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The Lawrence Public Library Reaches Out to KU Students

Each student at the University has his or her own, unique way of studying. As midterms and finals arrive, students face the same question: Where should I study? With five campus libraries, there are plenty of resources to choose from.

“It would be nice to have the resources of a library without having to go to campus libraries, especially during vital times such as finals,” Cassie Jones, junior, said. “It’s overcrowded with students, and unreliable with Internet access from overloaded servers.”

 KU libraries aren’t the only facility to provide one-on-one assistance, conducive study environments and overall willingness to help students.

“We don’t have the same resources as KU, but you can tap into the catalog with your KU card and our staff is ready, willing and able to help with many questions,” said Director of the Lawrence Public Library, Brad Allen.

The Lawrence Public Library reaches students at the University through social networks, pooled community resources and collaboration with KU.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time out in the community getting to know the people in the town, and what they want from their library,” Allen said. “I’ve also been up on campus a lot collaborating more with KU.”

The facility currently works with the Honors Program, First Year Experience Program and the KU libraries to give students experiences outside of campus life, feel more involved in the community and continue to improve this resourceful study area.

“We’ve been working with the Honors Program to let people know the opportunities we have so they can pass those on to students,” Allen said. “In the six months that I’ve been here, we’ve already got new volunteers from the Honors Program; that’s been a great partnership already.”

The LPL facility itself provides a multitude of resources for students studying during midterms and finals, says Marketing Director Susan Brown. 

“I think there’s a bunch of things that would appeal to KU students,” Brown said. “The first is our space; we have lots of tables to study at, meeting room space on the lower level, a gallery, and an auditorium free for public use.”

The facility also has free Wi-Fi connection, wireless printing, regular printing, and live-chat online with librarians during open hours. Social networking has become important to all organizations, and the LPL is no exception.

“Our social media is a great way to get a feel for what we do,” Brown said. “Following us on Twitter or Facebook is a great way to see what’s going on in the library or the town in general.”

Along with services offered at LPL, one of the facility’s main goals is to provide a productive learning environment for students.

“We’re working towards this library being a place students can collaborate more, and just have some quiet places to study,” Brown said. “Especially during the evening, we have lots of quiet space for groups or studying alone.” “Plus, there isn’t that tremendous mid-term impact the librarians experience on campus.”

During her first years of college, Jones tried studying at many campus locations including: the Underground, the Union, Watson Library and Anschutz Library. It was a good opportunity for me to discover what kind of learner I am, says Jones.

“In high school I loved studying at public libraries and thought I’d give campus libraries a shot too, but mostly it was full of talkative groups,” Jones said. “It was really distracting.”

Campus libraries include quiet zones, but Jones says even those areas lead to side tracking.

“The quiet zone is honestly a joke because even if you’re in it, you still have people that are disrupting you,” Jones said. “It’s like a social zone, but it’s a library.”

Although she now studies at home, the reliable Wi-Fi connection, smaller crowds and online resources provided by LPL appeal to Jones’ ideal study atmosphere.

“A productive study environment for me entails a quiet, secluded area, where I can sit down, get in the zone and get stuff done,” Jones said. “As well as being private, I need consistent Internet access because everything is online nowadays.” “I would definitely study at the Lawrence Public Library because it offers the environment that allows me to focus.”

Comparing College Student Study Habits at the University

There are countless study environments for college students to choose from. Two KU students explain the study habits they personally find the most productive and why.

TRANSCRIPT

TERRAN SMITH: From study groups at Anschutz to studying alone at home, each student has a different way of learning that is best for them. Junior in visual arts, Cassie Jones, tried studying at various campus locations, but realized that they weren’t the most constructive environment for her.

MS. CASSIE JONES: I like studying in my room because it’s private, I can close myself off from distractions. I can kind of create my own stable study environment.”

SMITH: For other students, studying at home is a recipe for procrastination. Junior in English and senior in History, Marcus Puga, finds his apartment counterproductive for focusing, and explains why he chooses to study at Anschutz library.

MR. MARCUS PUGA: It’s a different environment than my apartment. When I’m there it’s just like I’m home—can’t really study.

SMITH: Puga says along with the helpful environment of Anschutz and other campus libraries, a sense of student community also adds to his reasons for studying there.

MR. PUGA: It’s nice to be on campus and study and realize that this is what you’re going to school for.

SMITH: Every student has a different way of studying and learning effectively. Whether that be at the campus libraries or at home, Jones says it’s something that each college student must figure out on their own.

JONES: I think it’s, it’s part of finding whatever you’re comfortable with.

SMITH: This is Terran Smith reporting for Lawrence Non-Profits

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