Covid has brought out a new breed of library dickheads and I’m over it

Learn to behave or don’t use the library

I love the library. I need the library. Where else am I supposed to go to actually focus when I have multiple essays, hundreds of pages of reading, and a dissertation to worry about? When I found out the Main Library in George Square was opening despite the pandemic, I practically jumped for joy.

Sadly, the re-opening of the library has been bittersweet. While I’ve loved being able to book a study space and get out of the house, the worst part of the library has also come back: library dickheads.

It’s not exactly a new concept that once people step foot into the library, they forget all human decency. Individuals take up group study pods, people take three hour “study breaks” at the busiest time of year, and students sit at the 15 minute computers all day.

I thought that maybe in the middle of a pandemic, we could all learn to act a bit better. We could come together in the face of adversity. I was wrong. People still leave their stuff at a desk all day, but now it’s a desk that I’ve booked and was hoping to use.

Don’t sit at my desk if you didn’t book

Let’s start with those individuals who simply don’t use the booking system. Maybe you forgot and now everything is booked up. I get it. However, not booking for the library but going and sitting in someone else’s seat is next level rude. First of all, much of the booking system is used for track and trace. You’re spreading your germs all over the desk, and no one knows you’re there.

It’s really not that difficult guys

Secondly, you’re taking someone’s seat and putting them in a super awkward position. Now, they have to walk up to you (less than six feet) and ask you to move. Or, they feel so awkward they just leave you and don’t use the seat at all. I’ve known individuals who simply made a new booking because they felt too bad about asking someone to move. Shame on you.

Additionally, there are those people who don’t move when asked to. I’m not making this up. I’ve seen someone, when asked to move, inform the person whose rightful seat it was that he “was working on a deadline” and still needed the seat. I don’t care if you’re working on the cure for cancer, babes. That’s not how this works. Shove off and reevaluate why exactly you think you’re more important than everyone else.

It’s not that difficult

Even worse than those people who snake your booking and sit at your desk are the ones who snake your booking but don’t even use the seat. At least (for the most part) if someone’s sitting at your desk, you can ask them to move. If someone’s taken your seat and just left their stuff to go do God knows what, there’s nothing to do. I don’t want to touch your stuff. We’re in a pandemic. I also don’t want to go snitch to the Help Desk on you because I’m not 13 years old.

Your stuff is everywhere

There are also the reverse of these people. The ones who book library slots but never show up. Some of these study slots are four hours long. We’re in the middle of midterms. The library is only going to get busier. I’ve had people say to me they’re “not sure” if they’re going to go to their library booking. Excuse me? You are keeping multiple people from using the library by booking that slot. Booking a library slot isn’t a casual maybe. You’d better go and use it.

Wear a mask??

Finally, we have arguably the biggest library dickhead of all: the one who simply doesn’t wear a mask. There are a select few people who are exempt from wearing a mask for health reasons. This, I completely understand.

However, the vast majority of people who aren’t wearing a mask in the library are doing it because they don’t want to be “uncomfortable.” That excuse is downright pathetic, and I’m tired of having this discussion, frankly. It’s such a simple thing to do to ensure other people’s safety and comfort. If you can’t do that, you don’t deserve to use the library. You’re not exempt from any rules.

If you’re one of the people mentioned above, sort it out. You’re making this worse for everyone. I love the library. I need the library. People like you are making it a lot harder for me to use it.

Related articles recommended by this writer:

• What does your seat in the library say about you as a person?

• The ultimate guide to Main Library etiquette​

• You can now buy a library pin as a memento of the hours you spent there