Why we watch TV in Main Stacks and other library faux pas explained

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MARCH 11, 2014

You’re at the library, studying for your midterm tomorrow, surrounded by other students working hard to stay on task. But it’s been a long day, and it’s looking like it’s going to be a long night. Your self-control slowly breaks down, and you start to engage in activities that only disturb your (and everyone else’s) concentration. You may hate yourself for it, but don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Why? That’s a good question — we at the Clog wanted to get to the bottom of this problem, so we took six common library faux pas and tried to figure out why they happen.

1. Watching TV

There are definitely other, much more comfortable places to rewatch all 10 seasons of “Friends,” so why are you doing it at the library? The problem is that healthy study breaks, such as jamming out to music or doing some jumping jacks, aren’t really an option at the library, so your only choice is to watch an episode of your favorite show — only it doesn’t stop there. “One more episode,” you whisper to yourself as you click the next link, over and over again, until you realize it’s 9 p.m., the library is about to close and your 10-page paper is still unwritten.

2. Using headphones that aren’t noise-canceling

Why not invest in a good pair of headphones? Because as college students, we all try to save money wherever possible — but this means that your $10 headphones sort of defeat the purpose of owning headphones. You may pretend you’re doing work, but trust us, we can hear you rocking out to Miley Cyrus.

3. Eating loud or smelly food

Is smelly food the only easily available food? Are you just unable to chew snacks without a crackle, snap and pop? Perhaps smelly food recreates the comforting aroma of Mom’s cooking. But if you’re trying to create a homey environment, you’re asking something of the library that it just can’t give you, try as it might. Think about the fact that if you’re bringing in full-course meals or cooking appliances, you’re taking it too far.

4. Being sick

The flu sucks. It’s also ridiculously contagious. We always skip class when we’re sick to avoid spreading the disease, but we can’t say the same about going to the library. Other patrons may glare at you for coughing throughout the night, but you’re one step ahead of them. You figure that because the library kills hopes and dreams, it’s probably just as effective at killing bacteria and viruses — right?

5. Engaging in PDA

There’s something romantic and sexy about doing the deed behind the bookshelves; you figure this is what F. Scott Fitzgerald did when he was taking a break from his work. But between cold hard floors and narrow hallways (literally), it’s probably not as sexy as you thought it was going to be. Even if you want to casually make out, remember there’s a time and place for everything — and it’s not here.

6. Talking loudly on the phone

You’re in the middle of a tough problem set when you suddenly get a text from a friend telling you to call her immediately. You know it’s important because she used more than three exclamation marks. “I’ll just move 10 feet from my current position to that hallway, which is obviously soundproof,” you think — only you couldn’t be more wrong. The acoustics of the halls amplify sound so much that we all end up spending an hour listening to your enthusiastic pep talk about how guys suck.

Once in a while, it isn’t the worst thing if you find yourself disturbing the environment of the library, but if you’re increasingly becoming the target of angry glares, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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Contact Shruti Koti at 


MARCH 11, 2014

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