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The Laws of the Law Library

Student working in the library

Every university has a wonderful building filled with books and other resources for students. If you haven’t been to your university library for a while, make some time this semester to check out the various resources and services on offer to law students.

My university library has a ‘library commons’ area that is open 24 hours a day so students can access computers, printing and photocopying facilities, or a find a distraction-free place to study at any time of day. Although you don’t have access to the rest of the library resources, it’s still a great place to study at 2am… which I have (unfortunately) experienced for myself on several occasions.

If you have spent some time in the library you will know that law students do not like noise when they are trying to study. Any sound above a whisper (turning pages noisily, typing too loudly or eating too loudly) is normally met with a, “sssshhhhh!”

If you’d rather be able to talk through law assignments with friends, most university libraries also offer study rooms that you can book in advance. These rooms normally come with a computer, whiteboard and tables and chairs, and are a great space for group brainstorming on problem questions, presentations or practice exam questions, without bothering other people in the library.

The law library is the place we go to try and make sense of those mind-bending assignments or to speed through those seemingly never-ending readings, so I think it’s important to ‘play nice’ with your fellow law students – don’t ‘hide’ books in the library (yes, this happens), respect short loan books, don’t use library computers for Facebooking if there are no other computers free, and keep to express computer time limits, which are there to ensure that anyone can ‘run’ into the library and print out that last minute law assignment quickly.

But not everyone in the library is serious and stressed. There never seems to be enough power points in libraries or lecture theatres so I to help out my fellow law students, I used to carry a double adapter in my bag and actually made a couple of friends this way.

Always be respectful of those who are in the library to study: turn your phone on silent, take phone calls outside and don’t listen to music too loudly, even if you have your headphones on. You will one day be in the position of coming to the library to escape your noisy housemates and will want that peace and quiet.

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