- DO take breaks from reading, writing, researching etc.
You know the feeling. You’ve been in the library for three hours, reading through your Organizational Behavior textbook and taking meticulous notes. The words on the page are starting to make no sense, you had to go back and read the same paragraph four times, and you’re starting to feel like you might lose control and scream in the middle of the silent reading room. If this is happening to you, it’s time to take a break. When you’ve stopped being productive, there is no sense in forcing yourself to keep working. Get up and stretch, get a bite to eat, go for a walk down to the campus wetland, or what have you. Come back to your work when you’ve given yourself a decent break.
- DO ask for help if you need it.
The library circulation staff, technology consultants, and research librarians are here to assist you. If you need help locating a certain title or want to use a textbook for your class, come to the Circulation Desk. If you need help printing or logging on to the Wifi, go to the Tech desk, and if you need help with more complex research questions such as how to find scholarly articles or gain access to databases, see a reference librarian at the Reference Desk.
- DO find a space that works for you.
There are lots of places to study in the library, but some may be more suited to your needs than others. If you are looking for a place to spread out, maybe meet with a peer, eat your lunch, etc. and you don’t need complete silence, the first floor is your best bet. There are lots of tables scattered across the first floor that are great for working as an individual or as a group.
If you want your own space with a whiteboard, TV monitor, maybe even a computer to collaborate on a group project, you want to reserve one of our study rooms. You have to call dibs on these, and they fill up fast so if you know you will need to use one, you can reserve it up to two weeks in advance online.
Lastly, if you’re on your own and you just want a quiet place to read or study, the Quiet Study Room up on the third floor is where you should be. This is a cell-phone free, conversation free, completely silent zone. If you’re like me and can’t focus on a single thing when it’s noisy, go here.
- DON’T try to accomplish everything at once.
Whether you’re behind in your assigned readings, studying for an exam, or working on a project or essay, you can’t expect that your pile of work is going to pull a Houdini and disappear in one sitting. Set reasonable goals for yourself during your study session. Prioritize and then pick one, again ONE, task to complete. If you start out thinking you’re going to get everything done at once a) you’ll end up over-working yourself or b) you’ll get nothing done because you’ll be too worried about everything that you have to get done and you’ll drive yourself crazy. So, be logical and pick one thing to accomplish, then move on to the next thing.
- DON’T allow yourself to be distracted.
Speaking of accomplishments, nothing gets in the way of getting work done like those pesky distractions. For example, out of nowhere you have a craving for a taco, your phone is buzzing from people liking your Facebook post, or you can’t help eavesdropping on the people next to you who are talking about the Breaking Bad finale from a year ago. Whatever it may be, don’t allow yourself to be distracted when you’re supposed to be working. If you need to, move to a quieter place where you can focus.
- DON’T assume. It’s dangerous
Here in the library, we have an abundance of resources for our students to use. One of them are Reserve items. Teachers can choose to put required readings and videos on reserve for their classes. Media Reserves and Closed Reserve are kept behind the front desk, and Open Reserves are straight ahead when you come into the library. These items are restricted access, meaning they are for 4 hour, 24 hour or 72 hour check-out and they are first come first serve. So, if you need to use a textbook or DVD for a study session in the library, just be aware that the item you need is not guaranteed to be there. Reserve items have shorter check out because of their high demand. Come check with us at the front desk if you need to use a reserve item and we can help you locate it.
Now go on, get out there and study.