Your local library is a wealth of knowledge for any subject; you should never underestimate how useful they can be to get the most out of your course. As a distance learner, your self-direction and natural curiosity for knowledge are your greatest strengths, and they are ideally suited for a library environment.
Here’s our list of the best ways that you can use your library to supercharge your learning:
Libraries have books (and lots of them!)
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that a vast amount of information is stored within the walls of the library. Don’t be afraid of trying to look for books on specific areas in which you’re interested. You may have to do some searching, but remember … the index is your friend! I have saved countless hours of reading by checking the index to find these nuggets of thought. This is useful if you’re tight for time or need to digest lots of text in a short time.
If you’re doing one of our dissertation modules, then your research is just as important as your writing, delve deep into your field using these resources. Some universities also sell membership to their library if you would like access to these texts.
They make great spaces to work
If you’re looking for an excellent place to sit down and get some work done, then look no further than your library. They have plenty of quiet space where you can focus on coursework, research and learning. Many of them even have a coffee shop for those well-deserved work breaks!
It can be very good for your productivity to be in a space where you and other people are getting on with work. There is a feeling of mutual concentration that makes it much easier to focus.
They are a hub for creativity and big thinking
Libraries are a haven for the arts. Our local library in Canterbury houses The Beaney, an extraordinary gallery of art and curiosities. It’s lovely to take a break there and take a stroll through some quite stunning artwork (including one massive painting of a cow!)
Creative thinking is vital to be a good learner. Regardless of what area you are studying, you can use artwork to let your brain change gears and let your creative instincts run wild. This will help you come back to your work refreshed and ready for the next challenge. Use your library’s more eclectic resources as inspiration for your work.
Here is a database of the public libraries in the UK, give it a look and tell us about your local library in the comments. Happy reading!