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Why the library is your best friend and worst enemy

source // giphy

Any university student worth their salt has a relationship with the university library - albeit it may be a tumultuous one. There are times where it's your best friend and times where it's your worst enemy.

Worst Enemy

source // giphy

The Crowds

You arrive at uni, coffee and textbooks in hand, mentally prepared for a full day of study only to find that there isn't a single space left. Exam periods often pack uni libraries to capacity. This is terrible any way you slice it. Either it's packed so you can't get a seat, packed with your friends stressing out about the exam and passing that stress on to you - the last thing you need.

Hot tip: Try your local council's library instead.

The Power Struggle

Thousands of dollars in university fees paid, millions of dollars in profit, and unis still can't put in enough power outlets for library visitors on a busy day. For those of us spending a full day at the library - or even half - charging of one device or another at some point during the day is a must. Some of us have the good sense to pack a portable charger. Some.

Even if there is a free outlet, it's probably between two rows of shelves, no seat in sight and you'll find yourself relocating to the floor until your battery is ready to go again.

The Tyrannical Food & Drink Policies

The average law student is surviving on about 4 hours’ sleep, several 7/11 coffees and the sustenance of a red-cordial feuled 5-year-old. It is imperative to keep up this supply but most libraries ban food and drink. Prepare for all that energy and ideas to drain as quickly as that last coffee wears off.

Best Friend

source // giphy

Free internet! Free movies! Free books!

Well, free if you don't count the thousands in cash or HECS debt you're paying just to be at uni. The library is full of free resources. And plenty that are dedicated to your area of study. Use them! Whether it's databases, books (yes - real, physical books), journals, newspaper and magazine archives, university libraries have the answers to any question you (or your sadistic subject coordinator) have the audacity to ask.

But let's face it, your academic goals aren't the only thing you're pursuing in the library. Sometimes your goal of wasting the whole day procrastinating takes centre stage. For days like that, check the library for DVDs or databases giving you access to movies online.

Hot tip: Don't be that person who doesn't use headphones.

Librarians = Lifeline

Can't find a relevant case? Don't know how to find a specific book? STRESSED?

The librarians are the answer to your prayers. 9 times out of 10 they can point you in the right direction and help you find a resource that will push your grade up. They might seem scary but more often than not they will devote themselves to helping you because it's their job.

Other People

You read that right: other people. As in other people in the library. There are plenty of motivated law students holed up in every corner of university libraries. They're there for the same reason you are: they want to do well. So team up with them!

We're not saying you should accost innocent library visitors. Rather, if you see any of your friends or students from your classes, take the time to say hi and discuss coursework and assignments with them. Chances are they are equally stumped on that tutorial question/can't find the slides/don't know how to approach the exam.

Peace & Quiet

As trendy as it is now for libraries to be so much more than study holes for us nerd-moles, we shouldn't forget that that's their primary purpose. Some students need white noise while they study, some need absolute silence. Libraries are generally set up to accommodate both so you should figure out which suits you best and pick a spot for the day.

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