Okay, geek-confession time: I am absolutely in love with the University of Leicester’s library.
As an English Literature student, I know that that is an incredible cliché statement, and could I be any more stereotypical? But it is utterly true. I’ll admit now that I’m not entirely the kind of English student who easily whizzes through a book a day – I’ve only finished about three books between June and September. Gasp, shock, horror, among most literature lovers.
But, despite that, I am honestly ecstatic by the thought of returning to the library, when lectures start up again, and here’s why.
I think this is what blew my mind most, when I first took out a book from the library: the technology within the building is astoundingly modern. Everything is done using machines, and it’s exactly what technology should be: efficient, simple and fast. You enter the library using your Student ID card on the barrier, similar to oyster cards at the Tube. When you’ve found the books that you want to check out, you simply head to the self-service check-out machine – self-service! – where it scans the barcode on the spine of the book, and it immediately knows which book it is. Then, once you’ve finished, all the books will have been checked out on the system to your Student ID, and you can then easily see when the books are due, online! But my favourite aspect of the technology is when you return the books – thee machine scans the book spines again and, using a conveyor belt, the book goes into a hole in the wall to be sorted and replaced on the shelf! Maybe I’m a little bit of a technological hermit, but the library seemed to innovative to me that I couldn’t wait to check out books!
The library’s organisational system is beautifully easy to understand. It has its own website and database, where you can search for books, browse them and look at different categories. When you’ve found a book, the website tells you how many copies are available, how many copies are currently in the library, and what floor and shelf you can find the book on. This will help you to quickly find the books that you are looking for, and avoid any wasted journeys. In addition to this, the website also had thousands of online resources, such as journals, pdfs, articles and much more, so a lot of the time you can access sources from the comfort of your room! This became a game-changer for me, when it came to collecting research.
Compared to my local library in London, the vast array of books on thousands of topics was incredible. However niche the category, there is guaranteed to be a selection of books about it, in the library. There are four floors of books within the building, including the basement. On this floor, the books unfortunately cannot be checked out, but this is because they are delicate and rare. Older manuscripts can be found down there, dating back to earlier periods, and these can be extremely useful for assignments.
But there are so many other things that I love about the library, which are entirely separate to the books themselves! Therefore, I will be continuing this post in a Part Two next week, focusing on the extra features of the University of Leicester library. I hope you’ll join me!
Does the library sound as cool as I imply? Are you looking forward to using it? Please leave a comment down below!