When it’s time to buckle down for exam season do you find yourself looking for a library away from the library? Most students want a clean, quiet place to study, and most end up at the D.B. Weldon library.
True, on Weldon’s worst days it can rival The Drink in hygiene, but Catherine Morrisey, head of resource support services, insists the main reason for Weldon’s unsightliness is its increase in studiers.
“Our door count is higher than ever this year,” said Morrisey. “A high number is 10,000 students. We are at 11,500 everyday. “The mess is just an indication of how many more people are here.”
The signs reading “lidded drinks only” do nothing to hinder students from chowing down in the study cubicles and leaving snack remains behind.
“I hear they have mice,” said third-year administrative and commercial studies student, Anna Tokarchuk. With those kinds of endorsements why would anyone choose to spend precious study hours fighting off Weldon vermin?
If you crave a quiet place to study, mosey on over to the Natural Sciences Building. “Taylor is for serious students,” said third-year biology student, Jessica Kimball.
The Allyn & Betty Taylor Library has a studious reputation, which may be because its design caters to an independent studying crowd. “Two floors are dedicated to one-person [cubicles],” said Eeva Munoz, assistant university librarian at Weldon and Taylor Libraries. “If it’s silence you want, Taylor’s for you.
“There are no big tables or seating areas, like in Weldon, to gather crowds and lead to socializing,” Munoz said.
However, the chattier crowd should not fear. “There is a whole floor designated for talking,” Kimball continued. “So there is usually no patience for people who talk on the cubicle floors. And people are usually respectful enough to throw out their shit when they leave.”
Despite Weldon’s mess, it holds the golden ticket to assisting students. “Periodicals and stacks in Taylor are well-organized, but the actual online search for journals is a nightmare,” Kimball said.
Weldon’s Electronic Instruction Room is its own Chocolate Factory; a magical place some have heard of but few have used. The mastermind behind the top secret premises — Western’s very own Willy Wonka — is Walter Zimmerman, creator of the Research Skills workshops.
Just open the door and find yourself at the epicenter of help and information. “We offer a variety of helpful courses,” Zimmerman said. “The introductory and advanced courses for searching the library catalogue are designed so that by attending just one of the sessions you’re guaranteed to save at least two hours every time you write a paper.
“The Database Searching Success course is meant to instruct students on how to accurately research their topics and find better references. It makes a big difference and the sessions are only 50 minutes,” he added.
However, most students do not know these courses exist, so these useful tips go to waste. “What’s most puzzling to me is that the Reference Works course we offer isn’t full every time,” Zimmerman said.
“It’s free for all students, and it provides you with a free personal bibliographic citation manager that will help you in formatting a bibliography and help you to footnote easier than any way known. It seems like a no-brainer that every student should be using these workshops.
“It’s like if a bank were to say give me five dollars on the first month, and I’ll return you $150 on the last day of the month. We’re offering a big ratio of return — only replace the money with time,” he explained. And all students know time is money, especially when writing exams.
On Nov. 30, the Research Skills Workshops will hold this semester’s last session on Database Searching, but check the instructional calendar for others. The courses are fast, free and just may end up saving your butt.