The strange things you will experience studying in Sussex Uni library over lockdown

Sussex library has never seen such savagery

With upcoming deadlines and online exams approaching, it is the season of panic library sessions. However, if you have yet to visit the library since coronavirus began, you may be in for a little shock. The new system that the library operates causes some issues and, in many instances, has led to students displaying some very odd territorial behaviours.

Every man (or woman) is left for themselves in the savageness of Sussex Uni library in lockdown. Here are a few things you may come across if you choose to brave the lib during lockdown:

People who hide seat numbers should not be trusted

The audacity amazes me

This really does happen. If you are unaware of how the library now works, in order to gain entry you must have a valid booking which allocates you to a seat number for a selected number of hours. Students hiding seat numbers after outstaying their allotted booking time is a classic example of the weird stuff that has started happening since the new system has been in place. But seriously, it’s not hard to work out that T6 is next to T5, try harder.

The sneaky ‘ditch and hide’ tactic

The worst disappearing act

This is a particularly odd and brave manoeuvre. Similar to hiding seat numbers, when a student knows they are overstaying their allotted time and someone else is booked in after them, they decide to leave all of their stuff spread out over the space and ditch to go for a coffee for 45 minutes.

So, the next student booked in has to either wait for them to come back, or attempt to move the previous person’s stuff, which during a global pandemic is a dodge move. This is particularly savage if the second student is only booked in for one hour and the first person is MIA for the whole hour. More often than not, the second student gives up and leaves. It is a sad sight.

The ‘seat hoppers’

Some things never change, and unfortunately finding a seat in the library is still a very hard task, even with the booking system. If you want any chance at booking a seat, it is best to book the day before: booking for the same day becomes almost impossible as the library becomes a more popular option. As previously mentioned, it is possible to book a seat in the library for one hour. It is also possible to book multiple one hour slots over the course of the day. This is a strategy taken by those who were late to book a seat, who I have come to identify as the ‘seat hoppers’.

The weekly ‘study limit’ is so dumb


If you are indeed an avid library user during lockdown you may be aware of the study limit Sussex University have in place. The university have decided that 20 hours per week is the limit of our bookable study time on campus. If each module is asking for 10 extra hours of study outside of seminars and lectures then what has possessed the university to actually limit the amount of time they want us to study. So now I’m paying nine grand for online classes and limited use of the library. Nice one, Sussex.

Whoever controls the library heating is evil

Be prepared for the heat

The crazy temperatures of the library never fail to amaze – it’s either sweltering hot or freezing cold. During lockdown, the heat has been almost unbearable, especially if your favourite spot is top floor in the glass, fenced off area (which my friends and I have named ‘the fishbowl’). The heat seems to compress within these glass walls, causing everyone to overheat massively. I would recommend making sure you have a light and airy t-shirt underneath your winter layers.

Becoming a regular

A legendary strat

Once you start recognising the library regulars it is safe to assume you have become one yourself. You will come to develop a favourite seat that you will consistently book for your study sessions, which if unavailable will upset you greatly. You may also find yourself becoming more comfortable in the library during lockdown, even turning to bringing in your own refreshments in the form of a mini kettle and coffee.

Indeed the library has arguably more issues during lockdown, nevertheless, myself and many other students continue to use it. Although these experiences are inconvenient, it almost makes studying in the library that much more entertaining. I would much rather go to the library, one of the only things I can actually do during lockdown where I can be around people other than my housemates, than be alone studying in my bedroom. If my four years at uni have proved anything, they prove how Sussex lib holds a special place in my heart.