Library Etiquette: How To Not Be That Annoying Person

Freya Hugheson 21 October 2019
Library Etiquette: How To Not Be That Annoying Person

Avoid being that person with these useful, and frankly quite obvious, tips.

The sacred serenity of a university library. Year-round, the tranquility must persist. It’s something unspoken across the land: this quiet must be upheld. 

But, of course, there’s always someone ruining the peace for everyone else. No matter how close to your deadlines you are. The noise instigator must be stopped. Yet a building of passive aggressive shushers is no match for a lout in noise cancelling headphones.

Work off the sugar before entry

There’s something so utterly infuriating about a shaking leg. If you’ve just necked a bottle of Coke, you’re probably about to come up in a massive sugar rush. Before you settle in for a library session, check yourself.

Walk around the block.

Do some star jumps.

Because those little library desks are almost always joint together. And that means your extreme energy is making at least five people sit enduring a bubbling rage.

Return your books, fast

As soon as you’re done,

Return. Your. Books.

Sometimes you’ll forget or something more important will come up. But don’t be the person that makes everyone else wait on a core book for your course. Uni libraries are usually really well stocked, but there’s always one book that’s in serious demand. And has a waiting list. If you hold on to books longer than you need, you will awaken the campus library bad karma. And library fines are real. That £80 you thought would last you the next couple of weeks? Gone in a flutter of musty pages.

Noise cancelling headphones don’t make you silent

These are great for blocking people out. But please remember, they don’t make you silent. If you’re tapping along to your music or, worse, accidentally singing, you will be the target of venomous death stares. And nobody will be able to warn you that you’re about to be chucked out of the silent area, because your tunes are banging out of your headphones too loud.

Put the food down

You get the library early. Your bag is stocked up with food and water. You get to work. A few hours pass and you’ve made an awesome start on your essay. Break time. Treat yourself. You open your lunch up and the entire floor is saturated by the smell of your leftovers from last night. Not only is the smell migraine-inducing, the sound of you chewing is making people want to cry. Do. Not. Eat. Here. It’s. So. Wrong.

Turning up drunk

Just no.

Moving books around for lols

This is one of the most irritating things. Ever. There are dedicated staff to keep everything in the right place. Be careful when you’re just taking something out for a look – the organisation system is precise and should be respected (a little like the silence itself. Trust). Besides, when it’s crunch time for you and that one book you know would be perfect to quote from is nowhere in sight... Well, it’s your own fault, isn’t it.

Treating it like the beach

Ok, so maybe that’s a stretch as a statement. But you know when you go on holiday and people chuck their towels on the best sunloungers, then bugger off? Yeah. That’s what we mean. Super annoying, super uncool. Your fees don’t give you any more rights to the best seats in the library than anyone else’s. That said, colourful beach towels could brighten up the place.

Working yourself to sleep

If you’re finding yourself falling asleep in the library, it’s time to stop studying. Like, really. Have a break. Sure, you’ll look bloody committed if you’ve done an all-dayer that’s turned into an all-nighter. But is your work going to be any good? You can’t take in new information when you’re sleep deprived. Give yourself some time to regroup and come back when you’re ready. Nobody likes the sound of snoring, ever.

Freya Hugheson 21 October 2019