Library tips to students from Allison Carr.

Briana Osuna, Features Editor

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What is your position?

My position is the Academic Transitions Librarian, and the librarian for Communication & Mass Media, Political Science and Global Studies. Most of my work focuses on the needs of first year students and transfer students, but I’ll help anyone who asks.

Why do you encourage students to visit the library?

Think of the library as a learning lab. Just as you might have an extra lab course for chemistry, the library can be your lab for any learning you do outside of your classroom. It’s a great place not only to study, but to learn more about things you’ve always been curious about. Plus, you have the added benefit of being able to ask questions from many different kinds of knowledgeable people.

What resources are available for students? What is offered?

The best resource in the library are the people who work there. Librarians can do much more than students realize. In addition to helping you find sources for your assignments, and can help you understand your research assignment, talk you through topic selection and development, help you understand the vast nature of information and much more.

Why is the library a good place to study?

We have a lot of great spaces in the library for individuals, quiet study and active workspace for groups. In addition, we have study rooms that you can reserve ahead of time. It also makes it easier to get help from a librarian when you are in the library, even though you can also contact a librarian through email and chat.


Do you have any tips for students when it comes to studying?

Always put your devices away. It’s so tempting to have them out next to you, but that makes it hard to keep your focus when they’re around. Instead, plan to study in 20-30 minute chunks with a few minutes as a break in between. That way you have time to check for messages, but still get the focused time you need to study.


Any advice for students who might be nervous or hesitant to ask for help?

The librarians know how hard it can be to ask a question, so we take care to make sure that students feel comfortable and safe to ask questions. Please tell us if you are nervous about working with us, and we’ll do what we can to set you at ease.  As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said in her book, Americanah, “If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway.”


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