Lifestyle, Manchester

Get Smart: Use Your Library.

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By Benjamin Francis Cassidy

Albert Einstein once said of libraries, “If you go to university then the library is the only place which you absolutely need to know the location of.” When you consider the place of libraries in society, and what they were originally intended to do, then you realise that libraries are a collected wealth of human achievement, endeavour and knowledge. They allow us access to sources of information that inform, challenge and expand our ways of looking at the world.

Like most modern libraries, the Library Services at Manchester Met extends to far more than just the thousands of books you can take out to read, study and enjoy. For those wanting the latest journals on specific subjects, the library also has a wide and readily available collection that might be just the thing to bring you that all important source for your essay or project that might well get you that extra mark.

Other physical resources available are the precious artefacts within the library’s Special Collections, which is a small museum situated on the third floor. In it are rare books, ex- art installations and even things such as pottery, coins, and whole host of the weird and wonderful trinkets, just waiting to be discovered. Just knock on the door and ask to see them, and the staff there will guide you and even kit you out with specialist gloves, to ensure the items aren’t accidentally damaged.

If learning through physical objects isn’t the way you work best, then you can explore the many online services that the library has, which include: the entire Cambridge Companion To series, which has topics ranging from science, history, philosophy, to psychology and films studies; Box of Broadcasts, which is a database containing television and radio shows going back over ten years, as well as many online books, that can save students money. You can even borrow laptops through the library, if you don’t have your own. Just speak to staff at the main desk, and they can help organise you borrowing one.

It’s well worth researching the different services within the library. Each academic faculty has its own officer, in charge of keeping shelves stocked, and ensuring students get the service they deserve. It’s not cheap to go to university these days, so it makes sense to take full of advantage of all the services the library has to offer – use it or lose it!


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Benjamin Francis Cassidy

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