Islam provides guidance and rules to regulate Muslims’ behavior in private and public. Muslims are perfectly allowed to study in a library where there are members of the opposite sex present, and to interact with the opposite sex in a businesslike manner. Even in correspondences and conversations, Muslims must observe modesty.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states the following: Islam does not teach total segregation between males and females. We read in the Qur’an [Say to the believing males to lower their gazes and guard their chastity] (An-Nur 24:30). This assumes that there is no segregation. Therefore, there is no harm for in studying in the same library where there are males as well as females, provided we observe the rules of our religion.
Based on what is mentioned above, we can see that Islam allows and even encourages Muslims to seek useful knowledge even if they do so in a place where the opposite sex is present. What matters is one’s commitment to the Islamic rulings governing interaction between the sexes.