Early on in the semester, I went to the library to do some studying (even though you are on exchange you have to study once in awhile, right?). I had never been to the CAU library and wasn’t sure how it worked but I figured, “It’s a library, how hard can it be?” I’ll just walk in, find an empty seat or computer, sit down and get to work.
Not true. It was nothing like I expected.
Once I got through the gates (there is a gate and a security guard at the entrance of the library) I expected to see a big open area filled with books, chairs, and computers. But once in, all I could see were frosted, glass doors and lots of posters with what looked like rules (all in Korean, which I can’t read). It was pretty disorienting.
I walked up a flight of stairs and found the same thing…just walls and walls of frosted glass doors. It was all very serious and silent. I finally realized I would have to open all the doors to figure out what was on the other side and where I could study. It suddenly felt like I was playing a serious game of Russian roulette. I never knew when I was going to open the door on a private office, a meeting, or a very serious,very stressed Korean student studying for his/her exams.
The stakes were too high–I wanted out.
So I turned around and walked right back through the gates.
I didn’t think I’d be doing much studying in the library this semester.
However, (in order to write this blog) I, your Fearless Leader, finally did return to the library.
I took a friend for moral support and we walked through the whole library–every floor, every door. And honestly, it’s not that complicated.
After wandering around for about half an hour, I pretty much felt like I owned the place.
I think I would have had a better first impression, and used the library more often if I had had a heads up about a few things before heading in. So, here’s my heads up to you on a few things and I hope it makes your studying a little bit less stressful.
The library hours can seem confusing but they’re really not. If you want to check out a book or use a computer lab, you have to go before 9 p.m. on weekdays, 5 p.m. on weekends. Other than that, the reading rooms of the library are open 24 hours.
The basic library rules apply. There are however a few rules that were “new/unexpected” for me. In some ways it seems stricter than other libraries I’ve been in, but in other ways it seems more relaxed. People are frequently napping, or brushing their teeth, or wearing slippers. Students will also set up camp and just leave their stuff at their seat while they take a quick (or often not so quick) break.
The basic rules are:
- No food or drink (Water, or drinks with screw-on caps are okay) There are also break areas where eating is allowed.
- Reserve a seat. You have to “check out” a seat and return it when you leave. (For more on how to do this click here.)
- Standard library etiquette applies. “Shhhhh….people are studying.”
I would recommend you do a thorough walk-through when you first visit the library. Once you get an idea of the layout you’ll realize it’s not too intimidating. Scope it out and get an idea of what areas you like and what seat you want to reserve. There are even some pretty cool areas such as the 7-Eleven and the rooftop lounge area.
I have just one last tip for you: If you are wanting to work on a group project, the library might not be the best place for it. There are study rooms available, but most groups prefer to use other areas where it is a little more comfortable, such as the dorm lounge, or a cafe.
Hope this helps you navigate the library! Good luck and enjoy your study time!