Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the British Council, Study UK & The GREAT campaign 's online course, Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second So libraries offer a great place for you to study. It’s a safe, staffed environment. Most libraries have long opening hours, at least in term time, with many open 24 hours a day. There are normally spaces where you can do group work. You can collaborate with friends and talking is encouraged. But of course, if you want to do the usual things of quiet or silent study, there are those areas too where there are individual desks available, often with their own power supply where you can take your laptop and work quietly. In addition to those group study areas, there are normally computers, printers, scanners, photocopiers available. Most libraries have a cafe as well.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds So you can do studying in the cafe or just take a break from your work.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds Everybody knows that libraries contain lots of books and you may borrow them from the library. But the libraries also provide access to online information such as e-books and electronic journals as well. And you can’t necessarily get hold of these items for free online. So it’s really important that you use the library to access this academic information. Librarians can help you find information in your subject area. And they will help you evaluate that information and make sure that is at the correct level for academic work at university. Study advisors will be able to give you help with things like essay planning, time management, note taking.

Skip to 1 minute and 44 seconds Support from library staff is available face to face at inquiry desks, in teaching sessions, there’s support that’s available online, such as through guides, which would include things like videos and screencasts. There’s also a support at the beginning of the academic year in the form of library induction sessions for new students and tours. And then there may be some subject specific help from library staff within your own department at a later stage.

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 seconds Most students will not have used the university library before. Perhaps they are used to having used a school library or the library in their hometown. And in most cases, the university libraries will be much bigger than those sorts of libraries. So it could be a bit daunting. But librarians will be able to help you find academic information which is at the right level for your studies and research.

Skip to 2 minutes and 52 seconds To sum up, my top tips are visit and use the library. It’s there to help you succeed at university and in your studies. Secondly, ask for help if you need it. Library staff are there and are happy to give you help and support. And thirdly, when conducting research, it often takes longer than you may think, particularly reading academic texts. And using the library and gaining support from the library staff will help you save time in the long run.

More than just a library

In this video, university librarian, Charlie Carpenter, talks about the library environment, the resources that are available, and the support libraries provide in helping you to develop digital literacy in an academic context.

If you’re unable to attend the library in person, you can contact your library help desk over email.

Now that you have read more about university libraries and watched this video, has your answer to the question below changed?

When studying independently, would you prefer to study in a university library, or somewhere else, such as your own room? Why?

Share your response in the comment area below.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK

British Council