Libraries can be tense places. There is that initial rush for the best books, the last minute cramming, the final thesis-printing and at the same time, they are supposed to peaceful places of refuge for quiet study.
There are three types of library users: the studious, the easily bored and the complete douchebags.
How to balance the complex needs of all three groups is a difficult conundrum. But we can safely say, most of the blame for the following bad library behaviors lay with the third group.
These are the guys who save all their socializing for the library. They sit quietly in coffee shops and say very little in the bars. They wait and strain, sweating in silence, if someone asks them a question they franticly move their eyes trying to communicate the message, wait until I’m in the library – ask me then! And so it is, they enter the library and breathe a sigh of relief – they can talk, loudly and heartily. This is what they have been saving up for – celebration times!
So, in the tense psychogeography of the university library, how can we best avoid conflict? Here are some behaviors that really ought to be avoided:
The original academic faux-pas – uttering anything more than the most basic phatic phrase at ordinary volume in these pyramids of learning is highly unacceptable. There is a little more leeway with whispering. But even that should be reserved for necessary speech only. Regaling your course mates with an epic of Odessean proportions delivered in a fevered whisper can be even more irritating then normal talking.
Suggested punishment: In medieval times, gossiping women were forced to wear a brutish implement known as a ‘Scold’s Bridle’. It was an iron mask that traps the tongue making speech impossible. Go figure.
This is a matter of moderation. Ok, suck a mint, chew some gum, that’s fine – it helps some people concentrate. But sit down next to me, pull out your pre-heated jacket potatoes, add some relish, some salad, a little coleslaw and I would say NO! The canteen is where you eat your lunch you obese douche and you do not use a dried potato skin for a bookmark.
Suggested punishment: If you cannot control your appetite long enough to do a bit of studying for your future, the privilege of having a future should be removed along with your appetite. Therefore, I suggest enforced Crack addiction to be implemented for these people.
Watching TV on your Laptop
Ok, so you’ve earned a break. You’ve studied for ten minutes or whatever your media-destroyed attention span will allow and you decide to kick back and watch a little Youtube before getting back to work. Even with your earphones in, it’s distracting. Moving pictures draw the eye towards them and when the choice is between trying to figure out the difference between statutory extension and modification amendments or trying to work out what that douche is watching on Youtube – well, it’s a close run thing.
Suggested Punishment: well, it’s not as bad as eating and talking so I would suggest Youtube library watchers are filmed by their roommates having their first gay experiences and tweeted…about and… oh wait…