What your library floor says about you

No one ever sits in the social space to do work


For some, the library is a place to write a 3,000 word essay in the space of 12 hours, just in time for that 4pm deadline. For others, the library is the place to hang out with literally anyone you’ve ever met in any seminar ever. Whichever it is, the library is a place you love to hate; trudging up the steps to begin your research on “Acid House in the late 1980s” feels like you are walking to your death. Yet, once inside, the familiar brown sofas and warm temperatures begin to fill your soul and your thirst for knowledge awakens.

Much like in Mean Girls, “where you sit in the [cafeteria] library is crucial because you got everybody there. You got your Freshmen, Rotc Guys, Preps, Jv Jocks, Asian Nerds, Cool Asians, Varsity Jocks, Unfriendly Black Hotties, Girls Who Eat Their Feelings, Girls Who Don’t Eat Anything…” I won’t continue quoting but you get the jist. Where you choose to sit in the library is one of the biggest challenges you face whilst at uni.

The library steps

Steps can get pretty busy during deadlines..

Steps can get pretty busy during deadlines..

Fag in one hand, phone in the other, you cotch on the steps if you want to get away from the crowd and procrastinate big time. You go out “for a quick cig”, end up bumping into people and discussing how little work you’ve done and then end up catching up with your best friend on the phone for the next hour and a half.

How to spot a procrastinator: Chain smoker, kappa jacket wearer

The basement

Keep your coat on its freezing down here

Keep your coat on its freezing down here

As cool as it sounds. Literally, the basement is always about -5 degrees unless its mid summer. It may sound like the name of an edgy new Brighton club but the Basement is the place you go if you want to avoid everyone. Barely anyone is ever down there (maybe no one knows it exists, or its too cold) and there are only journal articles meaning that there are going to be no chance meetings with anyone.

How to spot a Basement junkie: usually a post-grad, always in a coat

The social space on the ground floor

BNOC's only

BNOC’s only

In full sight of everyone who comes in and out of the library, you chill on the sofas pretending to do work whilst checking your Tinder repeatedly, looking out for people you know walking past and hoping to get put on the ‘Spotted: University of Sussex Library’ Facebook page.

How to spot a socialite: you don’t even need to ask, as they’re a BNOC everyone already knows them

The booths

AKA the suicide booths

AKA the suicide booths

No one sits here out of choice. The only reason you would ever will yourself to sit here is if you have mean business to do and by that I mean you are still on work from week 3 and it’s now week 7. No distractions, no noise, no bullshit. You mean work.

How to spot a boother: black coffee in one hand, 5 books in the other and a face like a slapped arse

The computer cluster

3 walks round the library and you'll find a free comp

3 walks round the library and you’ll find a free comp

You own a Toshiba laptop that came out in 2012. Naturally then, you wouldn’t be seen dead carrying that huge, heavy dinosaur onto campus. As a result, your only option is to find a free Dell in one of the computer spaces. Sounds easy? You are so wrong. Unless it’s the middle of the Christmas holidays, your chances of finding a free computer are virtually non-existent. You meander from floor to floor, room to room in the search for a free one that A) isn’t locked and B) isn’t malfunctioning.

How to spot a Dell user: walking in circles around the library desperately looking for a free comp

The glass box on the top floor

For the privileged library users

For the privileged library users

Certified piffies spot. Up here is where all the spices chill. It’s far away from all the hubbub and the rest of the peasants who use the lib. You have easy access to the new, super clean uni-sex toilets and have a 5* view of the rest of campus from up here.

How to spot a Top Floor-er: kooky, smart, with an elusive air about them