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A How-To Guide on Not Being Awful in the Library

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McGill chapter.

Disclaimer: this is likely the most petty thing I have ever written. 

It’s only September, but my classes this semester have been testing me since day 1. Meaning, I started feeling that it’s-midterm-season-but-Halloween-is-more-important anxiety on September 6th. In an attempt to resuscitate my barely-breathing GPA, McLennan has become my second home. So much so that it has come to my attention how many people have literally zero library etiquette. I spend more time like:

than actually doing work. To vent my feelings, here is a passive-aggressive and comprehensive list of the annoying people one encounters when they begin to permanently inhabit the library.

  • The Keyboard Serial Killer

Why can I hear your typing over my music? Why did you spend $1200 on a computer just to beat at it? What did it ever do to you? Violence is never the answer.

P.S. No one even types an essay with that much vigor; I know you’re actually tagging your friends in memes on Facebook. 

  • The Piece of Paper Seat Saver

I’m about to move that piece of paper out of the way like:

Everyone is guilty of sending that “I need to come to the library, save me a seat” text message! However, when the time difference between that text and your arrival is 2+ hours, I have a bone to pick with you and your friend who thinks saving a seat with a single piece of paper for 2+ hours (especially during finals!) means someone is sitting there. Add some substance, make it believable, and use a notebook. 

  • The Eternal Whisperer 

Whispering for 10 minutes in the silent section is not okay. Stop it.

  • The Bandwidth Bandit

I am very guilty of watching Netflix on my study breaks. Sorry! But when you come to the library with the sole intention of downloading 15 movies because you know the CSE won’t track you, and you also know McGill Wi-Fi is always awful, you’re making my 6 slide PowerPoint download-time 8 minutes. But am I actually upset because then I have a legitimate excuse to continue procrastinating….. 

  • The Canoodling Couple 

We have all seen the couples that feel the need to sit on each other’s laps (how can this be comfortable at all?) while doing work. It’s all good until I can hear the saliva being exchanged; that’s your cue to leave. #keepitathomepeople

Take a lesson from Josh, he knows where its at with PDA #leaveroomforthetextbook

  • The Fabricated Room Reservation

These encounters happen when you arrive at the room you reserved two minutes late and you find a group of people in there. You swear you confirmed the link in the email, but they tell you they reserved the room. Surprisingly, they can’t find the room reservation email. Thanks for wasting both our time. #GirlBye

  • The Perpetual Printer

Lord knows my 500 pages of readings per week mean I spend a lot of time (and $$$) at the printer. And we all know McGill printers are painfully slow. So when you’re printing ridiculous amounts, it’s nice to tell the people in line behind you so they don’t end up waiting for 15 minutes when they thought it would be 2

  • The Loud Music Player

Are you deaf? Because if you aren’t already, you will be soon. 




  • The Loud Chewer/ Smelly Food Eater

Please grant me serenity when I find out the person across from me belongs to this particularly-awful group of people. IT IS NOT OK TO EAT CARROTS AND TUNA FISH ON THE 6TH FLOOR. Honestly, it shouldn’t be allowed on any floors but whatever. Just because they are cold does not mean they are ok. I will never forget that time in third year when the girl sitting next to me pulled out an entire rotisserie chicken and just started carving it right then and there. No. No. No. 

Moral of the story is: McGill needs to offer a mandatory bird course entitled “Appropriate Library Behavior” for all first year students. And I need to learn self-control and time management so I can learn how to productively work at home (and avoid human beings).