College Survival Guide/Learning at the College level

Sometimes people who want to learn are impatient. These impatient yet strongly motivated people are the kind of who people who often end up successful in life. In the world of the physical, knowledge is power. Baconites who recognize this might often find themselves asking the question, "How do I obtain the knowledge I want to learn?" Although the definition of knowledge can change from person to person, the idea of knowing what one considers to be knowledge can help him or her quickly access that information. Yet the question still remains, "How do I obtain the knowledge I want to learn?"

Choosing your topic of study edit

Awesome question with a decent answer: Books.

Books are the things that allow a person to learn information, practice knowledge before taking a college course, and stay ahead of the game. Many college students like reading their course books before the college semester starts. Reading ahead of others puts many college students ahead of the game. It allows college students to readily process the information professors might discuss in class. Also, if a person already knows the information, he or she probably has a better chance of understanding it when discussed with a professor.

Yet most professors choose a certain course book. You need to find out which book that is.

Yet the next question appears:

  • Where do I get these books?
  • Books are expensive!


  1. Find out which book you're going to be using.
  2. Go to the library and find that book.

The College Bookstore is your friend edit

You want to study something at the college level.

Things you need to know:

  1. College course topic
  2. What book that college course is using

If there is a topic in college that you want to learn, that probably means you are motivated to learn. If this course is listed in a college catalogue, you may be able to figure out what course book that course is using. A course book is the book the course uses for the semester. Sometimes professors change what books the class is using each semester.

To find out these things do the following:

  1. Email a professor and ask him or her which course book he or she is using for a certain course.


  1. Grab paper and pencil
  2. Go to the college bookstore
  3. Look for the course book that you want to read
  4. Write down the name of that course book; write down the name of the author(s); and write down the edition of the book and the ISBN if there is one. It will also do you some good to write down what the cover looks like: Does it have people? What color is the cover? Is there a picture of a butterfly or etc.?

Now that you have that information, you can go to the library.

The Library is your friend edit

You might be thinking, "The library only has so many books. It doesn't have the books I want."

It might not have those book in the shelves, but it might be able to get those books for you.

Why buy books when the library loans them for free or a feasible fee? If you give information to the librarian, he or she can help you find the book. If you go through an database or catalogue to find the book or media, you might be able to track it down and check it out.

The Librarian is your friend edit

You walk into the library with the information about a book on hand. You walk toward the librarian and say to her, "Hi. I'd like to find this book and read it," as you point to the piece of paper.

The librarian turns to you, looks at the paper, and says, "Alright. Let's see if we can find it."

Librarians, in a general sense, are geniuses who decided to become the gatekeepers of knowledge instead of teachers. Those who earn a two-year or four-year degree in library science often have a general knowledge of history, science, language, math, etc. Many librarians took these topics and college and regular school. When you talk to them, they'll most likely have a good idea of what you're talking about. Also, they'll have a general idea of what you are looking for. If you have a book title and author, they'll know that you are looking for that book and author. Of course, the important thing to note is the edition of the book. There could be different editions of a book. That is why noting which edition you are looking for is important.

Those who are well-versed in library science can understand the cataloguing and direct you to a shelf of books that relate to the topic you are studying. Otherwise, they can look through an online card catalogue; or they can look through an electronic catalogue.

Librarians can be seen as the gatekeepers of knowledge. They keep a cognitive map of where things are located in the library. Many have an idea of where things are located throughout libraries in a nation. A thing a person must remember is that there are different types of people in the library: pages, assistants, and librarians. Librarians are those who have a degree in library science, and they'll probably be more capable of helping you than a page could.

  1. The librarian as a researcher
  2. The librarian as a physical library catalogue

The Databases are your friend edit

Many libraries have books. However, not all libraries have all books. Because not all libraries have all books, many libraries have joined together so that they can exchange books with each other. Therefore, if one library doesn't have a book that someone is looking for, then the person could ask his or her library to borrow the book from a different library. This borrowing of books is also known as interlibrary loan.

If someone can't find a certain book at his or her library, he or she could look through a catalogue that lists where that certain book might be. These catalogues, also called databases, often list one or more libraries that offer a book someone is looking for. Databases, such as WorldCat, allow a person to see if a library has a book. If one of these libraries has the book you are looking for, you can fill out a request for your library to obtain that book from a different library. As a last resort, you may be able to request a book from the Library of Congress. However, the Library of Congress will not loan a book to someone through interlibrary loan unless no other library has that book.

If you don't understand the idea of interlibrary loan in this wikibook, go up to a librarian and ask them all about interlibrary loan. Keeping asking the librarians questions about interlibrary loan and the databases.

  1. How to use a database.

Email is your friend edit

  1. Why email is good.
  2. How it helps you track down books.
  3. How it allows you to keep track of books.

Rotating Books is your Friend edit

Getting a book through interlibrary loan can become a simple task once someone uses it enough. If a person damages a book in a "noticable way," however, that person could encounter severe fines. Also, if the book is not returned in time after the loan period is over, the person could encounter severe fines. These aren't the typical nickel and dime type fines; these are the ones that can go up to $100. These fines are serious business. That's why it's a good idea to return a book on time, keep it at home, and don't drink or eat near the book. SERIOUSLY.

However, sometimes a person still wants to use the same book. Well, that's where the idea of "rotating" comes into play.

Imagine you recently filled out a request for a book. It often takes about two to four weeks to receive a book through interlibrary loan. After the two week period, you could put in another request for that same book, but you'll want to obtain it from a different library. Hence, the main idea is that you're getting the same type of book but from a different library.

  1. Put in request for book (book 1).
  2. Wait two weeks.
  3. Put in request for the same book with the same title but from a different library (book 2).
  4. You eventually receive book 1.
  5. Two to three weeks later, you have to turn in book 1.
  6. However, book 2 arrives shortly before or after the turn in of book 1.

Notice that you are rotating books. Also, if you want to keep up this cycle, you'll get book 3, too. However, each consecutive book must be from a different library. When the book you had recently rented out gets back to its original library, you might be able to check it out again.

You will be able to keep reading the same book title over and over until you're done with that book. It's a nice trick if you're low on cash and want to learn stuff.

Note: It's not that easy to do this same thing with current college books used in college courses. I'm not trying to be pessimistic here. Many universities have college-level books. And you'll probably have 75% chance of getting the book you want. Some people already know this "system," so they'll check out current editions of college books. However, an older edition often works just as well as the newer edition. A college book which was created before 1990 is typically an out-of-date book. I wouldn't recommend getting a book made before 1990 unless it's for research.