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How to make the most of your school library

Your school library isn’t just somewhere you go when it’s raining outside; it’s actually a hub for research and learning, a safe, welcoming meeting space and full of heaps of cool resources.

If you’ve never explored the possibilities your school library has to offer, we’re here to help you make the most of your library and set yourself up for study success.

Explore the resources

Your school library is more than just shelves of books. It’s got loads of useful resources, including:

Books and eBooks

Books are definitely the first thing people associate with libraries, so of course your library will be full of books on every subject imaginable. Don’t limit yourself to textbooks – read novels, biographies, and non-fiction books to broaden your knowledge and perspectives.

Lots of libraries also now offer eBooks that you can access from your computer or tablet – perfect for studying on the go.

Databases and Journals

Libraries usually subscribe to heaps of different databases and academic journals. These are great for doing in-depth research and finding credible sources for your assignments.

Ask your librarian for a tutorial on how to access and use these databases effectively.

Study spaces

Most school libraries offer quiet study areas, group study rooms, and comfortable seating where you can focus on your work.

It’s always nice to get away from the hustle and bustle, so take advantage of these spaces to create a study environment free from distractions.

Multimedia resources

Heaps of libraries also often provide different DVDs and audiobooks you can borrow, or have online learning platforms and educational videos.

If you learn better with visual and auditory stimulation, using the multimedia resources at the library could be really helpful for your study.

Study and research tips

Ask the librarian

Your librarian is there for a reason. They’re a goldmine of knowledge who can help you find the best resources, suggest research strategies, and teach you how to use library tools effectively.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help – they’re there to support your learning journey.

Make a research plan

Before diving into your research, create a plan. Define your topic, identify keywords, and outline the steps you need to take. This will help you stay organised and focused, ensuring you make the most of your time in the library.

This research plan template lets you split up your keywords and synonyms you’ll need so you can have a broader search point to start with.

Take good notes

When researching, take detailed notes. Highlight key points, summarise information in your own words, and record the sources you use. And if you’re more of a visual learner, why not try alternative note-taking methods like sketchnoting?

Either way, taking good notes will make it easier to reference and put together your findings when writing essays or preparing for exams.

Use technology

Use apps and tools to keep track of your research. Digital note-taking apps, citation tools, and time management apps can help you stay organised and efficient.

Another great thing about libraries? Lots of libraries also offer access to these tools for free, or can teach you how to use them.

Maximise your study time

If you know how to maximise your study time, you’re well on your way to making the most out of your school library. There are a few things you can do to make your time spent studying really count.

Set goals

When you visit the library, set clear, achievable goals for each session. Whether it’s finishing a chapter, finding sources for an essay, or revising for an exam, having specific objectives will help you be more focused and productive.

Take breaks

Studying for long periods can be exhausting, so make sure to take regular breaks to rest and recharge. Use your break time to grab a snack, stretch, or take a short walk. Staying energised will help you maintain your concentration and absorb information better.

The Pomodoro method is based on taking regular breaks, and a great time management hack if you’re looking to maximise your study time.

Form study groups

Studying with peers can be incredibly beneficial, so think about forming study groups with your friends or classmates to discuss topics, quiz each other, and share resources.

Group study sessions can make learning more interactive and enjoyable, and they don’t need to be in-person – virtual study groups are becoming more and more popular these days.

Reflect on progress

After each study session, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve achieved. It’s important to celebrate your successes and identify areas for improvement so you stay motivated and continuously improve your study habits.

Make the library a habit

Incorporate regular library visits into your study routine. Whether it’s a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly trip, making the library a consistent part of your schedule will help you develop good study habits and make the most of the resources available to you.

You don’t just have to study at the library either – it’s a great place to read and unwind too.

Want more?

For more tips on effective studying and making the most of your educational resources, explore our other blogs right here.


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