Sunday, 17 April 2011

Library Etiquette

I have been spending an extraordinary amount of time in the library recently, what with my dissertation being due in 3 weeks and all (2 weeks 5 days, in fact...which means I probably should not be writing this right now, but I'm stuck so I'm taking a 'break'), and I've seen some interesting sights in the past few weeks. Here's some library dos and don'ts (actually just don'ts, but 'dos and don'ts' sounds better).


Eat crisps - crunch, crunch, crunch, rustle rustle, crunch, crunch, crunch. Enough said. Everyone flouts the 'no eating and drinking in the library' rule - I am currently munching on a Twirl - but don't do it with crisps. They are impossible to eat quietly. I tried it once and succeeded only in making my crisps soggy in my mouth. Yuck.

Sing loudly to yourself - I have seen this happen. It was funny. The girl stopped when I walked in the room and we both laughed about it, but if she had obliviously carried on I'm pretty sure it would have become very annoying very fast.

Watch hour-long BBC iPlayer programs on the library computers when there's a massive queue of people waiting to get on and do actual uni work  - there was a whiney article in the Gaudie recently about people going on facebook on the library computers. I disagree. I have no problem with people going on facebook, as long as that is not their sole reason for taking up a valuable computer. I currently have facebook open in another tab, and obviously this blog does not come under 'uni work'.  But, it being a beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon when only the hardcore and/or desperate are stuck in this pit, I'm sitting across from two completely free computers and I'm multi-tasking: every time I get stuck on my dissertation I am coming on here and writing a bit and then going back to the dissertation with fresh eyes (that's the theory, anyway...). But if you're sitting watching online TV, that's all you can possibly be doing. And I wouldn't have a problem with it if there were lots of computers free, but if you're taking up a computer to watch 'Snog Marry Avoid' when loads of people are waiting to work on their imminently-due dissertations, that's not cool. Extra annoyance points for you if you have the volume up so loud everyone else can hear it spilling out your earphones.

Wear warm clothes - the library is stupidly hot and stuffy. You will melt. Some unfortunate person will be given the wholly undesirable job of cleaning up your liquid remains and you won't get your dissertation/essay/whatever handed in on time, due to being all melted and such. It's a bit of an extreme way to get an extension, and I wouldn't recommend it.

Bring a mini deckchair for your book to sit on - It had pink and yellow stripes. I presume it was so that the guy's hand/wrist wouldn't have to suffer the trauma of holding the book he was looking at. It didn't work; the pages kept flipping over, so he constantly had one hand on the book to keep his place. Then eventually he resorted to taking the book off the strange contraption and holding it anyway. What with his deckchair, laptop, notebook and rucksack he took up enough space on the table for two people. Greedy. The most amusing part came when he left and had a 20 minute long struggle to fit the deckchair back into his rucksack. It's bad enough trying to fit all your books into your bag and carry them about with you, but adding an awkwardly-shaped-and-probably-not-that-lightweight deckchair to the mix? That's just silly. If you have ever done such a thing, give yourself two ridiculous points and then take one away for providing entertainment to your fellow bored library users.

Sit with your girlfriend/boyfriend and eat their face at every opportunity - I don't know how you even find opportunity for kissing  in the library. It's not the most romantic place to take someone on a date. Since libraries are generally quiet, everyone will be disgusted by the wet slurpy noises that your kissing makes, and your whispers about what you're going to do to each other later will carry to the ears of surrounding exasperated - and now horrified - students.

Procrastinate - you want to spend as little time in the hot, stuffy deckchair- and couple-filled library as possible. The less you procrastinate the more you will get done and the quicker you can escape off home where you can eat crisps, sing to yourself, and watch BBC iPlayer to your heart's content.

So on that note, I should probably get back to the dissertation...

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