University Libraries.

Managing Midterm Mania

Brace yourselves… Midterms are coming. And with midterms comes midterm stress. Papers, exams, presentations, and all the other things your professors decide to throw at you can send you into a death spiral of panic and anxiety. This time is stressful on everybody, but the Dewey Library wants you to know that we’re here for you with these helpful services and tips that can hopefully blunt the edge of your midterm woes.


Interlibrary Loan: Writing a paper but the book you absolutely need is checked out? Send in a request for interlibrary loan! If our libraries don’t have the book, another will, and they’ll ship it to us as soon as possible! Don’t put the request in last minute, though, or it might not get here on time.


Lost? Ask a reference librarian! If your paper, project, or presentation is giving you trouble, some research help is invaluable. If you can’t make it into the library, email us at or take advantage of our Ask Us 24/7 service. You don’t have to research alone. We’re here to help you.


Know your subject specialist! A librarian familiar with the subject you’re researching in will be able to help you take your search to the next level. You can contact them with your questions and even set up an appointment to help with your search. One hour with a subject librarian can save you several hours searching on your own.


If you don’t have time to come to the library for reference help, try looking at a Subject Guide. These guides are put together by the subject specialist to help students navigate the various resources available to them. Many link to information on general library services, citation styles, and all sorts of other topics.


Learn a citation manager. Citation managers are wonderful programs that can help you store and cite all the sources you could possibly want. The best part is the good ones can be used to generate a reference list with little effort! My personal recommendation is Zotero, but there are many others. If you want more information about citation software, check out our previous blog on the topic.


Start early! I cannot stress this enough. No amount of reference help or library services can get you what you need in time if your paper is due tomorrow and you haven’t started your research. Many of our more useful services, like UA Delivery and Interlibrary Loan can take a day or more, so never ever ever leave your search to the last minute.


Get some sleep! You might think you’re doing yourself a favor by staying up all night studying, but it turns out you’re not. Sleep deprivation impacts your body and mind in so many negative ways that it’s just not worth it. So instead of taking just one more look through your textbook before your exam, try getting a good night’s sleep instead. It will help your brain process the information so you can remember it better.


Don’t forget to eat. I know, you’re busy, who has time to take out of studying to grab something to eat? All you’ve got time for is just a quick snack. Well, make the time. You’re not at your best when you’re hungry, so you can’t do your best work. And definitely don’t go to your test hungry.


Still stressing? Take a break and exercise. It relieves stress pretty well, and is just healthy. Check out the University Fitness Center uptown. Don’t feel like hitting the gym? Take a walk, ride a bike, do something to get you out of your apartment or the library and move around. Nothing is worse than sitting down and writing a paper for 11 hours straight. Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s not fun! If exercise isn’t really your thing, there’s always…


Therapy dogs! That’s right. Therapy dogs. During high stress times in the semester, like midterms and finals, the university sometimes brings in groups of therapy dogs to the west terrace lounge in the Campus Center uptown. Yes it’s uptown and that’s a trip, but nothing beats the stress of academic endeavors quite like taking an hour to play with adorable fluffy animals. Keep an eye on the My Involvement page to find out when and where the cute and friendly dogs will be available uptown.


The Dewey Library is here to help you during midterms, finals, and any other part of the year, so don’t forget about us. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. If you need help on any of your research projects, or want more information on the services we offer, stop in or contact the reference desk by email at or by phone at (518) 442-3691. Just remember not to leave your questions to the last minute!


Blog post created by Alex Hoag

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