“I’d be in the library if there were no Covid-19”

Maximilian Kallenbach, 24, Zurich (Switzerland)

If there were no Covid-19, I would be in the library right now. Instead, I’m at home, where I have been quarantining since the beginning of March. 

I am studying political science at the University of Zurich, in Switzerland. The university’s facilities are currently closed and all classes are taught online. Because I am writing my dissertation, it’s not really a big deal for me. I’m in contact with my professors and I have online access to all the resources I need. There is an online library I can use and, if necessary, I can always ask my professors to send me pictures of book pages as they still have access to their campus offices.

That’s very helpful, but I really miss going to a library and looking for a book myself.

Maximilian’s favourite library in Zurich, Switzerland. (Wikimedia Commons)

I just love libraries. I can better focus there; it helps to be surrounded by other people working. Here at home I get easily distracted — I tend to get more sleep, I scroll through my phone, I go to the kitchen for snacks. When I am at the library I am more disciplined. My mantra is that if I make the effort to go there, I might as well be productive.

I usually spend six to seven hours a day in the library. I always go to the same one, the law library of the University of Zurich which is beautiful. It’s very quiet and it’s the biggest library on campus. I sit with two of my closest friends so that we can take breaks together. This is exactly what I miss the most — having the option of going to a library and doing work with my friends.

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