Thursday, June 21, 2012

Library as a place for academic writing

Today, my blog article departs from my more essay-like or research knowledge sharing. Today, I want to share reflections on the library as a place for me as a PhD student.

To me the library is the perfect place for content generation, creation and writing. It is a great place for the writer. As I sit in D.B. Weldon library, (Western University, formerly University of Western Ontario), I analyse the conditions that make me want to be here in the place to write my papers.

There is the quietness of the place, as less undergraduates are here during the summer period, giving me the opportunity to think, reflect and write uninterrupted by conversations.

The cool air-conditioned climate, as the heat of summer turns up, makes this a place of choice to work.

The wide screen workstations (yes workstations, not laptops or tablets) that enable me to enlarge the fonts of my content to my comfort level (no straining the eyes to look at text).

The bar-like stool also an asset. Though the stool irritatingly squeezes my buttocks after a time, it reminds me not to just sit around the workstation, but to get up from time to time to stretch and let the blood circulate through my body.

I love also the filtered water cooler that permits me to be able to refill my thermos each time it runs out and avoid the issue of plastic bottles (and their pesky chemicals and unseen bacteria that enter the water consumed).

The access to a clean men's washroom is also on the list. As I consume all that water, I need to get up regularly to empty the used water in my homeostatic system.

Finally, the reference books. When I need a definition of terms, I have a variety of tools at my disposal. I have the general dictionaries and the subject specific encyclopaedias and dictionaries for more scholarly definitions. Of course I  could use the Web, but nothing beats distractions from reading like going to the printed book, where multi-tasking is not optional.

I have outlined the variables that make a library a great place for the academic writer, namely:
  • quietness,
  • climate control
  • appropriate for content generation and the production of quality writing
  • seating
  • access to water for drinking purposes
  • access to sanitary conveniences
  • and tools and aids to support quality academic writing.

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