Why is the Sydney Jones never the right temperature?

Who is in control of this torture?

We’ve got a lot of questions for the SJ, the most important probably regarding the temperature of the library. Let’s be honest, it’s simply just never the right temperature. We know the SJ don’t even control it, it’s even in a disclaimer in their Twitter bio, but who does? We still want to know why it can’t be temperate. For students spending the 9-5 in the SJ because they have no contact hours, this just won’t do.

Why is it not possible to simply set the heating to a nice normal temperature of 21 degrees? Taking into account the mass of people who gather and contribute to the temperature, even 18 or 19 would probably be perfect. But no, instead the library staff seem to want to make sure everyone is either freezing and cannot possibly take off their woollies, or make sure everyone is sweating so much that when walking through the automatic doors into the grove wing you’re just hit with the stench of BO.


Firstly, let’s tackle the cold days. It’s common knowledge that when the library is too cold, the toilets provide a heated, if unsanitary, space for a quick study break. But the library toilets are not an ideal place for trying to encourage proper blood circulation. The stairwells are another known option for warmth, but there’s only so long you can sit and read a book on a well trodden staircase with people constantly taking a phone call break around you before you give up and go back to bed.

A cold library inevitably results in expenses too. You have to spend money on extra comfy jumpers and scarves specifically for library sessions. Then, once you’re there, your loan drips away on the never ending supply of coffee and hot chocolates you have to buy to keep yourself from freezing. And now that the SJ only has Starbucks machines, that overdraft is getting even deeper. It’s also super hard to write and type on your computer in the cold, not just because you’re shaking and have frozen fingers, but cos everyone struggles to move their arms when wrapped in a million layers.

lucy unimpressed w coffee machine

On the complete other side of the spectrum (because the SJ has no in between) is the heatwave that often suddenly hits the building. On first entering the library at its highest temperature, it’s so warm you have to strip off the many layers winter enforces in order to save yourself from heat stroke. This is then followed by five minutes of sitting as still as possible in your chair while your body stops sweating and adjusts to the heat.

When the library is too hot it also ruins your revision progress, not that it was very impressive in the first place. Heat makes people sleepy which can lower concentration and lower the amount of work produced. Social media, gossip and food break distractions are acceptable reasons for not having looked at your book once in the last hour spent in the library, but the heat making you sleepy is not.


The worst thing about the terrible library temperatures is probably its unpredictable nature. One day it can be about 30 degrees in there, and the next day the heating isn’t even on. It’s not like you can prepare an appropriate outfit, you just have to take all your layers with you and shed them if its hot. The discrepancies between sections of the library are irritating too, the Grove wing will be boiling and the Abercromby wing will be freezing, and at the end of the day, your bed is just so much more appealing.

The SJ library twitter have responded to the many complaints about the temperature and even edited their bio: