The Library: Hot food, cold food, hot drinks, cold drinks…. I'll eat them where I damn well please.

“As I write this, I happen to be sitting on level 5 making my way through a sandwich and a coffee”

As any Hartley Library regulars will know, eating food is banned in the top two floors of the library, and hot food is banned throughout.

As I write this, I happen to be sitting on level 5 (where food and hot drinks are banned) making my way through a sandwich and a coffee. Now Mr Librarian, I know that right now you’re reaching for the phone to ban me from ever entering the library again, but before you do – please hear me out.

After previous uproar from students, the Library decided to allow food only on certain levels.

I’m a library regular. By ‘regular’, I mean I go there at least 3 times every single week. Almost every time I go, I will hit the cafe and spend a couple of quid on a sandwich or a coffee. In fact, the girls at the cafe see me so often I don’t even need to ask for what I want anymore – they already know I’m going to order.

Now basic maths says that as I spend about £6 per week in the library, and there are 39 weeks in the academic year, I contribute almost £250 per year to the library. I had never done that sum before… ouch.

Now as someone who has never spilt a drink, never made a mess, who aims to be as quiet as is physically possible while consuming my purchases to not disturb those around me, the idea of being told I CAN’T eat where I want baffles me.

Now there is one example I can think of where the Uni actually has a point. Once upon a time, I was on level 5, grinding out coursework after coursework like there was no tomorrow. I was literally on fire. And then the worst happened. Another student sitting 5 metres away from me came back to her seat with food. Not just any food mind, she came with a full on ‘chippy’. You know – the greasy, smelly kind that turns even the most hardy of fitness gurus into puppy dogs begging for just a single chip? Needless to say, the work was off. The concentration was blown, kaput.

I have been at Uni almost three years, and I can safely say – I have NEVER had an issue with other students eating around me besides the chippy incident. So why spout this nonsense about ‘keeping the library pleasant for everyone’? If you don’t want to spend more on cleaning, at least admit it.

Have you even considered that most of the food eaten in the library is FROM the library? The extra revenue from the library goers who eat inside will definitely far outweigh any extra cost of cleaning – no question of that.

Now I may well be banned from the library having written this, but that’s £250 per year that the Uni will be saying goodbye to if this happens.