Sometimes when you’re in a college library it begins to seem like people around you have never been in a library before. Depending on why you decide to visit your campus library, there are certain things you should always be aware of. Here are a few examples of college library etiquette you need to know.
1. Be Courteous
An obvious tip that many individuals seem to forget. A college library is usually a designated quiet area, so it is vital to follow this. Be mindful of how loud your music is when playing through your headphones because it could still be distracting those around you. The college library is supposed to be a place where you can focus and if you keep that in mind, chances are others will do the same.
2. Use Specific Study Spaces
Sometimes there are individual study cubicles in a college library. This is usually so one study can focus on their assignments/studies without distractions. If you are having a group meet up for a project in the library, do not use these cubicles. Your group members will leak into the aisle and chances are you will be a lot louder than when you work alone. Utilize individual study spaces designed for groups. Typically, you can book these spaces ahead of time and you can feel free to loudly discuss ideas together. These specific study spaces were created for a reason and you should use them when necessary!
3. Ask For Help
Even if you frequented the local library back home, chances are your college library is massive compared to it. In those rare moments when you can’t locate the materials you need, ask for help! You will spend less time shuffling in and out of sections and get to studying sooner. The librarian is there to help you and they would much rather answer a simple question instead of having someone wander aimlessly.
4. Share the Resources
Whether you are copying or printing, it is important to do so in the library within reason. If you have to photocopy 80 pages and the person behind you is desperately trying to print their assignment before class, consider letting them go first. You will definitely be in their shoes at some point and if you decide to hoard the resources, chances are it will backfire on you in the future. Remember that old sharing is caring saying and put it to use in the college library! This is one of the most important library etiquette tips!
5. No Noisy Food
As someone who requires a lot of snacking to get through the day, this is something you may not notice immediately. You figure granola bars are an acceptable form of food until you realize everyone at the table around you are listening to you crunching away. Do your best to only consume soft odorless snacks in the library and nothing other than water. You don’t want to have to deal with a sticky desk because you decided to have lemonade, and this will maintain a clean college library environment for everyone.
6. If It’s Too Crowded, Use An Alternative
When it comes to studying, the first place that comes to mind is your college library. During midterms and finals especially, the library is flooded with people trying to get everything together. If you notice that the college library is at capacity and you can’t focus, consider using an alternative study space. There are bound to be cafes, lounges, or outdoor spaces you can utilize without getting that claustrophobic feeling. This is very important when it comes to library etiquette.
The college library is a great place but be sure to keep these tips in mind! What are your library etiquette tips? Tell us in the comments!
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Rebecca was born in Hayward, CA and still resides there today. She received her BA in English Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is the first in her family to graduate from university. She is a Poetry student in the MFA program at Saint Mary’s College of California and is furthering her involvement in the literary community. In her spare time, she likes to lose her voice at Giants games, read Young Adult novels, make lists, and aims to cross become a writer off it.