Image: Unsplash - Janko Ferlic

The litany of library sins to look out for at Warwick

The library. The true home of all Warwick students, this great building sits proud at the centre of campus. Just like the perfect partner, it’s always there for you (three cheers for the 24-hour library), ready with a coffee and pastry for the early starts. The library twitter account is even there to help us through the tough times, providing witty banter when we need it the most. It’s a safe, book filled haven from the rain and stresses of student life. And yet there are people who dare to disrupt the harmony and sanctuary of this hallowed building of learning. They ignore the unspoken rules that us decent people have set, and choose to commit the foulest of all sins: Sins Against the Library.

This behaviour can be seen as soon as you enter. Greeted by the sweet smell of the library café, most people already have their student card in hand, ready to swipe through the barriers and enter the library. After all, the barriers are always there at the point of entry to the library, so it’s inconceivable how someone could forget that they exist. Or so you would think. Some odd souls stand blocking the entrance for everybody else, whilst fumbling for the card that should have been in their hand all along.

After smoothly striding into the library, card ready of course, the choice to be made is where to work. You slow down, contemplating Floor 1 or 2 for half a second before deciding to forgo the chattering, food munching environs for the more peaceful Floor 3. Decision made, you approach the stairs, pushing open the doors only to encounter the staircase blocked by an army of goons. There is someone leaning against the wall speaking loudly on the phone. Someone else is sat on the stairs aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. Further up, there is even a couple who have the audacity to display unnecessary PDAs. The barrage of people seems impenetrable to the untrained eye. With experience though, it is possible to fight your way through the melee and eventually emerge victorious onto Floor 3.

These people are the lowest of the low. They scatter a couple of belongings on a vacant seat to save for a friend who inevitably will never come

All anybody wants now is a plug seat to charge their phone and do some reading in peace. However, despite a first inspection showing plenty of vacant seats, far too often they are unavailable due to the worst library sinner of all. Space Hogs. These people are the lowest of the low. They scatter a couple of belongings on a vacant seat to save for a friend who inevitably will never come. In a highly-coveted plug seat, they can be seen not working, but napping. Worse of all, Space Hogs neatly lay out their things on a desk, only to disappear for hours. When they do reappear, they come bearing a coffee and slice of cake and a wicked glint in their eyes. For Space Hogs know what they are doing is wrong; the Space Hog campaign by the library has made sure of that. Regardless, they continue with their malpractice, angering all students and firmly securing them a place in Library Hell.

If you manage to find a good seat, congratulations! Often the best seats are tucked away between aisles of books or can be found in one of the silent areas. Life is good again. Until, that is, a group of students descend on their friend at a nearby desk and proceed to chat for the next three hours. Meanwhile, all onlookers are forced to listen to their conversation – which normally revolves around the exploits of last night – or turn up headphones to a dangerously high volume. Sometimes even this is not enough. After the valiant effort to make it this far, maybe it’s just time to give up and move to the Learning Grid instead.

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