So, unsurprisingly, I’m pretty fond of the library, because I love the books, the system and the process. But that’s not the only reason: in this Part Two of my blog post, I’m going to emphasise the additional features of the University of Leicester’s library. With only a week now until the start date, I think these features will come in handy for a lot of you, perhaps sooner than you think!
The library is extremely useful for studying, and it’s the main, go-to place for group projects. The library has several large study rooms, to allow you to privately work at whatever volume you want: glass-windowed areas with a big work table, always being beautifully presented, and up to 12 people can be in a room at one time. In order to ensure that the rooms are fairly distributed, you can book a 1-hour time-slot for the room online, meaning that you will have ultimate priority over the room. The walls are well-soundproofed, so you can discuss your project as loudly as you want, and repeat scripts as many times as you want (It can get a little embarrassing, inadvertently performing to the whole library floor)! There is a downside, however – a lot of people often want to access the rooms, so it can be tough to book your desired slot. But, overall, these study rooms are so helpful, and they are a lifesaver when you’re panicking about your presentation, the night before your group is due to speak.
I find ‘library silence’ awkwardly uncomfortable, and I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one. Back at school, my library was four floors up – I was panting by the time I got up there, and then the whole place was pin-drop silent. In trying to breathe quietly, ultimately sounding like I was hyperventilating, it’s left me with a hatred for silent libraries. Luckily for me – and maybe others – this library has certain areas on different floors, where you can either talk at low-level volumes, or work in silence. This means that you can choose complete concentration, or background noise if that’s what you prefer, or if you need to confer with other people. The noise level of each area is well marked out and clear, so you shouldn’t accidentally end up in a silent area when you don’t want to! This separation is really useful if the study rooms are fully booked and you need to work as a group, as there are plenty more spaces to go to. Although, be warned: during exam season, the whole place is filled to the brim with people.
If you need to work digitally in the library, there are so many features which are designed to assist. The whole building has excellent, state-of-the-art high-speed Wi-Fi, which you can easily log into on your devices. Also, on each floor there is a computer room with huge PCs that you can log into, with all the main applications installed, such as Word or Outlook. But it wasn’t until later in my first year that I learnt about another technological feature of the library: rentable, free laptops! On the lower floor, near the Help Section, there is a metal cabinet with tons of laptops locked inside. Using your Student ID card, you can unlock one of the laptops from the case and use it in the library! Like the PCs, the laptops have predownloaded programmes, which means that you can quickly get on with your work, without any problems. They are really, really helpful if you’re working on an assignment and you’ve accidentally left your equipment at home – even these can be charged in the library, due to lots of plug sockets in the silent areas, for your use!
I hope that these two blog posts have gotten you excited for the prospect of using the library, for your lectures, seminars and assignments! I can’t wait to get back and be in awe of the check-in book service again.