Life without the library police would be hell

You love them really

harold cohen library police sydney jones

With the SJ and the HC proving to be survival of the fittest for a desk space, is it any wonder the librarians have taken it upon themselves to patrol the bookshelves?

And you know what, they don’t get enough credit. Maybe you’d never admit it, but secretly for a studious second year or stressed third year, the library police are the answer to your revision prayers. You no longer need to death stare the persistent chatterers in the silent study areas, as the library actually provides a service to do your dirty work for you.

Helen, a library staff member, said the mobile number and email system puts students through to the library’s roving – on the move – assistants. She told The Tab: “I used to be a roving assistant, and I think it’s really important to have someone who’s floating because we cant always leave the desk. They can actually be on the floor and they can see if there’s any problems, they can keep noise down, and tackle parking.”



If someone contacted them this way, Helen said they would kindly ask the culprit to keep the noise down. She added: “The staff would just explain it’s a quiet study area or silent study area, and ask them to take the conversation somewhere else. They are happy to explain where other study areas are which are more suitable.”

Helen explains the service has expanded now from just a noise alert system to helping students with various issues: “If you’ve got a problem with your PC, it’s easier if we can come and most of the time can fix the problem.”

The system clearly shows the library staff have got more balls than you. Their passive-aggressive notes to those irritating individuals who think it’s acceptable to have a three hour lunch break actually saves you the trouble of having to awkwardly move their stuff. We’ve all seen them circling desks like vultures, waiting for someone to get up and leave their things, but at least they are on the ball – ridding the library of those not truly dedicated to revision.


Helen keeping an eye out for riff-raff

Helen stresses the system was implemented a couple of years ago because “students were actually asking for something like that”. She said: “We consulted with other university libraries to see what they did, and put this system in place.”

Mark, an SJ staff member, believes the system put in place is extremely necessary over exam periods, and is well aware of how irritating it is finding students saving places for people coming later.

He told The Tab: “We issue the parking tickets, to make sure there’s enough spaces in the library for students to study in, and we want to discourage students just to leave their belongings there while they go off to lectures or another building. It’s really annoying when you walk past and just see people hogging spaces at 9am for all their friends.”


Get out

Mark also encourages students to use the PC finder app, if they can’t find a space in the SJ or Harold Cohen: “There are suites in the Guild with hundreds of PCs which are empty.”

As well as their parking ticket system, who can forget their passionate announcements over the tannoy, pleading for the SJ’s sole stapler to be returned and threatening to call security for unclaimed baggage dominating the foyer.

Some say they take their job too seriously. Nonsense. Without them, one can only imagine the riots that would kick off. Providing endless hours of entertainment for the loyal library folk in the SJ and HC, the library police are definitely not to be messed with. So stop the hate and show some appreciation for the unsung heroes of the library.