Where to Study: Scarsdale Public Library or Barnes & Noble?



With the Scarsdale library’s recent opening, Barnes and Nobles must now compete for title of best study location—who will win?

Drew Siegel

Imagine this: You have a big test tomorrow, but you between your mother watching television in the kitchen and your sister chatting on FaceTime with her friends you just can’t focus. So, you need to study, but you don’t know where to go. Your best bet then is either Barnes and Noble or the Scarsdale Public Library—how do you choose?

The Scarsdale Public Library is quiet, has a cafe, and private working spaces, and typically contains a limited number of people. The environment is the opposite of distracting and provides a peaceful working space, while Barnes and Noble is connected to a bustling restaurant with clashing dishes and loud conversation. It’s busy environment also makes it challenging to find a place to sit down and work, which may prolong your work session longer than you’d like. “The Scarsdale Public Library is much quieter and it creates a better atmosphere for successful studying,” mentioned Lilly Tessler ’25. 

Food is another important factor to consider when deciding between study locations as a good snack always helps move your work along! Luckily, both places have access to food, so you do not have to stop studying for meals or snacks. But, which option is better? Considering that Barnes and Noble has a restaurant and the library only offers a café, I’d have to go with Barnes and Nobles; they offer a wide range of starters, main meals, and drinks/snacks for every mood you may be in. Especially, if you are planning a late night study session Barnes and Nobles may be the better choice for a hearty dinner. The Scarsdale library also has more restrictions on eating and drinking than Barnes and Noble, which may be a factor to consider depending on your dietary restrictions.

Like I explained earlier, if you are at Barnes and Noble it is likely that you will struggle to find a table. In the several times I’ve gone to the bookstore, I’ve had to sit at the bar every time, which is less than an ideal study environment. The library, in contrast, has many seating options such as big tables with charging stations, privacy pods, private rooms, and reading chairs. The different sections also vary in noise, whereas Barnes and Nobles tend to remain decently noisy throughout the day. Lastly, the library is in the center of Scarsdale, so it is generally the most convenient location of the two. It is also within walking distance from the high school, which proves to be a logical location. 

Ever since the library opened, I’ve have heard nothing but positive reviews. Before the reopening, many people went to Barnes and Noble yet now that’s it open it’s clear the library is the better choice of the two. “I’ve been to both locations many times, and I have found that I get better results when I go to the library,” said Tessler. 

So, if you ever need to get some last-minute studying done efficiently and without distractions, I recommend you go to the Scarsdale Public Library! Barnes and Noble, however, may be a good option for group work.