As the exam season is in full swing, securing a seat in any of the University libraries can be a mission unless you’re willing to become nocturnal. Here are some tips about how to make the process smoother, as well as a few reminders about library etiquette to prevent you from ending up on Spotted Sheffield!
1) Use Find a PC to gauge how many spaces are free-this way you know which building and floor you have the highest chance of securing a computer spot in.
2) Branch out and check all the libraries. Western Bank is underrated and a personal favourite of mine (although beware the labyrinth-like depths of the basement.)
3) Bring a laptop if possible-chances are you’ll be able to find a seat, but computers are far more coveted. You can also loan a laptop from the library
4) Beat the rush and be prepared to arrive early. Before 8.30am is much quieter than midday for obvious reasons, so if you desperately want to secure a space, you may have to sacrifice that lie-in.
5) Take breaks (within reason!) You can now get an exam plus study break pass which allows you to reserve your space for up to 45 minutes.
1) Take a computer space if you don’t intend to use it. Seeing someone in front of a computer with a blank screen, or even someone with a laptop in front of a computer, are some of the worst library crimes you can commit. This will instill anger amongst onlookers.
2) Use your computer to catch up on Game of Thrones, online shop or scroll through Facebook. Hopefully this one needn’t be said, but don’t use study spaces to procrastinate when others could use them to study.
3) Use the library as a place to catch up on gossip. If you’re braving silent study try not to breathe too loudly, and noisy snacks such as apples and crisps are probably best avoided as well.
4) Leave your desk for a ‘short break’ and not return for hours. The IC police are real.
5) Abandon valuable possessions whilst you pop downstairs for a well-deserved caffeine fix. Taking your bag with you is much less of an inconvenience than discovering your brand new MacBook has vanished.
6) Make the library your new home. Despite it seemingly having everything you need including food, toilets, showers, Internet and books, sleeping isn’t permitted!
Best of luck navigating the library!