Sunday, 19 January 2014

University Library Warfare

Strap yourself in boys and girls, don the helmets and grab your weapons for this thing is about to blow.

To most of society a library is just a library. It's that big funky looking building that holds lots of books and holds that weird concept where you can take said books for free and return them for free. Funny right? When I was a little girl my mum would take me to the library and I'd rent, woops, I mean borrow some colourful story books. That ended probably around the age of 6 and I never set foot in a public library ever again. Yes I had libraries at school and college but I never borrowed books from them. The library was just a distant room in school/college that I didn't feel useful to me.When you become a student, that all changes.

In the real world, the library is a place where people borrow books. In student world the library is a battlefield and it's every man for himself. In my three years of university I have witnessed some insane behavior within the four walls of the library and I'm here to tell you the facts of survival.

Seat claiming - Getting a seat in the library is like winning the lottery. Once you have your seat you cling to it like it's worth more then your life. It's a bit like the whole sunbed thing that British people do on holiday. You reserve your sunbed with your towel and the unspoken law states that once a sunbed has become draped in a towel that sunbed is off guards. Even if the beholder never actually uses the sunbed for the entire day (which is the biggest crime you can actually commit on holiday). Once a book, a laptop, a tablet or a coat have graced a seat/table, it's off guards. If you dare move someones stuff from their claimed space, well... let's just say the last person to do it is still missing to this very day...or so I heard. My university even introduced a policing system (which was slightly extreme) where if a seat was left unattended for more then 30 minutes, even if it was claimed by books and laptops, all stuff would be removed. Students being students were outraged by this concept and rebelled through all sorts of shinanagans. Needless to say the policing of the chairs failed for we students will not be oppressed!

Book requesting - All your childhood/Teenhood a book has the worth of about 1p. All your student life a book has the worth of your entire degree, or so it feels. So when you rent a book, that book is your new limb. You don't part with that book until you've met the deadline. When some son of a gun requests your book through the online system you make it your vow to find that person and beat them with said book until they don't want the book anymore. You know who you are and I'm coming for you...

Noise - My university library has 3 Buildings. One building for chatter and chilled study. One building consisting of 3 floors and different sectors ranging from 'Quiet Zone' to 'Silent Zone'. One building where not even your laptop is welcome. In any designated silent zone, you so much as inhale or exhale loudly, prepare to feel the wrath of a thousand dirty looks. Last week when someone decided to answer the phone IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LIBRARY they received so many glares from myself and my fellow peers, they sprinted so fast out the building they made Usain Bolt look slow. Ain't nobody gonna make noise in my library.

Facebook - It's the unspoken law in the library to never judge a fellow student if they are sat in Facebook. If you're peer is sat on Facebook, kindly overt your eyes and get on with your own work.

Bloke Whispering - I'm sorry guys but this one is for you and you alone. I hate to break it to you but, men of the world, you really can't whisper. Yes you can talk slightly quietly but your voices are just too deep for a whisper. So when you think your whispering in the library, you're actually irritating every single soul in the library. Maybe consider Facebook chat or text messaging?

Catwalk - This one is for all the girls and hipsters. It may shock you to know the library isn't a catwalk. Yeah, I know, I can see how you might have got a catwalk and the library confused. I used to come to the library in hoodies and jeans until the day I began to feel out of place due to be surrounded by girls in crop tops and heels and hipsters thinking they look retro in their over sized double denim. Quite frankly people, no one gives a crap. Did you think that book on Medieval Economics you were reading is going to be seriously impressed with your outfit and hand you a modelling contract? No. No it isn't. Leave the Midi skirt and platforms at home and don the hoodies and comfy clothes. Any serious library user knows comfort comes before trend.

And last but not least:

The library space really belongs to third years writing their final dissertations/preparing for exams/writing job applications. If you're a first year, prepared to be chewed up and spat out alive.

If you have ever requested a book, stole a seat, judged a social networker, made a noise, answered the phone, had a conversation, strutted in your hot-pants, whispered manly, applied lipstick or been a first year in the library, you're a crime to studenthood and you have sinned. Go and pray to the God of Students and beg for redemption and cheaply priced alcohol.

L.Bel xoxo

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