As my wonderful partner, Hazel O’Byrne covered all the great facilities and resources that are available in the library for UCD students in her first blog post, I decided to tell you about my own personal experience with the James Joyce Library. I’m only in first year and it’s already been an emotional roller-coaster… I’m not going to lie, I started off the year hating the library and I still complain about having to go, simply because I actually have to do work there. However, I’ve grown to appreciate the place and I’m very grateful that we have such a fantastic library.
At first I was terrified of going to the library to study. There are so many people and it is so quiet. I found the place extremely intimidating. I tried to avoid going to the library, however, I had to get over my fear as I could never get any work done in Merville. I have the attention span of a goldfish and I love my roommates, but we are each other’s biggest distractions. That’s what’s great about the library. Yes, it has great resources and facilities but for me it’s a space where I can come and spend a few intense hours getting work done without the distractions of Netflix or food or just my extremely entertaining roommates. It’s a place where I can come to get something done with people around me who look so motivated that it encourages me to muster up some of that same motivation.
I think that the library is one of the best places to do your work, not for the peace and quiet or the abundance of books and facilities but for the people around you. When you’re buried in a mountain of assignments you can sometimes feel like you’re the only one who’s worried about failing out of college. However, when you go to the library it’s nice to see it packed with students who look just as stressed as you (no offense). It’s reassuring to see that you’re not on your own and we feel like we’re all in this together. Then again the library isn’t always the friendliest place, I think we’ve all gotten a few dirty looks when you’ve coughed just a few too many times around the exam period. But for the majority of the time the library is a great place where your neighbour will lend you a pen if you’ve forgotten yours or where we all share a smile when a video starts playing on that poor soul’s laptop.
My first book hunt in the library did not go well at all. I had my first college history essay to do so I journeyed down to the library in search of some sources. I thought this would be easy, follow the signs I said, be grand I said. If only it had gone so smoothly. I wandered around the 2nd floor of the library looking for the history section for longer than I’d like to admit. When I did find the books I became so overwhelmed with the amount of reading in front of me I may have went into shock. I then spent the guts of an hour going through rows and rows of books, trying to find something suitable. When I had found a sufficient amount of books I realised that I had no idea where I was. Yes, I got lost in the library.. Don’t judge me I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed.. Anyway after walking in circles for about five minutes I finally found my bearings. Now at this stage I was quite flustered and pretty embarrassed about how long it had taken me to track down three books. But of course my embarrassment still was not complete. I proceeded to the self-service machines in the hope of making my escape, but unfortunately my getaway was hindered when I could not figure out how to scan the books. I fiddled around with the machine until finally I give up and went to the reception desk. (By the way, if you’re as silly as me and can’t manage those machines of trickery, the lovely receptionists will check the books out for you.) Anyway that was my traumatic library experience, it all went uphill from there I swear.
In other news, I recently learned how to use the self-service machines when one of the librarians watched in concern as I scanned and re-scanned the books only to come over and ask me did I want a hand. He was my saviour and I am eternally grateful. I am now proud to say I can use the self-service!
Now I don’t mean to scare people off the library, in fact, I want to do the opposite. I simply share this story in the hopes that others do not make the same mistakes as me. Moral of the story, do the library tour!
UCD Student Digital Ambassador 2016