Once you have enrolled in college, it’s a good idea to get to know your college library. Most college students use the library for more than just checking out books. Most libraries have:
- fiction and nonfiction books
- newspapers from all over the United States and the world
- periodicals (magazines, newsletters, etc.)
- government documents (such as U.S. Census information)
- access to other libraries and online databases via the internet.
Tips for Getting to Know the Library
- Find the campus library. If your school is very large, you may have more than one library. Find the main campus library.
- Once inside, ask the librarian if they offer a tour of the library. If so, sign up for it.
- Ask the librarian if there is a map of the library sections. Sometimes it’s a large sign in the main lobby area.
- Walk through the library. You should search for key areas such as: the entrances, places to study, the restrooms, the computer labs, classrooms, photocopiers, and printers.
- Make a note of how much it will cost to print out a page or make a photocopy. Some schools charge a small fee and other schools provide the service for free.
- Ask if they offer training on how to use the library’s electronic databases. These are special collections of information on particular topics, such as literature, science, and business, as well as stories printed in magazines and newspapers. You may need to do research using these databases for some of your classes.
- If you know which textbooks you’ll need for your classes, you might want to see if the library has them. Borrowing your textbooks from the library is a good way to save money. Just make sure you renew the books before they expire so that you don’t have to pay a late fee.
Are you a member of your local neighborhood library? The local libraries function very similarly to college libraries and you can access a wide variety of publications by being a member. The membership to the neighborhood libraries is usually free.