A lot of people believe that with the Internet pervading every nook and cranny of our lives the need in traditional libraries becomes less and less apparent; why waste your time going somewhere, looking for a physical book and copying information from it if you can get all the data you need without ever leaving your workplace? In reality, however, libraries are still an important part of our lives, especially when at college. And as you are going to use them anyway, you should take note of how to do it right.
1. Learn What Your Library Has to Offer
If it’s been a while since you’ve last been to a library, then you are probably in for a surprise. There may be differences according to your location, but over the last decade or so your average library turned from a place you went to borrow a book into a kind of multimedia center actively embracing new technologies. CDs and DVDs with video and audio recordings, maps, Internet access, seminars on various subjects, targeted reading groups – these are just a drop in an ocean of new possibilities waiting for you.
2. Use Electronic Catalogues to the Fullest
Most modern libraries are equipped with electronic catalogues which make looking for the book you need so much easier. In addition to that, in more developed countries libraries often give you an opportunity of inter-library borrowing – which means that even if the book in question is not available here you may order it from another library. Failing that, you can always access the necessary book in electronic form.
3. Always Keep Track of What You’ve Borrowed
You should take into account that overdue fees have grown quite dramatically over the last ten or so years. If you borrow multiple items and fail to return them on time it may cost you a pretty penny – so try to avoid doing it and learn how to get extensions. If there is an option to check your account online, use it – thus you will always get up-to-date information.
4. Keep Your Library Card Safe
You take responsibility for everything that is attached to your library card even if you lose it and someone else uses it to borrow some items from your library. The best strategy here is to avoid losing it, of course, but if you do, you should immediately notify the library so that the card can be deactivated.
5. Use the Internet
Vast majority of public libraries offer Internet connection in this or that form, sometimes free of charge (at least for certain periods of time), sometimes paid by time slots – ask a librarian in your local library if you want to know more. College libraries grant their students free Internet access, too.
These simple tips can make your next trip to the library a much more interesting and useful experience – don’t be afraid to ask around for additional details if you are unclear on any particulars.