The Library: A Students Guide


“It’s a nice place to sit but I’ve never actually used it.” 

This is a view shared by many. The library is a relatively quiet place to study with toilets, water fountains, and comfy seats. This is invaluable in itself, but with the third term fast approaching it seems like a good time to break down exactly how to use the library as both a place to study and a traditional library. 

Image curtesy of Maria Hill

Quiet Places

Anyone who has been to the library around lunch will know that it is not a quiet place, especially on the first floor. Here you will find people carrying out quiet conversations or accidentally starting a video without realising their headphones are not connected to their laptop.

There is also a children’s corner and a pleasure reading section. The first floor is designed more as a place to just sit and prepare for your next lesson or listen to a podcast while looking busy.  

If quiet is absolutely essential for your studies, the third floor is typically the quietest in the library, but it also has the fewest number of seats and least access to working plug sockets.  

The second floor is the happy medium between the two with comfortable seats and fewer interruptions as people are usually quite focused on studying. Unfortunately, this floor is also the most popular and most over-crowded.

The biggest problem is background noise. Keyboards, cups, the rustling of bags are practically constant so bringing a pair of noise cancelling headphones is advisable.

Image curtesy of Maria Hill

Timing It

“Early in the morning, or late at night, the atmosphere for work is quite good.” 

The library can get very busy especially around lunch and early afternoon, as people wait for their next lecture or seminar.

If you are interested in having a longer study session, grabbing a specific seat and holding it is the best option.

To find a seat, try your luck every fifteen or twenty minutes to the hour as this is the time when anyone with an upcoming lecture will leave but before those who have finished a class can return making it a prime time to grab a seat.  

Taking Out Books

“It’s relatively easy to find what you’re looking for in the library, the system works so long as everything’s in its correct place.”

If you’ve ever visited the library, you will almost certainly have seen the checkout station. Taking out a book is as simple as scanning your ID and placing your desired book on the table. You will have, at minimum, a week to read the book before returning it.

Finding your book is the hard part.  

Every book in the library is recorded in one-search and has an alphabetic code listing its floor from A to C and its shelves from A to Z.  

For example, the book Saltwater by Jessica Andrews has the code: 

Floor C YIQ.A5 

You only need to pay attention to the first four letters. The book is on floor C, so the third floor, on row Y and shelf IQ. 

Image curtesy of Maria Hill

And that more or less covers how to use the library. The only other thing to note is that you are allowed to eat inside, provided your food isn’t oily and doesn’t risk soiling the books. Although you might want to steer clear of any particularly noisy snacks.  

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