Five reasons to visit your college library!

Feeling overwhelmed at college? It may be time to visit the campus library! Bluffton University’s library director provides some suggestions for utilizing your college library and getting the most out of this valuable campus resource!

“I think of libraries as the perfect third place. Students spend so much time in either their residence hall or the classroom, and libraries are a place you can go to just get away,” said Carrie Phillips, director of Musselman Library at Bluffton University. “At a library, you are right next to the resources you need to be successful—whether it’s books and technology, internet access on a device you brought with you, or even the people who are there to help you.”

Here are five ways to use the college library as a “third place” on your own campus!

As a place to study alone

Some people have a hard time studying in their room. Maybe you are easily distracted by roommates and friends or even the clutter in your room or hobbies. Libraries provide you an alternative place to get classwork done. And, of course, libraries have plenty of quiet nooks and crannies if that’s the environment your brain needs to succeed. Plus, you’ll be near resources such as computers and printers, and different types of study spaces from large tables to spread out your work to bean bag chairs to settle in for a long read.   

Need more study tips? Check out our blog: How to get good grades in college?

As a place to collaborate

Libraries don’t have to be just the place you go to study alone. The college library is a great place to meet for group or collaborative work. Do you need a white board to write down ideas for group project? How about tables and chairs you can rearrange based on the number of people in your group? Or shared technology and resources that not everyone in the group may have? Check out your library. It likely has all of this and more for your group to thrive!

As a place filled with helpful people

While libraries are filled with the resources you need in college (books, computers, internet access), don’t overlook one of the most valuable resources in a library—the people who work in them! Librarians, research coaches, whatever name they go by, the people who work in a library know how to maximize its assets to your benefit.

Librarians can help you find scholarly articles or texts assigned by professors. They can help you access textbooks without purchasing them or help you use interlibrary loans to access items not available in your own library. They also are a driving force on many campuses in support of open access textbooks. Next time you are in a library, introduce yourself!

As a place to center yourself

Librarians are working to support the whole person—not just your academic side. So, the next time you head to your campus library, look around. In addition to quiet places to study, you’ll likely see spaces to relax and recharge. From Legos to chessboards to jigsaw puzzles, the library has much more than books available. Your library may even have a dedicated meditation or worship space.

However, if books are a favorite way for you to unwind, the college library is here to support your personal reading habits as well. In addition to academic resources, you’ll find popular nonfiction and NYT bestsellers on the shelf.

As a place to dig deep

Are you a history major? Have an interest in your school’s past? Ready to start your research for a master’s or doctoral program in the humanities? It’s time to explore your university’s archives! Learn more about your school’s history and the special collections unique to your college campus.  


At Bluffton…

In addition to providing all of the resources listed in this article, Bluffton University’s Musselman Library is home to the Center for Career and Vocation and the writing center. It’s the perfect place to help you succeed today and prepare for the future.

Bluffton students also have access to over half a million ebooks, no-cost subscriptions to resources like the New York Times online, and the convenience of requesting books from all OhioLINK member libraries, in addition to Musselman Library’s carefully curated in-house collections. Musselman Library hosts a wide range of Arts and Lecture events throughout the year and is also the site of the First Tuesday Forum series featuring Bluffton’s student scholars.

Ask to check out Musselman Library on your campus visit.  

Written by Tricia Bell, content manager, with information provided by Carrie Phillips, library director.