Libraries play a fundamental role in enhancing the learning experience, providing students with all the materials and services they need to improve their knowledge. With university fees reaching £9,000 a year, libraries need to focus on students in order to satisfy their needs.
Currently, libraries are offering different services aiming to improve the student experience, including a physical space where learners can find various materials such as books, dictionaries and encyclopedias; an area where students can chill-out and relax by listening to music or reading books; a place where students are able to find international magazines and discover what’s going on worldwide; and independent study areas as well as collaborative learning spaces where students can meet up with other learners to complete group projects.
In addition, many university libraries provide students with tutoring support. By being quiet places, libraries are the best areas where students can receive support to solve their questions and problems, enhancing their study experience. Also, many libraries give learners the possibility to use computers and engage with digital resources that cover different subjects. Through the use of computers, students can search their sources quickly, write their assignments and check the plagiarism percentage of their written work.
How do online learners benefit from the library?
Libraries also exist as virtual spaces, distributing learning resources to students who aren’t attending their courses on campus. This way, they have 24/7 access to digital resources, having the possibility to study at their own pace and whenever they want. Some universities have also created a mobile version for their library website and catalogue so that students can engage with digital resources from any device when they have a good wireless connection.
Furthermore, libraries offer online functionalities such as the chat-to-a-librarian service to help distance learners get their answer solved immediately along with online forums where students can find frequently asked questions and tips on researching and referencing.
How do academics benefit from the use of libraries?
Not only do students benefit from libraries but also academics. In fact, librarians can work in partnership with lecturers to help them create engaging programmes, adapt curricula and plan learning activities. Also, thanks to the library resources, educators can develop online learning materials and interactive modules for those students who aren’t attending lectures on campus.
Libraries are fundamental when looking to deliver a unique university experience, offering on-campus and online students all the services they need to enhance their learning process. In addition, libraries are very helpful to academics in the creation of engaging materials.