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From one student to another: ‘Love your library’

A recent grad’s ode to her favourite spot reminds Concordians to respect their common spaces
August 20, 2018
By Meagan Boisse

As a recent graduate, I can safely say that the Concordia Library and I go way back. I’m talking countless hours spent together, with many a long day and even longer night between us.

Of course, my relationship with the space is one I shared with others — 2.3 million to be exact. Yes, that’s how many people visit the library every year. If you want to put that in perspective, the Bell Centre attracts 1.5 million spectators annually, including during the hockey season.

The library is a student haven, a safe place to effectively put nose to book or meet with peers to discuss projects and ideas. It is an environment dedicated to both silent contemplation and open collaboration.

That’s why it’s important to respect the rules. While the library might feel as familiar as home, it is still a shared public space meant for the entire university community and it needs to be treated as such.

So yes, come in and make yourself comfortable. But maybe think twice before literally taking off your shoes and putting your feet up.

Throughout my undergrad years, I saw quite a few etiquette transgressions go down in this hallowed place of higher learning, some more egregious than others. So, as a gift to my fellow Concordians, here are some simple suggestions to help you avoid the wrath of the staff, or the leers of your peers.


In the reading room, silence is golden

As many of you know, there is a special room in the library that employs a zero-noise policy. I can’t say enough how much I appreciated it, especially at times when tranquility in a serene space was essential.

For longer study sessions where I had to get down to the academic grind, I made my way to a reading room.

So please, do not enter the zero-noise room in the Webster Library or one of the reading rooms in the Concordia Library and proceed to make noise — whether by chatting with a friend, watching YouTube or talking on the phone. When you do this, you throw off the entire room’s groove and swiftly prompt the ferocious plunge of a dozen eye daggers in your back.

No one likes the sound of your text alerts

In the same way you wouldn’t let your phone keep going off in the movie theatre, don’t let it buzz or beep in the library.

Mute your electronic devices when you walk through the doors and avoid becoming the most reviled person in the vicinity.

Spill-proof is the way to go

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit I am guilty of breaking this most essential of rules. I’ve definitely snuck open coffee cups from Starbucks into the library. I’ve also spilled said coffee all over the place and felt the scorn of a thousand eyeballs as I hastily tried to clean up after myself.

Another common problem I’ve seen are unfinished, disposable coffee cups spilling from the top of trash bins onto library carpets, and making a mess!

After a few mishaps, I realized spill-proof was the way to go. Besides, portable coffee containers are not only less messy, but ecofriendly and good at insulating hot and cold beverages. So, learn from my mistakes and get a thermos, already.

Don’t be a crumb-y person

Nobody likes crumbs, save for maybe the Cookie Monster. That being said, I know how much snacking matters when it comes to productive study sessions.

However, it’s really annoying sitting down at a library desk only to stand up and wipe the remnants of someone’s lunch from my hind quarters. I’ve heard stories of people slurping up ribs in the library then rubbing their saucy hands all over their seat. Do not be this person.

If you snack — and snack you must — do so in the designated eating areas in the Grey Nuns and in the Vanier Library. And as for the Webster Library, it’s surrounded by snack-friendly spaces that are easily accessible without having to go outside.

So, that’s the deal. The rules are not difficult to follow, and with a tiny bit of effort and consideration, you can contribute to maintaining the Concordia Library as an inviting and inspiring study space for all members of our community.

Find out more about the Concordia Library’s policies and code of conduct.


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