People eating in the library - should I say somethings?


Well, there are a few desks left on the top floor. But the whole of the ground floor is like an IKEA showroom. Supposedly, "the learning zone has been designed so students can learn in the way which makes them feel most comfortable". Reality: yackety yack yack, rustle giggle squeal yak yak RING RING doodly-do-doo rustle rustle snigger snort yak yak yak:-s


Yeah seriously some things should be sacred and nice quiet libraries with 'no talking/mobile phones/eating/drinking' signs everywhere is one of them. For god's sake if 'the way students learn' is by sitting around on sofas eating and drinking then why can't they just study at home???

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Hey Rosy, this sounds like a great oppurtunity to relieve some PhD stress and clear up some annoying ******s in the process!! give em some welly.


Quote From juno:

He...maybe I'm just an old grump but I quite like the dusty old academic libraries of yore. Either you are at the same uni as me, or this trendy library business is spreading throughout the academic world. Bog off with your lattes and "learning zones", and bring back my desks;-)

Me too. It is an absolute joy to discover really traditional libraries now....

I think it must be spreading, as I think you're a scientist aren't you? I wondered if some new library management person must have wanted to 'make their mark' when in a new post somewhere, and being a bit hip 'n' trendy, decided on that reorganisation strategy. I must say the use of 'zone' instead of room or department makes me cringe, it already seems dated, like an MP trying to pretend they're 'down with the kids' (is that the phrase??? I'm not young and cool enough to know!). Maybe with another management sweep in a few years, another new word will replace that and there will be another change of style... *sigh*


I am with the "old school" crowd of quiet, dark libraries with desks. To the extent I ever have used a sofa in a library ( during my JD), it was specifically because I wanted a nap!!!!!! So I would snooze out for about 20 minutes if I could.....but when I needed to study, I would lock myself up in a study room--no windows, no noise, silent.....hideous, actually, but it made you get your work done so you could get out again! Do British libraries offer a study room you can reserve and study in by yourself?

While I don't mind a bit of noise around me when I study, I am not very tolerant of people on the phone, talking, etc., that clearly has nothing to do with studying.

Libraries are not "social zones." Learning is not a social thing--in that case, why not hold class and study down the pub?

I don't think its asking too much that learning areas in a university be set up so that people can learn--in quiet, at desks.


Aye, I'm a scientist (or trying to be). You're right about this new jargon, it does make you cringe. They went through a phase of calling us all "learners" instead of "students", which was just as bad: after sufficient complaints they changed it back to student. Why mess with things?


The annoying thing with these 'social libraries' is that it means there is nowhere for people to go for quiet study. At least with the 'old school' system if you wanted to talk about work you can go elsewhere to discuss it. This whole idea of learning being a social thing is all well and good, but surely it is as an adjunct to more traditional methods as opposed to a total replacement. It does annoy me when people come in with fancy buzzwords and tell students how they should be learning, it happened quite alot with my undergrad degree.


I have gone on about this in other threads...but I dislike the whole thing of trying to dress up being a PhD student as something besides being a student---an example I can think of is someone with business cards that say PhD Researcher. To me, that sounds like someone who has attained the degree and has employment as a researcher. What is wrong with calling yourself a student--when that IS what you are? To me it sounds dishonest to call it something else, but that's just me. But what on earth is wrong with saying you are a student? I have no problems saying this to people! I am rather pleased with my transition from career to study--there is nothing shameful for me in being a student, nor do I feel it personally as some sort of dimunition of status, although there are people who do treat you as the low rung on the ladder as a student...but calling yourself something different doesn't change where you might be in some sort of imaginary pecking order.

So we are left with an education system where the libraries replace canteens, students no longer learn, they do something else, and they aren't called students anymore.....madness!


Olivia, it's partly a status thing, trying to elevate yourself in the academic hierarchy. It's a blurry status though in reality, as PhD students do have a less straightforward status as students, in that they also teach as members of staff, and are employed on that basis (at least in my uni). Also, some staff are also doing PhDs though they were staff before they registered for their PhDs (I am one) so wouldn't define themselves as students, as they're employed primarily as permanent members of staff. Some of the fulltime PhD students we've had do no teaching and aren't staff, so I think it's purely an ego thing with them. It's a bit disturbing how inflated some egos do get in some cases, not necessarily proportional to the quality of their work, or so I believe.


Academia is weird!!!!! I understand about perhaps wanting to clarify status if you were a fulltime staff member and then started your degree, versus doing the degree with some teaching tacked in to it. I do some tutorials, but I don't think of myself as a member of staff, as much as I think of myself as a student doing some tutorials...a student with some staff functions thrown in. And of course I realise that the hiearchy and status and etc of each department of each uni is different and people have to respond to those environments...In my own head I suppose I have not internalised the identity of a student, in other words, while I will say that is what I do, in my own head I am still a lawyer who is temporarily a sense of primary self reference still being in my profession and not in my studies, if that makes sense.


Yes, I think it must be partly that, what you think of yourself as. I never felt like a lecturer until I'd actually been doing it for a few years, I always felt like I was just pretending or an imposter, as people have said on some other threads, whereas all the lecturers were 'real' ones because they'd been doing it for at least a decade or longer. I realised a couple of years ago when I was redoing my cv that I felt like a 'proper' academic now, so presumably I'd changed my points of reference for what I regarded my primary occupation as. And about time too! And yes, I also think academia is weird, perhaps my college more than others sometimes, but it's definitely not dull.

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I use 'PhD researcher' or 'doctoral researcher' :$ But this is mainly because 'student' has so many bad connotations e.g. tax dodging scum ;-)

Also in my area of research there is a lot of value placed on getting yourself known, networking with academics and practitioners and the minute you say 'student' to anyone not in academia they automatically put you into that box. I suppose it is an ego thing, but rather a self-marketing, promoting yourself to the wider world kinda thing. It also means that people value my work equally to the work of someone who graduated from my MSc at the same time as me and is now 'senior consultant'.

So it is important to me how I market myself, even more so because I do a lot of consultancy on the side. and maybe it is more common in the UK, as I think 'student' really refers to studying and not getting paid, whereas I am paid a monthly salary, eventhough it is technically a grant.


Quote From eska:

Hey Rosy, this sounds like a great oppurtunity to relieve some PhD stress and clear up some annoying ******s in the process!! give em some welly.

Haha yeah I could do with some stress relief!!! I will tackle this on Monday and let you all know how it goes :-)


well i think library is place of studies not a eating place.

Avatar for Eds

I agree, my old library (Queen Mary) was like that twenty years ago- silence reigned with a rod of iron- and now you can take coffee all over, ground floor is like a creche, AND it's got it's own cafe, INSIDE the library!