Libraries hold a special place in my heart. I was asked to prom in one my junior year (cuter than it sounds), hung out in one all of the time throughout high school (cooler than it sounds) and found out that I was accepted to go on America’s Next Top Model in one (just as awesome as it sounds, if it were only true).
But for most people, libraries are dungeons, places that keep them captive during midterms, finals and group project weeks. I think the reason why libraries have such a bad stigma in most students’ minds is because they don’t know how to be a certified proud citizen of the library correctly. For your official membership card, remember:
- Don’t sleep in the library: The library is meant for studying, just as your bed is meant for sleeping. If you merge the two, your brain will not only get confused, but both your studying and your sleeping will be less productive. Sorry roomie, love you, but don’t be that girl.
- Refrain from sitting near a dancing man: Yes, I admit it would be great to be an ‘extra’ in the YouTube hit sensation, Club McKeldin; however, if you are sitting anywhere near this type of guy, there is no way that you’ll get anything done. I’m all for dance parties, but unless you’re studying for Intro to Interpretive Dance, I’d sit this one out.
- Make studying fun: Studying with friends from different majors can take the pressure off of you and even create a fun atmosphere. While I was taking a break from studying one day, I helped my friend draw intricate engineering problems on the white board filled with trucks and springs. Suffice to say, my drawing made for the happiest problem he had ever had to solve (there was a waving man in the window of the truck).
- Loiter: I know this is not technically legal advice, but getting the group study rooms in the library can be harder than waking up the morning after Cinco de Mayo. So I suggest having your group of friends take turns with bathroom breaks, meals, sleep, etc. If there is always one of you in the room, there is no way that that crazy girl with the weird sweaters from calc is going to steal your space.
- Get there early: Although it is hard for you to wake up in the morning, you have to realize that this means that it is hard for everybody else to wake up in the morning too. That means that you can get to the library before everyone else and claim your favorite space.
- Mark your territory: A team member at PwC told me a story about another person who taped a photo with a fake celebrity signature to a specific cubicle to attempt to claim his space in the office’s ‘hoteling’ system. Nobody ever sat at this workspace until the photo mysteriously disappeared. So it might be worth bringing a great photo of mom and dad, your dog, or that picture of you with the president to post on your favorite desk in the library. Who knows, maybe they’ll stand your ground for you.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be ready for library success in no time. Or at least in time for finals.
(Photo at http://www.flickr.com/photos/somethingstartedcrazyy/1425891112/lightbox/)