Almost every university in Sweden has its own library. A place where you can come for some peace and quiet to study, read, or relax. Although each library is unique in some way, I am offering you a sneak peek inside the library at the University of Skövde, so you can imagine what they are truly like.
The library at the University of Skövde is size-wise in the small-to-middle category, however, it has everything that you might possibly need to call it your ‘study sanctuary’. It is very typical for students in Sweden to study in the library, whether it is individually or in groups. I love how well-equipped the libraries are and the atmosphere inside. It just makes you WANT to study. So let’s explore it together!
Books, books, and more books 📚
The first thing that you might notice when you enter a University Library is the great amount and variety of books. It typically mostly consists of several “coursebooks” that you either need to read for school or you can use to dive deeper into the topics that you find interesting. The coursebooks are often in English too what was surprising for me. But I guess in Sweden it is normal since almost everyone knows English fluently. I did not have any problem finding in the library the coursebooks that I needed for my course what was perfect because they might sometimes be quite costly.
I was worried that the coursebooks will be the only type of books that you can find at a University Library but I was delighted to find out that it is not true. There is also a section with English fiction books that I visit on a regular basis. I love to just sit down and read a good book as a way to relax after a long day. If you have any book recommendations, let me know in the comments!
Cozy spots to study
The second thing that I love about our University Library is the variety of spots where you can sit and study. Whether you prefer to study on a chair behind a desk #Office, lie on a comfortable sofa, or sit next to a large window, you can have it all. For me, it always changes and I am happy that the library fulfills all my needs. It is wonderful especially when it gets dark because the lights are not too bright, and the atmosphere becomes quite cozy.
We come to the library a lot for group studies. It is a popular spot to meet up with your classmates and share your newly obtained knowledge. I certainly recommend it as a study tip if you are struggling with any subject. We had a couple of study sessions before our first chemistry exam and it helped us all to get a good grade. The rooms that we used for our meetings are so-called ‘study rooms’. There are about 16 study rooms at the University Library in Skövde with different sizes and equipment (whiteboards, or a large flat screen) that you can reserve in advance. That way, we never had to worry about not being able to find a place to study or about disturbing the surrounding, since the walls are sound-proof. (Oh, at least I hope so😀)
Many libraries in Sweden also have a cafeteria where you can get your ‘fika’ while studying. Ours is unfortunately closed due to coronavirus so I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. But I can imagine that it must be perfect, specifically for tea and coffee lovers. ☕
And lastly, what can’t be forgotten is the technical equipment that I’m sure you can find in many libraries in Sweden. There are multiple computers available for students to use at any time. There is a free WiFi connection and it is a really good one. I know because my WiFi at home in Slovakia is incomparable. It takes quite a while to load a YouTube video, while here it is a matter of seconds. It also has a couple of printers that can be used for those with a student card.
What I specifically like is the system of book loaning and returning. In my country, you have to stand in line, since it is one of the librarians who checks the book you’d like in or out of the library. Here, you do it individually. You use the computer in the book return area where you’ll easily scan your books and you are free to go. It takes almost no time.
But in case you have any questions, there is always a very polite and friendly staff ready to help you answer them.
So this is it. Our colorful University Library in Skövde. To get the real study atmosphere, you should certainly explore the library at your university. I believe you won’t regret it. Let me know in the comments what is your library like and if you are unsure how to get the most out of a University Library, I recommend Emma’s blog post for further reading.