Library habits die hard

I believe I’m a pretty typical student at Monash University. I do a double degree of Business (majoring in marketing) and Arts (majoring in media and communications). I spend way too much time surfing the web and my recent shared household Netflix account has not helped the situation. My parents can provide a testament to the correlation between the increased internet usage bills and exam time as my procrastination tends to reach an all-time high. Therefore I often retreat to the Caulfield or Matheson Library to cut off access to Rachelle Tessie Rechtman

“Swot Vac is probably my favourite time to be in the library” – said no one ever. I believe a large proportion of what puts people off from going to the library is the knowledge that if you go past 12noon you will not be able to find a seat.

To me the library provides a place of solitude where I can go to concentrate and separate my home and uni life. I like studying in the library better because I am not surrounded by so many distractions and the sight of other hard working students reminds me that I should be working just as hard.

What I do in the library

The obvious answer to this question is study. Thinking about this more, I realise there are quite a few things that I do in the library that make up my study as a whole. First of all, I really like going to the library with a friend. I don’t go to the library with the intent of socialising because there are so many other places to socialise I am not sure why anyone would pick the library. It’s more about having someone to motivate me when I get distracted. Friends are also awesome to complain to about how much work you have to do and how you are going to fail the exam.

I do also like to eat while I study. It’s probably a really bad habit when I think about it. I often break the library's rule and bring in hot food during lunch time. I understand why the rule is in place because I hate studying at a dirty desk. However I draw the line at messy and smelly food. Of course coffee/Red Bull is a must and I can’t even imagine a library without caffeine.

Sometimes I even go to the library to get books, crazy I know. I usually borrow textbooks as I don’t see the point in buying $100 books for 12 weeks at uni.

I probably wouldn’t go to the library with the intent of listening to an online lecture. If I had time between classes I would go to the library to listen to one, but otherwise online lectures are made to listen to at home.

Where I like to sit

I personally cannot stand noise when I study, I don’t listen to my iPod and I hate people talking. Therefore my favourite places to sit in the Caulfield Library would be the third set of stairs up in the quiet area amongst the books. It is a really nice area and if you want to get up and get a book you are right there. I often will try and get to the library early to ensure I get a prime seat.

I don’t particularly have a favourite nook in the Matheson but I always head to the first level in the morning which I quite like. I don’t mind if I’m in a group area of the library and people are talking quietly about work, however if people are there just eating and socialising it’s really annoying because it makes me jealous that I’m not doing that.

Thanks to everyone who has read this article and I hope others can relate to my experiences in the library and aren’t getting too stressed over exams. Have you ever broken any library etiquette?  What do you think of people talking or eating in the library? Would love to hear your thoughts and maybe see you around the library during Swot Vac.

Image: Matt P. under CC 2.0 licence

Rachelle Tessie Rechtman is one of the students we asked to write an article for the Library blog that focuses on their exam strategies and tips. We publish articles providing information and professional advice from our learning skills advisers and librarians but we thought we'd hear from students, too. We want to know what works for them, particularly at this critical time when students need to make the grade.  

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