Here’s a situation that may sound familiar to you. You walk into a library hoping to get some work done. You find an empty seat, sit down, and open up your textbook. But then it happens. Seated nearby are two or more students yapping amongst themselves, constantly interrupting your flow of concentration.
Now, if you happen to be the culprits in this scenario, you might claim in defense: “But we’re not talking out loud, we’re whispering”. Believe it or not, my ears have the ability to detect low-level sound. So, no matter how low you whisper, I can still hear you gossiping about Sally’s relationship problems.
Not only are you wasting my time, but yours as well. So, here are some productive things you can do in a library instead:
Beef Up Your Assignment By Doing Research
Excelling in education requires a strong work ethic, and having access to the right resources can influence the outcome of your work. Luckily, your institution’s library can help you in this respect.
University libraries are filled to the brim with scholarly material, making them invaluable assets. One can spend dozens of hours sorting through rows of books filled with information on any given topic. However, for convenience, you can decide beforehand what books you will take out via a library computer.
When logged onto a computer, open a browser, and it will show a search engine for finding material within the library catalogue. When typing in your topic, make sure to include important keywords pertaining to what you are researching. You can narrow your search down by decade of publication, name of the subject matter, and academic discipline. Following these steps will garner search results more relevant to your topic.
Upon finding a catalogue entry you want, you will notice a little boxed symbol situated underneath the title of the book. If the symbol is green, the book is available. If it’s red, it’s currently unavailable. In the case that it is available, jot down the book’s catalogue number, i.e. “HD6072.5”, and the floor it’s shelved at. The shelves are arranged in sequence by code; this will help make your search easier. For example, if you’re searching for a book that’s numbered “HD6072.5”, just go to the shelf titled “HD2532-HD7000” to find it.
Search for Online Resources
When browsing the library catalogue, you can also refine your search to online entries, and even narrow it down further to EBooks or Journals, Magazines, and Newspaper Articles. Your university will also grant you access to a number of online academic journals from a variety of academic disciplines. Another useful online resource your university may provide free access to is Jstor, an incredibly helpful tool for finding articles pertaining to the Liberal Arts. If you are a science major, on the other hand, online resources are perfect for finding the most up-to-date scientific research.
Hold Group Meetings – Without Disturbing Others
At any library, there are group study rooms available. Make sure that you only work on such projects inside a study room. Group meetings are not allowed in the main study hall so as to not disrupt other students who are working. Book one of the rooms online or through the front desk. Before doing so, be aware of the booking policies. Each library has its own set of rules, so make sure you go over them via the library website. Generally, a room can only be booked by a group of 2 or more students. In addition, your booking may be forfeited in the case that you arrive 15 or more minutes late, and you may not book a room for more than 3 hours nor for less than 20 minutes. Make sure to abide by these rules when utilizing this service.
If you’re not researching or taking out any books, there are other measures you can take to avoid disrupting everyone else in the library. One method is to simply not sit at the same table with your beloved “BFF”. That doesn’t mean that you have to ignore them; you can still meet up with them after studying at a designated hot spot via text. There, you can gossip about the inner-workings of Sally’s love life.
How you utilize the resources made available to you will be a deciding factor in your academic success, and using the library effectively is a great habit to get into right from freshman year.