On most college campuses, the library is the BEST place to get work done. Some people say that they don’t go to the library because they are distracted by friends, but I think there are many more reasons. Here are some tips to proper etiquette while studying and getting work done in libraries. I hope these tips can help you and your studious peers to have non-distracting library study sessions.
1. Be conscious of your music volume
Even in high-tech libraries, if you like listening to music while you work, make sure to keep the volume low. It may seem like the volume of your music is fine, but in fact, all headphones are not soundproof to the people next to you. This can be very distracting for others. In fact, many libraries have a “Chat the librarian” option, which allows students to express concerns on the library website—it would be embarrassing for the librarian to come tell you to quiet down your music!
2. Talking on the phone
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but a lot of people think that just answering your phone for a few seconds is okay. A lot of libraries now have cubbies meant for talking on cellphones! If your school doesn’t have these in the library, then you should step outside or into another talking area to make your phone call.
3. Turn your phone on silent
Even though vibrate can seem like an okay option for library phone use, it is still distracting.
4. Be careful what you eat
Most libraries allow you to bring food in because students obviously need to eat while studying, but make sure to be careful about what you bring. This might sound silly, but overly smelly or crunchy foods can be distracting to your studious neighbors. Try to bring something simple that won’t alert anyone else that you’re eating a snack.
5. Don’t talk unless necessary
A lot of people think that having a whispering conversation is better than talking in normal voices, but it is just as distracting.
6. Make sure not to fall asleep
This might seem like an odd one, but during midterm and final weeks, people tend to fall asleep at their study spaces! You don’t want to be caught snoozing in the library, so make sure to give yourself study breaks by taking walks, getting food, or even researching flights for your next vacation!
7. Taking off shoes
Again, this one probably seems a little weird. You might not even notice that you’re doing this one since you’re in the “zone” of studying, but the smell can be very distracting to others, even if it is just slight. Remember you’re in a public space, not a private hotel room!
8. Make sure to shower
Especially during midterm and final weeks, students can spend hours and hours in the library. Some might not even notice how long they are sitting there in the same seat. Since studying often causes stress and a faster heartbeat, you are more inclined to sweat. You should definitely put shower/study breaks in your schedule in order to keep up your hygiene while trying to get that A+.
Hopefully you’ve found these tips for students on good etiquette in the library helpful. It’s always important to remember that libraries are shared spaces, and if everyone takes some time to be considerate of those around them, it can create a fantastic working environment.