The University of Bath library sucks
They don’t want you to win
It’s 9am on Level 5 of the University of Bath library. Groups of students are circling, desperately looking for a seat, already exhausted from the 40 minute bus journey from Oldfield Park. Laden with bags and Tupperware, they desperately search for the last remaining seats on the only quiet level of the library. At this stage, they are even willing to forgo a charging socket.
This is the grim reality of trying to revise at the University of Bath. Three days in to prime revision week, and four days until exams begin, some levels of the library are reaching capacity by 9am, with the rest of the building filling up by 10am. The stress of finding a seat is aggravated further by the draconian rules currently being enforced by an army of librarians.
Survival of the fittest
For those lucky enough to secure a seat in prime silent study location (back wall, level 5, by the window, charging sockets), have fun taking a quick coffee break to sustain yourself through the morning lull. The library are now exercising a policy of leaving warning slips once you vacate your desk. Two slips and your stuff gets moved. Your early morning trek to campus has been in vein.
So you accept that you will have to forgo your 10.30am caramel macchiato, but what about eating? As usual, the same policy applies about leaving your seat. So no trips to the lime tree salad bar for lunch. The library’s no eating policy is being just as eagerly enforced as their no desk reservation policy. No snacking on the sly.
Don’t hate the player, hate the game
The library policy about reserving desks has apparently been enforced as a result of demand from students. From the stressed look in the eyes of those arriving at 9.05am and trying to get a seat on level 5, I can understand the frustration. But instead of demanding that anyone who leaves their seat for more than two minutes have their stuff taken away, why not question why the University has stopped caring about its students?
The underlying problem here is an issue with capacity. This problem is just the most recent in a long list that Bath students have had to face this year as a result of the University taking on too many students for its current level of resources. As we await new buildings to be completed, we are the ones that have to suffer. We all had to grin and bear it when there was a housing shortage, when you couldn’t get a seat in lime tree, or when the gym was full at 5pm – but now, when it matters most, all we want is a seat in the library. When we’re paying £9,000 a year (or even more for International students), surely that should be a basic right?