38. Independent Learning Centre

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Welcome to the library, or the I.L.C., which means Independent Learning Centre,
and let me explain about some of its facilities.
We're standing here at the entry gates, next to the borrowing desk.
That's where you check out any books,
but you are also advised to study in the library here,
since most of our material cannot be borrowed.
Thus, we have Seating along the middle of the library,
and in that far corner in front of us. on the left,
we have the Quiet Reading Section, for some serious reading activity.
We used to have the computers there
but then realised that that corner was very quiet,
and thus better suited for the purpose it now has.
The computers were instead shifted to a more central location,
right beside us here, on the left.
Again, somewhat confusingly,
this area once housed the Newspaper and Magazine Section,
but the people in the Quiet Reading Area had to walk too far to collect this literature,
so it was moved to right beside them, in the adjacent corner.
So, feel free to read the newspapers there.
But the reference books, those huge weighty dictionaries, atlases, and encyclopedias,
were all situated at the opposite end of the building, against the wall.
This was because they weren't generally that popular,
and we wanted more space for the magazine racks,
always a favourite with readers.
Okay, as well as reading, you need to work on your listening skills,
and for that you need the Audio Section.
Again, such an activity needs a quiet area,
so we put this in the last remaining corner, up there on your right, as you can see.
There are CD players and headphones, so just borrow the listening packs,
sit down there, and listen away.
Right, that just leaves the main library.
In other libraries, that's often right beside the Newspaper and Magazine Section,
allowing freedom to choose from all genres of literature,
but here, we've got them further apart.
For the main library, just follow your nose,
past the Central Seating there, and it's there among all that shelving,
upon which you'll find an abundance of interesting books and listening packs to use.
Now, I'd like to tell you a bit more about an excellent service offered in the I.L.C. here
that we call the 'Special Sessions'.
What can you do in them?
For a start, many of you need practice in speaking English.
and for that we hold a special Discussion Session, led by a teacher.
That can be noisy, in fact, we hope that it is noisy,
since that would mean many people are talking.
It's in the Central Seating area,
and it used to be from 10:30 to 1:30.
but we found that the noise was disturbing the regular I.L.C patrons,
so we shortened and moved this discussion to the morning,
9 am time slot, when fewer people are in the centre.
It goes for one and a half hours.
Alright, what about Writing Skills?
Well, we can help you there with another teacher.
Now, writing is a fairly quiet activity,
so that teacher stations him or herself in the Quiet Reading area
from 1:30 until 3.
The 10:30-to-midday time slot cannot have a teacher for such writing skills,
as they are all teaching in the morning.
For this reason, of course, there cannot be an on-call teacher in the morning either,
although many people would like one, particularly the 10.30-to-noon crowd,
having just finished their early morning class.
These students all have to wait until midday onwards,
when, for three hours, a teacher will be stationed in the Audio Section,
ready to deal with all those questions.
Until recently, we had another teacher doing the 3-pm-to-6-pm time slot,
in the Central Seating,
but all the noise interfered with the late users of the I.L.C., so we had to cancel that.
Also noisy can be the Language Exchange,
where local students who want to learn your language will help you practise English.
This is generally done in pairs,
so the noise level is low enough not to need this exchange to run at 9 am,
but at the more congenial time of 10:30, among the Central Seating.
That must finish by 1:30 though,
after which quieter and more individual activities take place.

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