Living in the Library

Sometimes the best way to get study done is to force yourself to go to the library for a few hours (or even a whole day), but it can be hard to stick with that decision when there are so many other factors to consider. What’s going to happen when you get hungry? How will you be able to concentrate when there are people talking around you? What if you can’t even find a seat and have to turn around and go back home? We’ve got some tips for when you’re living in the library over the exam period so you can make sure you won’t have to worry about any of these things.

studying

SURVIVAL

  • Fun fact: you can get food delivered straight to uni! If you’re having a late night study session but you also need some dinner, services like Deliveroo, Ubereats and Menulog are your new best friend. You’re not supposed to bring greasy foods into the library (and it’s often not pleasant for everyone sitting around you), but you can sit in a lobby or study area.
  • By the same token, a bit of organisation before you head into the library for the day can be a huge help. Grab some snacks, make sure everything is fully charged, bring a bottle of water and double check that you have everything you need. You’ll be less distracted, and you won’t have to deal with the stress of realising you’ve forgotten something.
  • Make use of the BookIt system, and book rooms and computers well in advance!
  • Always remember your laptop and phone charger – it’s especially important to keep your phone charged if you’re going to be leaving campus late at night. If possible, also bring a powerbank/portable charger in case things go haywire.
  • Move around to a different location in the library if you start to feel like you’re losing concentration. A new environment, even if it’s just a new seat, will shake things up a bit. This is also very useful when you’re moving onto a new subject to study.
  • Dress in layers! Some libraries can be a bit unpredictable with the heating/cooling (looking at you, law library), and you might end up leaving after sunset when things get pretty chilly outside.
  • Bring headphones and/or earplugs. Even in the silent areas of libraries outside noise can get pretty distracting, so it’s always a good idea to have a back up plan. Listen to music that won’t distract you, or if that doesn’t work for you check out Rainymood!

study-library

ETIQUETTE

  • Be conscious of the people around you and their stress levels. Someone might be really peeved by a behaviour you’re not even aware of. Be mindful of your habits and how frustrating they might be – finger tapping, sniffing, and eating loudly are all going to earn you death stares.
  • If you’re listening to music, be conscious of the volume. Even when you’re using headphones it’s pretty easy for noise to travel when everyone else is working in absolute silence, and the people around you probably aren’t too keen on listening in.
  • Respect the No Talking zones in libraries. Most libraries have floors for quiet chat whilst others are reserved for complete silence, so don’t head for the latter option if you’re going to be whispering with your friends.
  • Don’t leave your equipment all over your study space while you take a leisurely lunch. If you need to leave for an extended period of time (like, longer than 15-20 minutes), let someone else use your seat. Alternatively, get food delivered to you! Leaving your stuff at a seat you aren’t using will make everyone else looking for a place to sit very angry, and it’s also unsafe to leave your stuff out unattended in case of theft.
  • It is, however, more than acceptable to leave your seat for a minute to go and find a bin. Don’t leave your rubbish lying around, especially if it’s stuff like food that will start to smell by the end of the day!
  • If you’ve booked a project room with a group of people, stay mindful of your noise levels as your conversations can still be heard by the people outside.

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EMERGENCIES

  • Don’t stress if you get to the library and there are no seats left! Most classes are no longer running, which means the majority of tutorial rooms are free. Some may be locked, but others (e.g. Redmond Barry, Babel) are generally open during the day. Seats, powerpoints, and tables aplenty!
  • If you desperately need a seat near a powerpoint so you can charge your phone or laptop, consider studying in places like the Rowdy or the Women’s Room where there are plenty of powerpoints and very rarely huge crowds of people wanting to use them.
  • If you have to quickly leave your things to run and grab a book or go to the bathroom, don’t stress about leaving your things behind unwatched! Asking the person next to you to mind your things while you’re gone is something that happens very frequently in all of the libraries, and people are generally more than happy to do so.
  • Sometimes the wifi at uni can be a little bit hit or miss, which leads to a lot of stress when you’re working on a deadline and need the internet to do your work. Giblin Eunson, the ERC and the Baillieu all have IT help desks with people who can help you out if your wifi isn’t working at all!
  • Looking for somewhere to study late into the night? Most libraries have extended opening hours throughout the exam period, and some libraries like the ERC have extended hours zones that are open 24/7.

Happy Studying!

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