How to recreate Sussex Library from the comfort of your own home

A lockdown-friendly guide

When Sussex Uni announced they would be closing the library indefinitely, many students found themselves lost and confused as to where they should now spend their free time. If you, like many others, have found yourself dreaming of a long uphill staircase, an unreliable barrier system and endless rooms filled with stressed out dissertation students then congratulations, you’ve been diagnosed with I-miss-the-library-itis.

But don’t stress, there is a cure.

We’ve put together an extensive guide to help you turn your home into your favourite study spot on campus – Sussex Library.

The formidable staircase

The first obstacle to any library stint is the towering stack of stairs that must be climbed in order to reach your destination. As well as posing an almost impossible feat for students with disabilities, this journey requires some impressive cardio skills and could even act as a home-workout for those of us self-isolating. As a fairly predictable comparison, try dashing it up and down your house staircase a few times. Take a bonus point if you don’t slip over and take two if you can do it all whilst juggling your books, laptop and pencil case.

The disagreeable barriers

The bane of any library-goers life, the barriers are surprisingly difficult to pass on entrance to the building. Trying to carry all your belongings whilst also fumbling in your wallet for your student ID is an act that requires insane coordination that few of us will perfect in our lifetime. As a home-friendly solution, try walking into a closed door a few times until your body (and ego) is suitably bruised – at least no-one sees you mess up at home.

The filled seats

With its considerable size and extensive number of sections, you would think that finding a seat in the library is an easy process. Well, never have you been so wrong. With Sussex’s student intake increasing each year it becomes increasingly difficult  to find an empty seat to perch, let alone one with a plug socket nearby. To recreate this struggle, gather your flatmates in one room and ask them to utilise every available seat. With no obvious sitting spot, your only option will be to find an alternative to a chair (think kitchen counter or coffee table) or give up completely and try again later, your best bet being five minutes to the hour.

you can’t sit with us

The overwhelming noise

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There are always two types of people in the library: those actually there to study and those just pretending to study whilst also making ridiculous amounts of noise. With the stairs conquered, the barriers defeated and a seat finally found, at the real library your only obstacle is the crinkling of crisp packets and the muffled laughter of unstressed freshers. This is possibly the easiest to recreate in your own home: head to your nearest communal area with the intention of starting an essay, then bask in the constant TV sounds, cooking noises and ongoing chatter that any student house is not complete without.


Realistically, you’ll never be able to accurately recreate the joys of the library. But, following these steps, you’re well on your way to creating a work environment that can be both the most and least productive place to crack on with your essays. In the real library, you can just up and leave if things aren’t going your way. Although this isn’t really an option in the mid-quarantine world we are living in, we promise we won’t tell anyone if you’d prefer to just sit at the desk in your room and work in a more controlled setting.

All that is left to be said is happy deadline season to all and, with this new information, may you be more productive than ever before.