Category Archives: Library Anxiety

Feeling anxious about the library? We are here to help

Last week we did a small anonymous Twitter Poll to see how many of our users  feel anxious about the library.  Of the 21 respondents 48% said they didn’t, 28% said sometimes and 24% said yes they did.

 

 

We don’t want anybody to feel anxious about the library and believe it or not a lot of people have researched and written about “Library Anxiety” in the past so if you do feel anxious you are not alone.

Symptoms of Library anxiety include:

  • Fear and uneasiness with the physical space of the library, often related to how big the library is.
  • Fear of approaching a librarian or library worker to ask for help.
  • Fear that you are alone in not knowing how to use the library.
  • Feeling paralysed when trying to start library research.

If any of this sounds like you we are here to help!

Please see the college’s Support, Health and Welfare pages for help and support for anxiety and stress.

Library Anxiety

Here are some tips that can help you cope with library anxiety so that you can make friends with the library, or at the very least, be able to get in, get out with what you need, and get on with your life.

  • Recognise that what you’re feeling is common and that you aren’t alone in feeling overwhelmed by the libraries. Sometimes being able to put a name to a problem really helps in dealing with it. If you know library anxiety is affecting your work, you can take steps to deal with it.
  • Ask a librarian or library employee for help. It can be hard to ask for help. Many of us have grown up with strong impressions of the value of independence and self-reliance, and may feel like we should be able to figure out libraries all by ourselves and sometimes librarians may look a bit intimidating behind the reference desk. But librarians are here to help you, and, even though it may be hard to believe if you are stressed out, librarians like helping you and want to see you succeed.
  • Ask your tutor for help. If you are really struggling or feeling paralysed when you try to do your library research, let your tutors know. They may have some ideas of places to start and may be able to talk with you about ways to make your research easier.
  • Try to plan ahead. It’s very, very easy to procrastinate when feeling library anxiety. Unfortunately, procrastinating only makes it worse. As deadlines approach and the amount of time you have to work with shrinks, chances are good your anxiety levels will go up, not down. So try to nip this cycle in the bud by getting into the library and asking for help early on.
  • Take deep breaths and work on focusing. When we are under stress, even fairly simple navigational tasks can become difficult. You are more likely to be able to find what you need if you slow down, look around, and read carefully. And, again, you can ask for help if you feel lost or panicked.

Remember that unlike many librarians in popular culture (would you like to ask Madame Pince, the librarian at Hogwarts, a question?) we are friendly and here to help. Sadly, some people have encountered unfriendly librarians in real life, librarians are just people, like you, with special training in locating and accessing information. And most of us are quite friendly and helpful – try and ask a question.

Please see the college’s Support, Health and Welfare pages for help and support for anxiety and stress.