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Library Listens: The Main Library

It is rare to find a St Andrews student who has never set foot in, or at least seen, the beloved Main Library. She is so influential over our lives that the cries of indignation at her closure for the last weeks of Martinmas semester and the first two of this one resounded through Crushes, Fessdrews, and Feudrews alike. The power this building holds!

But, huzzah, Old Faithful is now back open for all our studying needs. What makes this edifice so wonderful? Is it the fact that we will almost always find seating? Is it its attached cafe and food services to fuel us through even the most-procrastinated deadline? The big tables for spreading our entire portable office—from planner to pencil case? The stacks through which to wander? In any case, its lack of adornment and Bauhaus aesthetic have become indispensable to most students. The vibes, as I’ve already alluded to, are very different from our last issue’s spotlight: the King James Library. The modern, simplistic chairs and desks are made of synthetic wood, and, instead of hardwood floors there are abstract rugs covering the ground. All these things add up to a late-90s/early-2000s university aesthetic in our mind. Truly, claw clips, boot-cut jeans, and crew-neck sweatshirts are omnipresent in this library space. Is this just due to the early-aughts revival going on in fashion at the moment, or is it a wider expression of the looks Main Library naturally attracts and garners for itself? In any case, it goes without saying that any Main Library playlist must have a selection of songs from the soundtracks of 2000s teen movies. Have you ever had “Perfect Day”—the opening song from Legally Blonde—pop into your head as you scan your matriculation card at the entrance? Or maybe Cher’s opening monologue from Clueless accompanied by The Muffs’ “Kids in America”? This is exactly the brand of pop-rock that fits Main Library to a tee, and equates to just a couple of the hits from similar soundtracks that are included in our playlist.

For this Library Listens, we’ve become very chronologically specific. We want our listeners to feel as if they have travelled back to their childhood in the early-2000s. I want you to feel you are riding in your mum’s minivan, listening to the local radio—because you don’t even know what an aux cord is yet. Some songs we remember from those years include “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” by Soulja Boy and Sammie, Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”, and Jay Sean and Lil Wayne’s “Down”. You cannot tell me that when the first chords of “Viva La Vida” hit your eardrums, you aren’t instantly hit with a wave of nostalgia. We are hoping that some of these tunes will be the ones that you forgot that you knew every word to, and you’ll get a hit of that ever-elusive serotonin and some more energy for your revision.

With the idea of being able to focus better on the task at hand, we have included songs from the aforementioned decades with softer, less dancey melodies. Popping these tracks into your study session will also hopefully allow you to cosplay as an early-2000s college student, their familiar tunes ensuring that your brain listens less to the lyrics and melody, and allows you to focus better on your work. Songs like “Put Your Records On” by Corrine Bailey Rae and “Unwritten” by Natasha Beddingfield strike me as perfect for background music when completing tasks. Their soft guitar sounds and hopeful lyrics will spur you on.

So, put on your lowest-rise jeans, a butterfly top of some sort, and some wired headphones, and settle into the Main Library with our newest playlist.

You can find this playlist and all of our Library Listens over on The Saint’s Spotify account:

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