Union President’s promise to put microwaves in the library could be toast

Library staff seem resistant

The most influential student representative on campus – Union President, Jack Taylor – is thought to be facing major difficulties in fulfilling his largest manifesto aim of getting microwaves in the Robinson Library cafe.

The History grad, who is paid over £18,000 by the Union, promised in his manifesto he would: “Aim to make the library even more student friendly, with additions such as microwaves”. However, despite a political mandate to fulfil his manifesto aims, library staff seem to be making it difficult to get the kitchen appliances installed.

A comment made by an unknown student – posted to the Robbo’s ‘Tell us what you think’ noticeboard – suggested that the library should invest in a microwave for the cafe. Library staff responded on the noticeboard saying they had looked into the idea of microwaves in detail but didn’t think it was a service that should be expected of them.

The response from staff went on to say they had discussed the matter with officers at the Students’ Union and that a microwave had been in the library cafe a few years ago but it was removed due to “problems it caused with cleanliness and hygiene”.

In summary, the response said: “We have also recently contacted a couple of other university libraries where they have installed microwaves, and apparently it has been fairly disastrous.

“I don’t like to give negative responses, but in this case I think we need to take a clear view about what the library is actually here for… Not to maintain a domestic kitchen and food preparation facility… We don’t think it’s a service we can reasonably be expected to provide.”

The comment is visible to all students in the Robinson Library lobby area.

When will we get microwaves in the Robbo?

We contacted Jack Taylor directly and asked him if he come across any obstacles that he’d like to let students know about and when we should expect the microwaves. In response, he told The Tab: “I hope that by the end of the year we are able to proudly say we have secured microwaves in the library, however, we’re still some way of that yet.

“I’ve entered conversations which have highlighted some of the issues of having microwaves in the library, namely food hygiene issues and the task of finding someone to service and clean the machines.

“I’m currently in the process of exploring options to tackle this and will be doing research to see if anywhere else has been successful in implementing microwaves in a space as popularly used as a library.”

The comment made visible in a plastic wallet

The President also promised there would be “free tea and coffee during exam periods” available in the library during. You can see the rest of his manifesto, and the other promises that were made, here.