With five floors, millions of books, a new cafe and more, we’ll forgive you if you haven’t had a chance to fully explore the recently renovated Edgar Shannon Library at the University of Virginia.

It’s hard to know where to begin. A makerspace outfitted with a 3D printer and sewing machines? New study spaces? A lounge reserved for graduate students?

Shannon Library’s grand opening is Thursday, with an open house starting at noon, featuring activities from various library areas and departments, and remarks from University President Jim Ryan, Board of Visitors Vice Rector Carlos Brown, University Librarian John Unsworth, state Sen. Creigh Deeds and others at 4 p.m. To prepare for the grand opening, UVA Today turned to some of the people who know the reborn library best – its student workers – to find out where the best spots in Shannon are, get some study tips and learn what to order from the new café, Saxbys.

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Margaret Ennen – Fourth-Year Student

Hometown: Chesapeake

Major: English

Margaret Ennen
(Photo by Erin Edgerton, University Communications)

Favorite spot in Shannon: I love the Reference Room. It’s really light and bright; there’s lots of space to spread out, and I can look outside and see the Rotunda.

Best study tip: It helps to talk about the subject matter with a friend. 

Go-to Saxbys order: I really like their iced chai latte.

Finn Trainer – Second-Year Student

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Favorite spot in Shannon: The second-floor study courts. The natural light is just beautiful, and before the renovation the courtyards used to be inaccessible to patrons.

Go-to Saxbys order: I get the three-cheese grilled cheese, and if I’m feeling fancy I get an iced matcha latte.

Finn Trainer
(Photo by Erin Edgerton, University Communications)

What do you wish people knew about Shannon?: I wish they understood more of the history behind it. It’s been the main library for decades now, so a ton of history has happened here, and a lot of that is embedded in the construction itself.

Anastacia Reynolds – Third-Year Student

Hometown: Martinsville

Favorite spot in Shannon: I love the McGregor Room. It just has this classical feel to it, like it’s not of this time.

Anastacia Reynolds
(Photo by Erin Edgerton, University Communications)

Best study tip: I like to listen to classical music, or just music without words, so that I don’t get too distracted by the song.

Go-to Saxbys order: They have a breakfast burrito that’s really good.

Media Contact

Alice Berry

University News Associate Office of University Communications