I’ve had quite a busy week with quite a few essays to complete, so I’ve spent most of my time within the University of Manchester’s main library this week. The library, which was previously known as the John Rylands University Library, is the largest non-legal deposit academic library in the United Kingdom, making it a perfect place to visit for all scholastic needs.
The library holds over four million books and manuscripts on its shelves, as well as offering over 41,000 electronic journals and over half a million electronic books, truly allowing students to acquire an in-depth grasp of both subject related matters and areas of personal interest.
Many of the subjects that are related together are found on a similar colour floor, making navigation through the many aisles, corridors and staircases much easier. The majority of my time is spent on the third floor of the blue floor, where books that relate to literature and languages are held. Philosophy, Theology and books regarding general social commentaries are also stored here, making it easy for students of ‘open’ disciplines (such as English Literature) to learn about other related topic sectors that can then be implemented within our university assignments.
The library allows undergraduates to take out twenty standard books at once for a period of four weeks each, which has always been more than enough time for me to read through them and extract any information that I’ve found to be interesting. If more time is needed, most books can be renewed online in a matter of seconds.
The books are well supplied, and I have yet to encounter a problem with a course book being out of stock when I’ve needed to read specific sections for lectures or seminars. Most of the time, the university will have multiple copies of the same document, which helps to keep required manuscripts accessible.
More information and videos of the facilities that the library has to offer can be found on their YouTube account; http://www.youtube.com/user/TheJRUL
It’s ‘reading week’ next week, which will allow me to get ahead on all of the reading and essays that I need to complete for the second half of the first semester. I’m sure that I’ll be using the facilities that the library has to offer extensively!