Originally written for publication in The Boar, Warwick University’s student newspaper.
Second term is now well and truly upon us, and for many it brings with it the daunting possibility of actually having to do some work. That’s right, work. Not checking your email account or meeting for a ‘catch up’ in Costa or ‘grabbing a bite’ in the Bread Oven, but gruelling, depressing, work. In order to make ourselves feel better about neglecting our various assignments and essays over Christmas, thousands of us will venture to the library. Recently however, a number of students have testified to undergoing harrowing hallucinatory experiences in our otherwise beloved library. In place of the signs which designate certain floors for group work and others for individual study, some Warwick students are being met with the ghostly apparition of Barry Scott.
The infamous TV marketer reportedly asks, “Are you an obnoxious Warwick student looking for somewhere to hang out and chat to your friends? Do you want to talk about how bloody great you all are and how you’re going to be a city banker just like your Dad and how your gap year was so fucking spiritual? Why not try the silent study floors in the library today?”
Assuming these students aren’t actually haunted by the Cillit Bang salesman encouraging them to annoy everyone in the library, we might conclude that they are genuinely confused. A sign that says, “No talking”, they might suggest, is misleadingly ambiguous. The solution, then, is probably more signs, and signs that are more specific.
The library could be decorated with decidedly useful advice like, “Use Facebook chat to talk to the person sitting three tables away.” It could also house a few home truths such as, “Nobody here gives a shit about how hammered you got last night, so shut up about it.” What is clear is that we need to take some sort of action and we need to take it now. During the exam-infested third term, the library becomes the academic equivalent of a hotel swimming pool and spaces to study are like sun beds. Students lay claim to them with coats and books instead of towels and are miserable instead of happy, but it’s only a metaphor, so get over it.
My point is this: if we don’t want to see people urinating in the pool, we need to put a stop to it before the holiday season begins. So next time you’re in one of the library’s silent areas and you overhear someone describing their favourite TV show and/or how long it usually takes them to reach orgasm, give them a piece of your mind. But whisper, because it’s a library. Now shut up and do some work.