Using the Library


You want a book from the library? Well, the good news is, you don't even have to leave your seat; you can find out now whether the book is available, and which shelf it is on. You can just click here and find any book you want! The library online catalogue not only gives information about books in the library, but also tells you about books in other libraries, e-books, online databases, etc. The bad news is that if things carry on like this we shall never get any exercise, and we'll all grow incredibly fat!

With information like that so easily available, it makes you wonder why anyone ever uses the card index! You could go all the way up to the top floor looking for a book you found on the card index, only to find that someone's borrowed it. Still, the card index is easier to browse than the online index. Make sure you are looking in the right part of the index (author/title or subject) before you start!

What is very difficult to understand is people who don't go to the online index, or even to the card index, but simply go straight to the shelves. It's true that many of the books on English literature are on the 7th floor, but there are lots more down in the Gakubu shelves in the basement or on other floors. Of course, we sometimes find books on the shelf by lucky chance, but a more organised approach will give better results overall.

Another useful facility in the library is the audiovisual section, to your left at the back as you enter the library. There is a wide range of material, plus individual booths which you can book if you want to watch a video with your friends. Check it out!

However, developments on the internet are leading us to the situation where, often, we do not need to use the library at all! The online databases can be accessed from any computer on the campus; if you use the VPN service you can even access them off-campus. These databases give us access to specialised academic journals that are especially useful for research. Yes, this means we will get even less exercise, but it can't be helped; these databases are breaking down the boundaries between published books and the internet, and one of the most useful things you can do during your years as a university student is learn how to research online.


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