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
- Movies and DVDs
- Newspapers from all over the United States and the world
- Periodicals (e.g., magazines, newsletters, etc.)
- Government documents (e.g., U.S. Census information)
- Access to other libraries’ resources 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. First, discover 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. Search for key areas such as: the entrances, places to study, the restrooms, the computer labs, classrooms, photocopiers, and printers. Some libraries allow students to use study rooms. Check with the main desk or online to see if this is available at your college.
- 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.
- 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.
Librarians as a Resource
- Ask your librarians 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.
- If you are assigned a research assignment, go to the library and ask your librarians for help finding reliable research materials. Librarians will be able to point you in the right direction and show you where to start looking.
- At some colleges, students are able to schedule one-on-one meetings with librarians to help with bibliographies and citations. Check with your library to see if they offer this support.
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.