Parenting and studying made easy using the library 

Postgraduate studies can be very stressful and challenging with a lot of, academic demands from group presentation, to essay writing and research work; social demands of meeting and relating with new people such as students, tutors, and advisors; financial demands; and psychological demands such as transitioning from being dependent academically to being independent. These challenges can be heightened if you have a young child to look after. Therefore, any opportunity that makes life easy is appreciated. 

In my home country, it is quite easy to find someone to look after your child. Your relative, mum, dad, or sibling would be happy to do that. If that’s not an option, employing a nanny is pretty cheap and affordable and nurseries aren’t expensive, depending on your budget. However, here in the UK, everyone is working, both night and day, and so even if you have relatives here, which I don’t, their schedules might not be flexible, and getting a childminder or putting your child in a nursery is indeed an investment. Therefore, having a facility that helps parents and their children is a need indeed. A facility that helps the parent to study as well as keeps the child busy, creating a kind of passive bonding and helping the parent save some money. This is more than a gift. A study room in the library provided for parents and children at my university, the University of Salford. I termed it ‘’Parenting and Studying made easy using the library.’’ 

Enjoying the parenting space at Clifford Whitworth Library, University of Salford

My child is a very active 3 years old girl. She likes to sing, play with toy cars- especially fire trucks like she sees in paw patrol- explore, climb, scribble, be read to, give hugs, and like most other children, she also likes to watch a lot of children shows, both for education and pleasure. Therefore, it’s easy to keep her busy under supervision. But then she gets bored with one activity after a while, and this can be frustrating. Also, she would choose to go out than stay indoors so taking a stroll is always an option. However, when I think of places to take her back in my home country, the library never crosses my mind because I really can’t remember if children her age had access to the library or even had sections dedicated for their age in the library. Hence it was fascinating to see that libraries in this part of the world have sections dedicated to children with activities to encourage the use of the library by these young ones and their parents. I and my husband took advantage of this facility and have been taking our girl to the library on Mondays for the book club. She even has a library card that she picked out herself to borrow books from the library. How interesting! Therefore, when I told her we were going to my uni library on this day, she had an idea of what I meant.

The parent study room, room 9, is on the first floor of the Clifford Whitworth library at the peel park campus of the university. It is well equipped with a system, swivel and conference chairs, a circular conference table, a projector facility, crayons, colouring books, puzzles for different ages, and storybooks. Also, it is well-lit and warm. The first thing that fascinated my child was the truck which she spent a good number of minutes playing with, she had a session of coloring, and then she settled in on watching educative and singing shows like jolly phonics, alpha blocks, and nursery rhymes. The watching period was my study time because then I knew she was comfortable. Even though I had to look at her every so often to make sure she was doing ok, give her a snack when it was snack time, and supervise her for lunch

For me, this facility was needed because my daughter was not yet in a nursery and we had not gotten a house of our own. Therefore having to study at home came with some distractions such as house chores and noise. However, I had fewer of these distractions in the library and could better manage my time. The facilities in the room helped reduce my child as a form of distraction to the nearest minimum and I was able to achieve something meaningful in the short period I spent there.
Finally, I would like to say a thank you to the university administration for their thoughtfulness for the parent-child cohort in the university.

One thought on “Parenting and studying made easy using the library ”

  1. Thank you to the author of this post. This piece has given me more confidence that I made the right choice in choosing university of Salford for my M.Sc.
    For me, my kids welfare is a great concern to me because I can’t enroll them in school because of their age. Knowing that I can get a spot in the library where I can comfortably read and also have them within my eye reach makes my plans of coming over to Salford to study a right choice.

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