When you hear the word ‘library’, what do you think of? I bet the first thing you thought of was books? And then maybe, computers?
Don’t worry if you did, it’s not a bad thing and you are 100% right, both of those things are associated with libraries and ARU has both in theirs too. But the library at ARU offers so much more so I wanted to just let you know what else they have to offer.
During semester dates, the library in Chelmsford is open 24 hours a day, four days per week. So if, like me, you work better between the hours of 10pm–2am, the library is there for you to use. I have a family at home so I cannot use the library at these times but I would do if I could! However, saying this, the staff at the library are not there 24 hours so please don’t expect to be able to chat to someone at 3am, but you can, of course, access the facilities at this time.
The library has a computer suite on the second level and there are also computers available on all other levels too. I have been at ARU for two years now and I have never struggled to find a computer to work on.
The range of books at ARU is incredible and should you be worried about finding what you need, there is always a member of staff around to ask (within the staffed hours). The book stock is strong and there is an option to request a book that is out on loan if there are no more available. You are put on a waiting list and emailed when the book is returned. The library has access to various journals and reference books, newspapers and eBooks. There are video resources and databases to access as well.
In addition to books, the library also boasts an array of study rooms and study pods. I use these a lot. In my course, you will be expected to participate in some group work so these rooms and pods are ideal for you all to get together and work. They have computers in too. You can book a librarian to work with or if you need help with your computer, you can book an IT adviser too!
The library also runs various workshops and on their website they have lots of tools and advice that you can access, for example, how to reference correctly (because you will need to learn this!) skills guides, help sheets and tutorials. So even if you cannot make it to campus, there will be help available via the website. And they even have a live chat option.
As you can see, the library at ARU has so much to offer, aside from the books. So when you get a chance, be sure to check it out – I spend a lot of my time in there but that is only because the staff are so wonderfully helpful that it seems silly to struggle at home when I can work surrounded by friends and help.