I spend more time throughout the semester at my school’s library than I do at my desk at home. There’s something about being surrounded by books and the ambiance of a library that really gets me motivated to study. Which is how, over the last few semesters, I’ve perfected a study routine, found the best desk and learned what essentials I need to have with me for a productive study session.
If you want your choice of seat or desk, you need to get in early. I’ve found that with most libraries things start getting busy at mid-morning, so if you don’t want to stalk someone to find an empty seat consider going to the library before class instead of after!
Avoid studying near the amenities. If you’re easily distracted by people you’ll want to avoid sitting near the toilets, printers, stairwells and vending machines. These are all high traffic areas that attract a lot of people and noise.
Learn how to book study booth/room. Not only handy for group assignments but when exams are looming and the library gets busier, it’s nice to have a booth booked for your own use and when you want to use it.
Don’t rely on the library having copies of books in peak times. Even though it can be a pain, take your own copy of your textbook. This way you won’t get there, find the only copy left has been borrowed and you’re left unable to study at all!
Always bring a jacket. My school’s library is always freezing. I’m almost certain the thermostat in the place is broken and the air conditioning is just permanently stuck on full blast, even in the middle of winter.
Know how your library works. My school’s library, like many others, is split over a few floors and each has a designated appropriate noise level. If I have a lot of work to do, I’ll go to a silent floor but if I’m meeting with friends I’ll go to the floor with no noise restriction. Knowing how your library works and how you study best means you can assess what will work best for you.
An obvious study essential but a necessity none the less. Remember staying hydrated is super important for your brain and body and if you’re a caffeine addict, you’ll dehydrate faster, so make sure you compensate by drinking lots of water!
Notebook & Pen
Maybe another obvious essential but even if you are planning on using your laptop/iPad, it’s always nice to have a pen and notebook around to scribble down quick notes, to-do lists or reminders.
I never go to the library without both my phone and laptop charger. There’s nothing that kills productivity than a dead laptop battery!
I always bring my own snacks to the library. Firstly because it’s cheaper, easier and I don’t have to leave my desk to feed myself and secondly, I find leaving my desk to actually get food means that I get distracted and subsequently become less productive.
There’s nothing more annoying than constantly having your hair in your face while you’re trying to study. Make sure you keep a hair tie or headband handy to keep your hair out of your face and distractions limited.
Student ID/Print card.
It’s always important to carry your student ID card with you but if you need it to print, it’s also important to bring it with you to the library, even if you don’t think you’ll use it. There are often times I didn’t think I’d print something, only to find that I understood the notes better when they were printed.
Less of an essential but always handy! If you’ve run of out snacks, need a coffee boost or you need to make a quick stop to the campus bookstore for a replacement pen, headphones or paper, you’re going to need a few dollars to get you out of a sticky situation.
I study best with white noise, others work best with classical music and some study best in silence. Whatever the case is, you’ll probably need headphones when studying at the library to help you stay productive and get work done.
There you go, those are the things that get me through a tough study session at the library! Let me know what your tips for navigating a busy library are or what your library study session essentials in the comments below!