The Tab’s Guide to Library Etiquette

The Tab brings you your indispensable guide to navigating the pitfalls and peculiarities of library etiquette within the George Square Main Library.

Making an entrance

It is truly vital that one understands that library etiquette begins before entering the premises. Despite being bombarded with flyerers, a true Edinburgh student shows real class and grace in accepting the flyer whether or not he or she is interested in a £1 off entry to The Hive on a Sunday night.

Avoid entering through the ‘exit’ door. These signs are clearly marked and abiding by these simple rules will ensure the avoidance of walking into those who you are aiming to avoid from Why Not the previous night. To prevent this ungainly walking into one another, pay attention to these instructions and have your library card at hand to keep from fumbling in one’s bag to a minimum. There’s nothing the British hate more than awkward encounters.

Library cat demonstrates how not to enter the building

The Library cat demonstrates how not to enter the building.

The Help Desk is located at the rear of the lobby where one can practise their queuing skills, a quality deeply bound up in the heart of British culture. Here the office kindly carries out your library related queries. The art of queuing can be seen throughout the door of the library cafe, the Welcome Desk and during certain circumstances, the extremely fast “Quick Use Computers”.


Pods are undeniably useful for group projects. However there are often hoodlums lurking around them looking for extra space when there is clearly less than three people. If you suspect a lurking hoodlum the first option that springs to mind is to point out the “three people or more sign”. An Edinburgh student with true etiquette avoids terms such as:

“Are there more of you in a pod, “mate“?” or insulting their intelligence with, “The sign says ‘three or more’, duh”.

The Library Cat

Those who spend their time outside the library rather than inside may be well acquainted with our feline, fury friend, the Library Cat. The Library Cat roams around the square in pursuit of food from hungry students but a true Edinburgh Student understands that this is not a zoo but a library and that feeding animals is prohibited.

Library cat strikes a smouldering pose for The Tab

The Library Cat strikes a smouldering pose for The Tab.

Food and drink

The Library Café is the heart of the social scene that the library has to offer and the cardinal crime is eating noisily on the fourth floor. Food and drink should only be consumed within here to avoid unwanted noise and mess which could directly lead to you being socially blacklisted from formal dining events. For those deeply engrossed in their work, take care not to slurp, gulp or chew loudly.


So, there you have it, a detailed guide on how to behave in the library.