Library Information: How To Navigate Libraries

For students: how to succeed studying in the library, which may be the ticket to earning a good education. Tips for acquainting yourself.

Being educated is not about knowing all the answers. Instead, it is knowing how and where to find the answers. For students, the library may very well be their best friend and their ticket to earning a good education.

Whether you're a grade school, high school or college student, the library is one indispensable resource for you. So how do you begin acquainting yourself with your school library and utilizing it to its maximum potential? Here are tips:

TAKE CASUAL AISLE STROLLS. The first step is for you to actually get your foot inside the library door. Take a casual stroll around the place, just like how you would take a stroll in a park. Familiarize yourself with the library's layout. Where is the check-out counter? Where are the card catalogues? Where is the reference section? Where are the periodicals? Where is the computer area? How are the sections and shelves arranged? Get acquainted with the general look and feel of your library.

LEARN HOW TO FIND THE BOOKS YOU WANT. After you have familiarized yourself with the library's layout, how to find the books you need is the next step. You can do this two ways -- by looking up the book using the card catalogue, or by using the library computer and doing an information search. Your key to finding the book you need is in its call number. The call number will tell you where on the library shelves the book you need is located. Because you're already familiar with the library shelves, thanks to the library stroll you did beforehand, you'll easily find the book you need when you go through the shelves.

GET TO KNOW THE REFERENCE SECTION. Every student must realize that the most valuable section in the library is the reference section. Yes, it's not the section where you can borrow books and take them home, but the reference section, where you can find basically everything under the sun. Kept in this section are the dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, yearbooks, almanacs and atlases. It is a good and helpful idea to spend your time exploring the books in this section. They will certainly come in handy when you are writing a paper, a thesis or a dissertation.

TALK TO YOUR LIBRARIAN. The only person who will be able to help you find your way around the library and find the information you need in a specific periodical, book or journal is the librarian. His or her duty is to help students sort through hundreds of materials and information so do not hesitate to approach your librarian and ask for help.

BE A FREQUENT BROWSER. Familiarity and repetition is the key to mastering and knowing anything. So visit your library as often as you can, go over shelves, look up books, talk to your library and get to know everything you can about your library and the thousands of books housed there. Remember that they hold the answers throughout your stay in school. Knowing where and how to look for these answers within the library walls depend greatly on how well you know your library!

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