Your college library is no longer just for checking out books.
In fact, there are several ways to put any college library to good use, helping you make the most of your school.
Nearly everything you can do in the library is either free or inexpensive, so it makes sense to spend some time there both before and after classes.
Even if you don’t have a reason to study intensely, you should use your college library as a place to hang out between classes. After all, not every dorm room or apartment has the soft, comfortable chairs that most libraries feature.
You can pick a plush chair to sink into while you read the newspaper, dive into a book or browse the web. You may even decide to take a nap between classes since there are plenty of quiet corners and sparsely populated floors in the typical college library!
Study in Peace
This benefit may not seem that impressive until you realize your college roommate plans to party all night as you try to study for a major test. When you need peace and quiet to concentrate on your college courses, it may be time to head to the campus library.
If the mostly quiet atmosphere is still not silent enough for you, find out if there’s a floor that’s deemed “quiet,” or if you can rent a private study room. The typical college library allows students to reserve such rooms for complete peace and quiet while studying or writing.
Or Study in a Group
Study rooms can also be reserved for groups of students. It’s a great option if you’ve been assigned a group project and need a quiet, focused place to work. You might also want to look into reserving a study room before midterms and finals. Studying in a group setting can offer a more interactive and even fun way to learn.
Speaking of fun, did you know most college libraries have video viewing rooms? And given the wide variety of movies offered at most schools, it can be a fun way to spend a Friday night.
Use the Internet
You can also use the library to go online since most colleges have plenty of computers with high-speed internet connections. If all of the computers are occupied, just bring a laptop or tablet to take advantage of the free internet connection. You can use it to do some research or even log onto your favorite social media site.
Print and Make Copies
No what your major, you’re sure to have plenty of papers to print, whether its your mid-term research paper or a graph for your marketing class. All college libraries offer both printers and copiers for student use so if a printer isn’t something you brought along, there’s no need to worry.
There will be a small fee – most school’s allow you to add money to your student card for printer/copier use and some, depending on your major, may even allot you a certain about of starting cash. Check with your adviser or the library help desk for more information.
Attend a Special Event
A lot of college libraries offer special events such as talks, chats, readings and lectures. Take a look at your school’s daily bulletin or library events page to see what’s coming up – you might be surprised by the interesting guests your library hosts.
Taking in a special event at your college library can be both enlightening and entertaining and most are open to the public, which allows for more varied audience opinions and questions.
Many college libraries have a café where you can buy coffee, snacks and even meals. You can take a quick break to eat or load up on caffeine without ever leaving the building. At the very least, your college library likely has vending machines where you can get a refreshing drink during your study session.
If you have not yet spent much time at your college’s library, take a few trips there so you can give it a chance to impress you. I didn’t find out my college library rented out films until I was a senior — that’s three years of movies I never took advantage of!
Colleges spend a lot of money making sure their library is helpful to their students. Keep in mind that your tuition is helping to pay for all the resources and conveniences in your college library, so use them!