One of the key factors in successful study is location. It is important you find a place that suits your studying style, where you feel you can concentrate and avoid being distracted. It’s hard to find a place as conducive to study as the university library. The very notion that is a designated place of study gives it immediate advantage:
A quiet place to work
Home isn’t always a very quiet place to study, what with neighbours having parties, housemates banging doors, and kids playing in the garden. So when you need to study, the library is the best place to be. It’s also very convenient, as you will have all the books you need at hand. Admittedly libraries don’t always enforce a quiet policy, so look for that out-of-the-way corner that no one goes to (there’s usually one tucked behind obscure books that are rarely taken off the shelf) to avoid people chatting or on their phones.
Your college or university library will have all the resources you need to write your essays. It’s best to use a variety of sources in addition to books, including journals, dissertations, and original sources if you’re studying history. The library will have all of these and more. You’ll also find practical resources such as free wifi (essential if your wifi at home goes down, and handy for doing searches online), printers, photocopiers, and catalogues to help you locate the sources you need.
Libraries are a great place to work if you need to focus. It can be difficult to concentrate on your paper at home when there are so many distractions. Take your laptop to the library, and you’ll find that you’re so much more productive than when you hang around at home trying to work. Libraries will also have air conditioning or central heating, which can make them more comfortable than trying to work in a student flat or halls of residence. And the best part of all – someone else will be paying the bills.
The librarians at your university can be invaluable. They can point you in the right direction for a rare book or other resources, and will gladly explain anything you need to know. Librarians will advise you how to use the databases, reserve books you need, and often offer induction courses for new students. They have many more skills than simply checking out books and issuing fines, so get to know them and they’ll repay you with plenty of useful advice and assistance. Postgraduate students in particular will find them essential
Most students overlook the existence of the interlibrary loan facility, but it can be the only way of accessing more obscure resources. Libraries can’t possibly stock everything that could be of use, and less common texts tend to be far too costly for a student budget. It will generally be very cheap to request an interlibrary loan, though be sure to renew the book or return it on time. Again, postgraduate students will find this facility essential, as they will undoubtedly need rarer texts while researching their thesis.
Space to work
Most university libraries are spacious and cover several floors. This means that it’s usually easy to find space to spread your things out and work, especially if you go at a less busy time. This is great when you’re using a lot of papers, books and journals at the same time, as well as taking down notes and checking facts on your laptop. Many student rooms only have space for a cramped desk, which isn’t a very comfortable place to work. So make the most of those big tables and have everything to hand. If it’s crowded on the floor where the books you need are located, try another floor for more space; this won’t be as convenient as having the books right nearby, but you can pick up a handful and take them with you to the other floor. If you’re based on a larger campus, each department or college may have its own library, which are often overlooked by students in favour of the main branch.
Open all hours
Some universities even have a library that is open late, or round the clock. Sp if you’re one of those people who works best late at night when it’s really quiet, are an insomniac, or need to finish a paper that’s due in, extended opening hours can be very useful indeed. Alternatively, there may be a study room open outside library hours. While you won’t have all the resources of the library to hand, you can still take your notes and any books you’ve checked out of the library, and work in a quiet place, undisturbed by any of the noises of home.
I am a professional writer and a blogger from Sydney, Australia. I enjoy doing writing pieces on the topics of education, essay writing, and college life. I always search for topics that will be helpful for students.
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