Sunday, 16 October 2011

Bring back QML.

So the new bloody library has finally opened their fancy revolving doors in the University of Aberdeen and thus we have gained entry into a stupidly impressive building. But it just doesn't feel right.

Yes, they have cool lamps on every desk (on some floors.. they still do not work); it has a massive hole in the middle of the floor; impressive views; comfy chairs; cafe area completed with a coffee machine; a glass elevator rivalling that of Willy Wonka; seven floors of tidy bookshelves and seating; a modern exterior design and
Star Wars - esque passage doors upon entry... But it's no longer a library.

The novelty of the new library is clearly at an all time high .... annoyingly so when the regular go-ers are subjected to inconvenient library tours; the public and students awe-ing and ah-ing. I have been there twice to study and have found myself wanting to stab something. On the first occasion, the receiver of my homicidal anger was going to be a rather loud American girl who found it perfectly reasonable to talk at length, and at volume about herself. On the second occasion, I was on the seventh floor, quite happily reading something mundane and occasionally looking out on to the sun shining happily on to the city, when I felt my life was going to end with the attack of what sounded like a JCB.

It wasn't. It was the coffee machine. Seven floors down.

Which begs the question why on earth there is a giant hole in the middle of the floors? Everything can be heard from the floor above and around lunch time, everything can be heard from every floor from the cafe. How is this conducive to a studying environment?

Not only that, but due to the popularity of this zebra cuboid, there are no spaces during a normal week day. Meaning it's even noisier! Perhaps this is a good thing. The shiny new toy is worth playing with therefore there has been a fluctuation of students to the library who sit there with their shiny MacBooks, typing ferociously on Facebook chat to the person next to them and laughing uncontrollably at the absurdity of what they are doing. *sigh*... GO HOME!

QML was a sore sight. It was dark, dingey, smelled odd (normally of B.O) but it was quiet and quaint. I liked the mysteriousness about it and lack of lighting; it struck fear and motivation into me to study. I enjoyed the mismatched furniture where you would exchange chairs with the table next to you for a comfier study stint. And more importantly there wasn't a giant hole in the ground where you could hear the vending machines rattle out a twix. 

QML was packed to the brim during exam weeks and I fear that even with the increased seating in the "New Library" (why doesn't it have a name?), this won't make a difference given the library's current state of popularity. All of a sudden it's cool to be studying in the library.

It's a brilliant building and worth a see but it's not a library. It's a museum and a waste of money. If they didn't have the stupid hole, they could have fitted considerably more books in and more seating (to accommodate for the band wagon-ers). Instead, the University has foolishly opted for style over substance.

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