Thursday, 15 November 2018

Getting the most out of the LRCs

Michael Chapman, Graduate Information Technology Management for Business, University of Hertfordshire

During my studies at the University, 90% of my work was done in the Learning Resource Centres (LRC). I studied both computer science modules and business, meaning I would be in the LRCs on both College Lane and De Havilland on a daily basis. Why? That’s simple, whether I’m on my own or with friends and course mates, there’s a study space suitable for my needs and importantly, 24 hours a day and 360 days a year

Where you sit in the LRC can have a huge impact on the amount of work you get done, as some areas are designed for groups, whilst others are quiet areas. For example, College Lane top floor is a quiet zone, ideally suited for those who want to work on their own and don’t mind a low level of noise. If you are after silence, then both LRCs have silent study rooms and some individual study booths. My advice is don’t be tempted to grab the first seat you see, plan your visits in advance and explore each LRC properly to find a space that’s right for the work you want to do. Remember you can book Group Study Rooms but my advice is that because these are very popular, you need to book ahead. If you can’t find a suitable space, why not head over to the Oval or the Chapman Lounge on College Lane or the Mezzanine on De Havilland instead.

Here is a quick video of De Havilland LRC or, if you’d prefer, you can book a tour of either LRC. The Herts Mobile app has a wayfinding function showing the rooms and the locations of pcs that are free and available for use.

With 400,000 volumes and nearly 500,000 ebooks, the LRC was instrumental for me to achieve my grades during my final year. Whilst doing my dissertation, I would spend my daytime at the LRC reading printed books, then my evening at home reading ebooks so no matter if I could or could not get onto campus, I still had 24-hour access to resources that helped me get a first in my dissertation. Don’t forget you can reserve printed books online too and collect them when you arrive.

I nearly always had my laptop with me during university, but on the odd occasion that I forgot it, the PCs available throughout both LRCs were perfect. There’s also high-performance ‘specialist software’ pcs suited for complex computational work, and Macs on the ground floor of each LRC and on the quiet 2nd floor at College Lane. If you prefer, you can borrow a Chromebook using the laptop loan services located near the LRC entrances.

Food is key when planning a long study session so whenever you want to take a break from your studies or if you want to eat while you work, the newly renovated cafes are great places to you grab a coffee or enjoy a bite to eat without having to step outside. The vending machines also provide snacks, and microwaves are available for those wishing to bring their own food.

If you need help with your studies, you can attend drop ins for Academic English, Library Link-Up Study Skills and Maths Support (College Lane LRC only). These are open to all students, but definitely check StudyNet for times.

No matter what year you’re in, the LRC will have something to offer you. But remember to bring your student ID with you otherwise you won’t get in.

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