Breaking Library Law

Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net)

I have never broken the law, but today I am a criminal. I am a delinquent who is doing what she should not be, and talking to people I have no business knowing.

Many students are confounded with the need to find a suitable study space. Often the feat seems unachievable because all the sweet spots are taken by those masterminds that are wiser than you. They got to the coveted spot early, and will not relinquish it until their academic woes are dealt with. These whizzes have the organisational skills that we all claim to have on our CVs, when in reality we are only in the process of developing them. I wish I was an organised scholar who could focus on chipping away at the mountain of assignments that have been unleashed on us all at the gruelling end of the semester. Alas, I am not that person.

Even if the perfect study corner can be located, it will be an acoustically exposed place – ruined by the infringement of chatter. The balance of enough sleep, decent grades, and the perks of being a social butterfly is difficult to strike. Whilst other more adept students can multi-task in the library by socialising and simultaneously getting work done, I sit there disturbed by the noise and intimidated by the brilliance of the surrounding brainboxes. They unravel the labyrinth of dense language in academic journals with ease, winning the battle that the rest of us struggle with.

Sometimes there arises a need to escape the habitual places, and to venture out in the hope of finding a new learning environment; one that will cease the onset of procrastination and ignite the forces of motivation. Today was such a day, the need to explore with the hopes of finding the idyllic study space blossomed; the race was on.

Think about the possibilities: where would be sensible? As a Londoner, the obvious place away from your uni library may be Senate House; The British Library; The Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection; or the unlikely option of illegally squatting at another uni’s library. Alas, it is a dog-eat-dog world, and I took my chances.

Brazenly, I creep through the unexplored minefield. I slither past security as they look unfazed by my presence, but my mind has free reign as it unleashes the imagination. I imagine security pouncing on me and dragging me away into some secret room in the depth of the library, for offenders to be interrogated on their mischievous conduct. I pray that they ask me whether I am a student; perhaps my affiliation with academia may soften the blow. But the storm never comes. I glide through the doors undisturbed and can soak up the wonders of another uni’s library. The unfamiliar hallways are refreshing, because novelty is a quality human beings cannot refuse. My delinquency is short lived though, as my best friend goes to Kingston University. He is my knight in shining armour. All at once, my thug life fizzles away.

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