Scary Library Changes!

JENNY DELL is frightened of change

campus card library

The Durham One, at my last count, has at least four quite detailed articles dedicated solely to our library (one of which, by the way, contains some genius remedies for library induced boredom). I suppose this isn’t many, but perhaps it says something about our student population that we have started an online tabloid only to publish articles about a place quite so nerdy.

However, despite being constantly told that as a Fresher I didn’t need to do any work, and should fester in my bed all year, sleeping off the alcohol and shame of the dreaded night before, I made it to the library, and found the aforementioned article provided me with weeks of entertainment as I happily scattered friends’ possessions at references all over Level 4 throughout the entirety of the summer term.

So it was with trepidation that I opened up my email the other day to read that ‘change’ has occurred at the library. They started softly: no food or drink in the library from the start of term. Well I’m sure that was the rule all last year anyway, and has to be one of the most poorly enforced regulations ever witnessed (there’s also a game to be had out of that one; I tell you, the activities are endless).

But I read further on that Level 2 is ‘completely different’. How could they change things when we weren’t watching? I’m convinced that life in Durham grinds to a halt at the end of June, to be reawakened just before October, so the idea that unknown persons have be rearranging the library in which I have spent so many tense and depressing hours of my life is quite unnerving.

But more concerning, despite paying thousands of pounds in fees to build and fill those library shelves, we now are can’t come in or out without a card with the introduction of the rather brutal sounding ‘no card no access’ policy. I can only assume that this has been introduced to prevent those who sometimes forget their campus card from committing the outrageous crime of borrowing someone else’s card to get through the barriers. How this will be enforced is yet to be seen: if you go in without a card, and don’t have it to get out, are you trapped there forever? Will you have to remain until library closing time in some sort of refugee-style holding area, hanging your head in shame and humming songs from the old country?

Obviously, having to have your campus card on you to get in and out isn’t that traumatic. But it could be said that this restrictive approach to accessing the materials that are essential for our degrees is not one that gels well with Durham’s reputation of one of the best universities in the UK. Having hiked up to the library, stress levels already sky high from yet another late night spent doing an essay I should have started weeks ago, to find that potentially I will be refused access having misplaced my card is not going to help my fragile mental state.

At least I can some consolation in the fact that, if I stick to my first year habits, I won’t be in there for at least six weeks anyway. By that point, I’ll be relocating my life to Level 4, so getting out won’t be an issue anyway. Probably should embrace my freedom before then.