The ins and outs of maintaining social acceptability at the library.

Love it or hate it, spending time in the library is an integral part of any university experience. But, as with any space that requires human beings to co-exist in close proximity, there can be friction at times. We’ve put together a quick guide to library etiquette that, if followed, could make all the university libraries across this great land better places for students. 

1. Avoid Crisps and Other Loud fOOD

We all need sustenance - even more so when faced with a soul destroying 3000 word essay. But please be considerate of your fellow suffering student and avoid loud snacks like crisps if you have to snack in designated study zones. Whether it’s the bag rustling or the crunching of the crisp as it is crushed by your molars – your masticating could be interrupting another student’s crucial flow. Carrot sticks? Avoid. Celery? Think again. Apple? Try a more squishy fruit next time.  Whole iceberg lettuceARE YOU THE DEVIL?




But if you really must, at least be entertaining about it, like these people:

spotted library computer


spotted manchester university

liam neeson taken library banter

ii) Don't take up a computer space and then use your laptop instead

That's just wrong on so many levels...

wasting computer spaces exam

iii) Don't take up a computer space and then use it to watch cartoons/TV

There's a time and a place for watching cartoons and catching up on your favourite TV programmes - the library at the peak of exam/dissertation season is not that time or place. 

despicable me library watching

pretty little liars library watching

Taking up a computer space while using a laptop AND watching Pretty Little Liars!? A double whammy of pure evil.


3. Don't break stuff

You do not want to be the person responsible for breaking something (e.g. a printer) that hundreds of other students will have come to the library to use. Paper jam? Resist the urge to try sort it yourself and notify a member of library staff.

breaking things library banter

4. Return Your Library Books/resources so other people can use them

Scarce availability of resources is an ongoing issue at many UK universities. With hundreds of students all racing to borrow the same titles, it is inevitable that someone is going to miss out. Done with that book? Don’t leave it collecting dust in your room – do someone else a favour and return it. Free good karma for you.

sherlock and john at the library

5. Mute your phone

It doesn’t matter how ‘fire’ your ringtone is - we do not want to hear your hotline bling (and don't even THINK about answering it). Keep it silent or prevent procrastination/distraction altogether and turn it off.

using your phone at the library

6. Watch your earphone volume

Some people can only focus in silence, and some people can only focus with hardcore drum & bass reverberating through their ears. If you happen to fall into the latter group, keep the former in mind before cranking up the volume (or buy a pair of noise-cancelling earphones!) - there are few things more annoying than the distant electronic buzz of music in someone else's earphones.

dancing earphones in the library

7. Be Quiet!

This one's a no brainer. Desperately need to chat? Type out your message on WhatsApp (if your phone is on silent, that is...) or kick it old school and send notes; write a letter or send a telegram - draw a diagram, take up sign language, or maybe even try your hand at smoke signals (joke). Just don’t talk. 

be quiet at the lib

8. Just be a generally decent human being...

On the fence about whether something you are about to do may annoy those sitting around you? Don’t do it. Think thoughts of tranquillity and love. Imagine all the students living life in the library in peace – you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and everyone in the library will live as one...

john and yoko bed peace library peace

9. ....and try not to be too hard on those amongst you who are being douches. Student life isn't easy.

There may come a time when you have to break one of the cardinal rules we have just set out for you to live your library life by. Maybe you are absolutely dying of hunger and all the vending machine had was crisps, or you know there’s no way in a million years you’ll get that computer back if you leave... Sometimes, being a douche is unavoidable. Before you get angry and criticise others for their douchebaggery, remember these wise words from Jesus: “Whoever is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone…” 

jesus deal with it library

That's it! Tweet us at @StudentHutUk and let us know your biggest library pet peeves - we'll love you forever if you do!

Fancy reading some more library related content? Check out 10 Things That Annoy Everyone in the Library and 10 Ways to Procrastinate in the Library...

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