Library Services


Language and Speech Science Library - a review

25 May 2022

In the fifth of a series of articles, PhD student Kristy Campbell visits LaSS Library.

Users studying inside the Language and Speech Science Library

Another of UCL’s outstanding secluded sites is the Language and Speech Science (LaSS) Library, tucked away just off Tavistock Place. Situated on the second floor, the library looks out towards the Foundling Museum, the Brunswick Centre, and the splendour of St George’s Gardens. Added to these, is the glorious Russell Square only a stone’s throw away for well-earned breaks from studying.

The multifarious nature of UCL buildings makes it hard to know what to expect beyond the entryway, but as always, I was greeted by cheerful and supportive members of staff who efficiently pointed me in the way of the study spaces. On the ground floor students congregated, instantly igniting a sense of community within the space. The building is a real hybrid of styles. I was led up the stairwell by the mesmerising banisters that screamed art-deco, with their striking bold outlines of geometric forms. Each floor provided signposts to various destinations, had access to lifts, and seemed alive with students and faculty going about their tasks.

I began meandering towards the library. As I moved away from the grandeur of the stairwell, I felt myself enter a calming and well-ventilated environment. The library oozes all shades of green, a hue known to relieve stress and foster room for thinking. There were plants draped over the bookshelves, and leaves shimmering on the windowsills as the breeze rolled in. The atmosphere was so cleansing, so refreshing, and with summer upon us, it was the perfect merging of the inside and out. Pistachio, hunter green, lime green, jade green, I was wading through a jungle of literature, a forest of pin boards and accessible resources. I sat amongst it all on a row of bright workspaces; each station had spaced out comfortable seating, suitable lighting, plug sockets and room to spread out.

As we safely transition back to working on campus, the library had provided a very safe and clean feel. The air was circulating softly around us, and various sanitisers were readily available.

I find the differentiation of the UCL study spaces to be intriguing and always very impressive, each time offering distinct and valuable facilities. At LaSS there are 57 spaces for students to carry out quiet independent work, as well as the study room that can be booked for collaborative activities. This might come in useful for students practicing presentations, preparing group projects, or simply holding a social reading or study session.

As well as study spaces, the library also has a number of resources available to students. These include 24 laptop loans, and a large screen that can be used for group work, seminars, presentations and the like. The library also has a wellbeing collection titled ‘Books to Help You Feel Better’. There are over 80 books available to borrow, which cover all sorts of things from mental health, vegan cooking, LGBTQI+, inclusivity, feminism, amongst others.

LaSS is an inclusive library, they are friends of Out@UCL, and aim to be a safe space for everyone.

Glancing over the feedback left by students at the space, the comments very much echoed my first impressions; if you are searching for an environment that is tranquil, one that fosters a sense of belonging, and that facilitates you to focus while simultaneously having approachable and amiable staff on site, you need look no further than LaSS Library.

Visiting our libraries

The UCL campus contains many study spots you might not be aware of. View space availability ahead of your trip.

Please be considerate of others and follow the university’s guidelines when visiting libraries and study spaces.