January exams have come around all too soon and this means only one thing. Let the battle commence between the students of Nottingham University and the staff of the Hallward Library. An increase in library attendance and fraught exam stress means enhanced levels of rule breaking, which naturally the Hallward Hitlers don’t take kindly to. But I can’t help feeling that their attitude is a little extreme in some cases…

My first bone to pick is the level of intensity with which they uphold the ‘NO CARD, NO ENTRY’ rule. Despite being able to prove in various different ways that you are in fact a student at the University and don’t just get your kicks out of gaining illegal entry into libraries, there is no budging them. I think that even if I broke down and wept, explaining tearfully that my entire degree depended on being able to print my dissertation off in the next five minutes they would gleefully shake their heads and watch me retreat dejectedly. They secretly love it, and nothing gives them greater pleasure than when they catch you smuggling an extra person through the barrier, or attempting to pass yourself off under the guise of someone else’s card. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go home at the end of the day (because obviously they all live together) and share stories around the dinner table, “Does he think I was born yesterday ‘Sarah Dartford’ my arse…I can see you’re not of the female anatomy young man, pull the other one…” (Pause for excessive twattish library-worker laughter).

We all know by now that taking hot drinks above the ground floor is forbidden. So when a friend of mine attempted to defy the system, he was inevitably stopped in his tracks pretty sharpish with that recognisable call of “Excuuuuuse me, you’re not allowed coffee on this floor.” He turned, mid-stride to face the small, mousey woman accosting him and deadpan replied “Thank God it’s tea then”. You can imagine the tirade that ensued from this mini Miss Trunchball. But given that you are permitted to take water to said floors, what exactly is the difference? Are they suggesting that it’s perfectly acceptable to hose down the books with a refreshing torrent of water, but god forbid that we might physically scorch and emotionally scar the poor things with a shot of caffeine? Books have feelings too you know.

I recently took great pleasure in wittily responding to the usual dressing down about bringing food above ground level. After a visit to Boots I re-ascended the stairs to my glass-box Reading Room haven, but was stopped in my tracks with the call of, “You know you can’t eat up here” accompanied by a swift, telling gesture towards by Boots bag. “Good job I don’t enjoy the taste of Tony and Guy hair mousse then isn’t it?”

The obvious solution is of course to venture up the back stairs to avoid such confrontations. However, the back passage is not such a safe haven as you might imagine. Whilst partaking in a particularly emotionally charged phone conversation recently, I naturally retired to the stairwell on the fourth floor for some privacy. My tearful exchange was rudely interrupted by a member of staff who happened to be walking past. She angrily informed me that people on the third floor in the silent section were being disturbed by my conversation. Are they really? Or did you just fancy having a go? I’d be impressed with their bat-like sonar hearing if they could genuinely hear through a wall, a floor, a set of double doors, and multiple aisles of books, but forgive me if I’m mistaken.

My favourite anecdote comes from my housemate who suffered a written warning for her unacceptable library conduct. The incident began when she was quietly studying and minding her own business in her booth. She soon became aware that something was amiss when the dark shadow of a small, bespectacled Scottish man suddenly loomed over her work. “Is this a joke?” he spluttered with a strong Glaswegian accent, whilst laughing unbelievingly at the sheer cheek of her behaviour. He continued, “You are disrespecting me, this library and the library books.” Given that the criminal in question still looked utterly bewildered he eventually managed to explain (after several pauses to allow the resumption of a regular breathing rate) “A RIBENA CARTON…NEXT TO A LIBRARY BOOK…” He took immediate action demanding the student number of the offender before marching off leaving a trail of steam emanating from both ears. Within five minutes an email landed in said student’s inbox, detailing the incident, with a warning that if caught again she should expect an on-the-spot fine and could even be barred from further library use. He also kindly attached a copy of the Hallward handbook suggesting she remind herself of appropriate library conduct.

Such ruthlessness has crept over the boundary into the library café like an unwelcome fungus. We are now unable to get a simple cup of hot water without incurring a charge, they’re unwilling to supply plastic cutlery for free unless it is used to consume goods purchased in the establishment, and most recently the staff explained that “condiments are to be used for purchases made from this cafe only, otherwise a charge of 50p will be incurred.” What about if I bought some crisps from the cafe but wish to use a packet of salt to flavour my Refuel chips? Now we’re in murky waters!

A quick note to the staff of Hallward Library: we’re not massacring entire communities, we’re not defacing the building, we’re not assaulting terminally ill children, we’re just having a bloody coffee.

Hillary Hattington

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  1. Jeremy Tibbick
    January 13, 2010 at 15:11

    If you are all so aware of the rules – no card, no entry, no food or drink in certain areas – why not try obeying them !

  2. Eva McMad
    January 13, 2010 at 20:06

    I have the good fortune to work in Hallward, and can assure Ms Hattington (yes, we can all use pseudonyms) that absolutely, we LOVE nothing more than annoying prissy princesses like her. I bet you’ve never forgotten your mobile phone, missy – the one needed to sob down on the back stairs – although remembering your card is obviously too hard for you. Grow up, take some responsibility – stop criticizing those who actually have a difficult job dealing with the (thankfully minority of) students like you whose needs and wants override everything else. University isn’t nursery. Now, go sob down the phone to Daddy… *sounds of “twattish library worker laughter”*

  3. Getting a Decent Job
    January 14, 2010 at 01:27

    Dear Eva

    I’m so glad that you are taking this article to heart, you absolute jobsworth. Perhaps you should have “remembered” to work a bit harder at school so you wouldn’t have to sit behind a desk all day under the illusion that you have some form of ‘power’. Are you jealous?

    If someone needs to grow up I believe it’s yourself, I hear the Job Centre have some good stuff going at the moment- the reason I say that is if your superiors find that you have been responding to this in such a manner, I think we can safely say that you’ll be removed from your position.

  4. A Library Worker
    January 14, 2010 at 10:27

    *sounds of “twattish library worker laughter”* This really made me laugh! Bless you my child – now grow up, take some responsibility and get a f**king life.

  5. Graduates make up the bulk of staff
    January 14, 2010 at 10:40

    Most of the staff have degress … some much more.
    and more and more graduates are joining the Hallward Staff Teams.

  6. Ivor Biggun
    January 14, 2010 at 10:51

    This tirade of personal criticism is very easy from the ivory tower of education.
    Unfortunately not everyone has the opportunity to become a highly paid human rights lawyer. Many people have so many factors outside of their control which prevent them from doing so during the years when they should be “remembering to work harder” that yes, they may end up taking employment below their station (or below yours apparently).
    Just be warned that many of my highly qualified graduate friends are currently struggling to find ANY gainful employment and would give anything for a lovely part time job in a nice warm library. The real world often requires us to smile sweetly bend over and take it.

  7. eva braun
    January 14, 2010 at 11:12

    good to see Daddys money wasn’t wasted on buying your good manners at public school,and when you have your ( undoubtedly ) History of Art degree under your Gucci belt and are working in McDonalds on account of it’s general uselessness, please feel free to let us know. If it were up to me, personally i would let you all take your food and drink upstairs,whenever you wanted to. I would also however instruct the overworked cleaning staff to not waste their time clearing up after you, and let you sit upstairs surrounded by mounting empty food wrappers, pizza boxes,drinks cartons, general rubbish, and let you sit in your own muck. I am sure that would solve the problem and go some way to stop your childish wingeing . It’s a library….not a social club.Deal with it.

  8. Camille
    January 14, 2010 at 11:14

    I am slightly confused as to why Impact would want to be associated with lazy writing that has no and will have no impact what so ever.
    Since when this magazine became the space where individuals can take out all their (lots of kinds evidently) frustrations? Create a blog and let lazy authors loose to write anything they want. Writing an article is not as easy as the author thinks and it is not all about them. Get a diary and read it to your friends! What was the point of this article? What was the impact?
    Now, can we all agree that referring to Hitler for the purposes of this article is simply lazy. So many other words….now, I am not going to help the author, I just want to point out that she needs to work on your writing. If this means that you have to spend more hours in the library so be it because I really think she can benefit.
    Last but not least, as an author you should be able to control your frustration before you sit down and write the final draft. This is mainly because you end up mumbling and not writing. A blog would be more appropriate to your style of writing. An article should allow us to experience the author’s reflection on a subject and not the unflattering reflection of their character. Too egotistic, almost narcissistic!
    So lets get you writing properly first and then you can have a proper go at Hallward. How is that for a suggestion?

  9. Andrew
    January 14, 2010 at 11:20

    Wow, this has all got a bit out of hand hasn’t it. At the end of the day most of the students here will end up at the job center *Getting a Decent Job* and your probably no different. Jeremy makes the right point, would you go into a bank and demand money without a card NO! Would you demand entrance to a cinema without a ticket? NO! I don’t work at hallward so you can’t call me a jobsworth, all I’m saying is maybe it’s time for you to grow up and learn the ups and downs of life. Oh and maybe, just maybe you could try doing things for yourselves once in a while and not use the common, and mosty annoying comment, “can’t you do it for me?” the answer is plain and simple, NO!

  10. Jo Stalin
    January 14, 2010 at 12:25

    The library workers, cleaning staff, cafe staff, security staff, the majority of students and everyone else in the Hallward have got more decency in their little fingers than whoever wrote this dismal article. Anybody who gives a toss knows what an abysmal state the library can get into when the nasty minority (represented by HH) leave their filth and litter all over the building.

  11. Interested Reader
    January 14, 2010 at 13:33

    Reading this makes me feel angry, as I’ve often tried to work in libraries where people are gossiping, wasting their time and making it an unfit environment to work in. Sadly rules seem to be there for a reason, and it’d be great it everyone actually kept them. Everyone doesn’t (chips all over the place…sticky coffee-covered keyboards…), and I’d rather have money spent on course resources than on cleaners who have to clear up after filthy people. It’s also why I’ve given up on working in an on-site library. As for the comment about being allowed in with no card – it’s a fact of life, as is the fact that library staff are actually very helpful (much more so than this article).

  12. re Library mess.
    January 14, 2010 at 14:34

    Hurooh for interested reader.. Library Staff on the whole
    try their very best to be helpful smiley very polite even when being abused and shouted at.
    And yes the state of library maybe will lead to the loss of your 24 hour opening … the cleaners do a wonderful job considering the mess left . Most cannot even be bothered to take or bin library receipts at self issue machines.

  13. ana
    January 14, 2010 at 15:06

    I work for the library, and I can sincerely say that everything in this article is absolutely true and a fair reflection of the moral violence that the Hallward library perpetuates. The rules are incoherent and absurd, and they are enforced by power-hungry jobsworths. Fact.

  14. AB
    January 14, 2010 at 15:19

    Can I be the first to claim Godwin’s Law on this article?

  15. January 14, 2010 at 15:35

    This article, like many of those featured in Impact, simply stresses – in what I think is a comical style – the frustrated, if a little immature, opinions of those that spend every waking hour in Hallward. I like to indulge in a can of coke now and then, I put my rubbish straight in the bin and I don’t talk in quiet areas. I also complain endlessly about the librarians staring at me, as do a lot of people that I talk to. It should be stressed that the librarians of Hallward, if occasionally annoying, are very helpful, knowledgeable and clearly well-educated. Although as a side note stereotyping the writer as a wealthy daddy’s girl is bitter and unprofessional.

  16. Librarians!!!!!!
    January 14, 2010 at 16:19

    Sorry to disappoint you but the front line staff are not librarians…( unless over qualified for the role they are doing)
    they are only in grade 3 jobs upwards….. and dont generally work on the frontline but tend to make the rules so hated by the writer of the article and that have to be enforced by the front line staff known as
    Support Assistants….
    and dont earn even much.

  17. Emperor Hirohito
    January 14, 2010 at 16:20

    The only thing I can agree with this article is the ‘no card, no entry’ policy which I think can sometimes go a bit too far at Hallward . Nevertheless, that’s my personal opinion and it’s not my position to question it (being at the very bottom of the food chain in the Information Services department).

    However, the other complaints (food and drinks upstairs and talking loudly in levels 3 and 4) are unfounded. If one wants to eat and talk on the mobile then the library is not the place for that. I think that’s (should be?) obvious enough. In fact, the ground floor is probably the noisiest place on the entire campus and the tolerance to that only shows an enormous deal of compromise from the library authorities. A mere whisper not that many years ago in any library would infallibly create a bombardment of *shushs* from all sides which the author certainly cannot conceive in her presentist frame of mind.

  18. Camille
    January 14, 2010 at 16:57

    Godwin’s law!! I almost mentioned it earlier!! Good point!!

  19. Brittany Speer
    January 14, 2010 at 17:36

    At the risk of being pedantic I don’t think we can invoke Godwin’s Law here which says “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

    The Law is usually used an an indicator of whether a thread has gone on too long. Since this mean spirited “article” played the trump card so early perhaps there could be a new Hattington Law along the lines of “On online discussion starting with a a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler should be treated with the contempt it deserves”?

  20. 'im over there
    January 14, 2010 at 18:30

    Not sure Godwin’s law applies when the article in question already has the word Hitler in the title. I am surprised that said article was permitted to be published at all with that title. Library staff are not genocidal dictators and I think that this comparison warrants an apology or retraction from the so called author.
    The only real point I could glean from this badly conceived rant is one about having to pay for hot water or freedom of condiment use or some such nonsense.
    Libraries are no place for emotionally charged phonecalls, socialising, the imbibment of fluids (regardless of what goes on in the darkened recess’ after staff have gone home during 24hr opening) or the eating of greasy snacks. There is a cafe on the ground floor for goodness sake.
    Those who disregard these conventions are only disrespecting their peers and the future users of library resources.
    Users who do not appreciate the amount of work that goes in to tidy up after the thankless minority should take a wander over to the Boot’s Library where the books are in haphazard order on the shelves and they (shock, horror!) do not even have a cafe!
    Apologies for this article please…

  21. Finlay Jones
    January 14, 2010 at 18:45

    Libraries are for studying, not for drinking coffee, not for eating crisps, not for “sobbing” into your mobile phone. When they refurbished the library and turned it into a quasi-cafe, they made a huge mistake.
    Don’t go there to hang out or chitter chat, or browse facebook, go there to study!

    I’m sure there are some horrible librarians, but there are horrible people in every walk of life. Yes, even students can be horrible.

    P.S. If you really need to print your dissertation in 5 minutes then you deserve to fail.

  22. Marcus
    January 14, 2010 at 19:12

    I attend another university but sometimes use Hallward for referencing and have to say its study environment is amongst the best I’ve ever been in, the buildings layout and management lead to quiet effective study areas on the upper floors that I travel many miles to use. The rules are made for a reason not to be obtuse. Coffee stains books, a book or monograph could be ruined by a spillage and your library has some that are 80-100 years old original first editions that are invaluable to my research topic and priceless to replace. Learn to respect your library it is a fantastic resource, simply stepping downstairs to eat or drink in your subsidised canteen is not a major issue and I am dumbfounded that you find it so difficult quite frankly.

  23. Nick
    January 14, 2010 at 20:11

    But I’m everyones favourite member of library staff, right?

  24. Interesting..
    January 14, 2010 at 20:44

    Most students enter the library(with their card), have their mobiles on silent, eat in the cafe provided, and place their litter in the bin. Rule following is quite a common and simple process…i have seen it with my own eyes! Maybe if the author had done this in the first place they wouldn’t have felt the need to write this article. I don’t think an apology would be out of place.

  25. Laura Conboy
    January 14, 2010 at 21:43

    This article is offensive to all library staff . Comparing not being allowed a cup of coffee to the atrocities Jewish people suffered under Hitler is crass and suprising for someone educated to this standard. I would hope that the author recognizes this and that you can be ‘funny’ in many more witty ways .

  26. HIllary
    January 15, 2010 at 00:21

    The students of Nottingham University are in the midst of exams and in dire need of a little light humour, which they can all relate to, and Hallward is just that. It’s satirical – personally I clear up a lot of other people’s rubbish in Hallward, because I too hate litter bugs. I have many a time forgotten my phone, and rarely my library card, but everyone knows how annoying it is when you do…I have never attempted to print my dissertation in five minutes and never would…99% of the time I follow the library rules, but it’s entertaining to students because we all know the rules really and we all know why they are there, but occasionally we break them! Im not seriously suggesting we go hose down the books with water. I’ve also workeed in the King’s Meadow campus archives room where the rules are even stricter, the books have to rest on pillows!And I understand why, but that doesn’t been it doesn’t warrant a certain amout of pisstake, anything else i need to defend myself for?
    Some of the library staff are heroes, some take themselves a little too seriously…regardless of what degrees they have!

  27. HIllary
    January 15, 2010 at 00:30

    Ah yes also the cleaning staff do a fantastic job you are spot on and I have no qualms admitting it, and students are far too lazy about clearing up after themselves, but it would make a dull article.

  28. sharon
    January 15, 2010 at 01:39

    I think the criticism of this article has been blown way out of proportion. It is simply a jovial collection of anecdotes which have been slightly exaggerated to give all of us in Hallward during exam time a bit of humourous light relief. I really don’t think Hilary is saying that we as students should be allowed to get away with whatever we want but it is merely a reflection of many peoples views on a library system which is deeply flawed and no I don’t just mean taking coffee up to the 3rd or 4th levels but their fining system for books and their no card no entry policy! Not a lot of students really enjoy studying but when they have made that half an hour trek from Lenton to actually do some studying to be turned away for a simple mistake of forgetting a card it doesn’t exactly make you feel sympathetic to those of you who work in the library. You may not like what HH has said but it certainly made me laugh, its not meant to offend but is a witty and well-written article.
    ps. stereotyping doesn’t get you anywhere we’re not all so-called daddy’s princesses, obviously your time working in Hallward has made you a tad bitter.

  29. is it me?
    January 15, 2010 at 09:07

    “not meant to offend but is a witty and well-written article” – I think you need to learn some history if you think referring to library staff (I’m not one, before you have a go!) who are working hard to provide a service for not great wages as Hitler is funny or clever – Yes calling hh a daddy’s princess was sinking to her level, but she has upset a lot of people who are just trying to do a good job. It wasn’t a light-hearted article, hh, the tone is decidedly nasty. Take another look, think and apologise.

  30. An extremely offended library worker
    January 15, 2010 at 09:15

    I really don’t think the author thought this through very well if she considers this article to be ‘a little light humour’. It has caused great offense to library staff not only in Hallward, but in all libraries of the University.

    The rules are in place for a reason. Times have changed and the University recognises this and has tried to create an environment in Hallward which meets the needs of a variety of students. Levels 1 and 2 facilitate group work, now an element of most courses; levels 3 and 4 are designed for silent, independent study. The different environments admittedly don’t suit all, but we can’t please everyone.

    As for the ‘no card no entry’ policy – it is in place for the security and safety of staff and students alike. If we let all and sundry through the doors, who knows what sort of characters might come in and make off with an assortment of student belongings of which there are many to choose from left lying around.

  31. is it me?
    January 15, 2010 at 10:43

    The tone of the article was by no means light-hearted, it was very offensive. Try putting yourself in the position of a hard-working and not very well paid member of libray staff, who might take offence at being referred to as twattish, as Hitler and as someone who is there to make your life difficult. Most library staff (I am not one) enjoy and take pride in their jobs and I know many who have been genuinely upset by your so called humour, hence the sinking to your level princess retort. If you were a big enough person, you would see this and apologise, otherwise carry on trampling on other people’s feelings, and have a good life.

  32. Walking Dictionary
    January 15, 2010 at 12:21

    As someone who also works in another library altogether (it’s amazing how blog entries like this spread around the web…) I just thought I’d add this to proceedings:

    http://www.thespoof.com/about/ – a spoof newspaper which is *clearly* full of satirical articles

    http://www.impactnottingham.com/2010/01/hallward-hitlers/ – something which gives no indication of a satirical bent, only lazy writing which the author can ill defend (shutting the door after this horse has bolted, perchance?). We also have issues like this with our library (a badly-behaved minority plague the working environment of others, making rules a necessity), and we wouldn’t like this article being written about us, either. Especially in an official University publication. Doubtless I would be seeking representation with your Editor…

  33. it's not just you!
    January 15, 2010 at 12:32

    I don’t work at the library either but wholeheartedly agree with “is it me?”. The article was deliberately offensive and appeared to be written by a person who considered him/herself above the rules.

    Impact should be ashamed for publishing such low quality, marginalizing, opinion. I’d expect to read something like this on the forum page of the daily mail website rather than a normally high quality publication.

    Jan Moir eat your heart out!

  34. Brigadier Block
    January 15, 2010 at 12:57

    All this article has highlighted is the vast majority of people’s inability to laugh at themselves. This response is typical of internet forums where any sort of humour is responded to with attitude-filled “sassy” comebacks which probably require hours of consideration and which typically result in lazy stereotyping. What if HH is actually either on a first or is state educated? What if HH becomes a succesful journalist whilst your still working at Hallward Library? Nearly all the personal, you-try-doing-our job vitriolic responses become irrelevant. Lets be honest being a librarian isn’t really living the dream. It’s so tiresome reading all the comments defending the backbreaking labour that each librarian puts in every day. Unfortunately, internet discussions just show the social misguidedness that each crusader of the Hallward staff possesses. Instead of crying over how poorly you’ve been portrayed, why not take the joke and respond in kind with a piece tearing apart the students? I think it’s time people stopped being so sensitive, learned to take a joke and actually recognise the humour of the article. P.s those of your crying out for an apology and expressing outrage at the use of Hitler in the title, take a day off from being Inspector Generals of the P.C Brigade, chill out and grow a thicker skin there are bigger injustices in the world than the title of an article written in a Nottingham University magazine.

  35. is it me?
    January 15, 2010 at 13:04

    If you have a genuine issue with the way in which the library is operating, there are proper channels through which to express this. And before you moan that it doesn’t do any good, take a look at how the library service has been vastly improved over the last few years thanks to comments by users that have been made in a responsible way. I am a paying customer of a number of different places but wouldn’t dream of attacking the staff of those places in the way that this article has. How arrogant to presume paying money gives you the right to do that!

  36. awful
    January 15, 2010 at 14:53

    Aside from being insulting towards staff that are integral to the efficiency of the libraries, and our learning consequently, I must take issue with the casual and extremely insulting and misguided use of a Nazi analogy. Perhaps in future this magazine, that is supposed to represent a communal student voice, will think twice before letting such a childish article be published, and the author will learn to have slightly more respect for those without whom their academic experience would be hugely inhibited.

  37. Che
    January 15, 2010 at 15:14

    Absolute Drivel

  38. 'Idiots and lunatics see only their own wit'
    January 15, 2010 at 15:14

    Thank You, Ms Hattington, for making us aware that the ‘No card, No entry’ policy at Hallward Library is akin to the genocide of millions of civilians. Of course these ‘Hallward Hitlers’ have made Hallward into Auschwitz for the students, I don’t know how you will ever recover from this ordeal. We need to close down the Third Reich, I mean Hallward Library. I think it is your right nay your duty to inform the government of this dictatorship.

    Yes, admittedly some of the staff are strict however you have not mentioned ONE scenario where they are not implementing set university rules. Your flagrant loathing of authority is juvenile to say the least. I think it is very intelligent of you to attack what little service the university provides, wouldn’t it be great if after this no one worked in Hallward (!) Although at Hallward you are unable to steal sorry use condiments I’m sure you go to restaurants to borrow salt and napkins if you find yourself snacking on ‘Refuel chips’ in town.

    What is the point of writing about global warming, the coming political election or even the fact that Universities’ annual funding has been reduced by £398m? Yes I know I will make comments on not only the ‘Hallward Hitlers’ conduct but also their appearance because that is how mature I am. I dread to think that you are being given any financial support funded by the taxes that the ‘Hallward Hitlers’ are paying.

    I am aware of The Freedom of Expression as outlined in The Human Rights Act article 10 yet to so in the name of ‘journalism’ and a very thinly veiled rambling of a disgruntled student is beyond a joke. I think somebody needs to tell you, you are not the centre of the universe. I think if you can find the time to get your head out of your arse you might see the real world, filled with responsibilities and not just phone calls and coffee. Your polemic rant is an example of the shoddy journalism of a narcissistic egotist.

  39. Theodore
    January 15, 2010 at 15:53

    Perhaps the choice of using ‘light humour’ were the wrong words, however the article has served its purpose; to distract and relieve the reader from revision or whatever job they may be doing. Regardless of what you may think of it, you still read it, thought about it and then proceed to write a comment; totalling I would say about 15 minutes of your time. So well done HH, you have certainly distracted me from my increasly dull dissertation and given me something else to think about. The content of this article has been taken way out of hand and we all know its an exaggeration of what really happens . So guys chill out, take it with a pinch of salt and get back to what you were doing before you were distracted by this ‘debarcle’

  40. Weasel Pie
    January 15, 2010 at 16:44

    Is Hillary Hattington even really a student? She doesn’t seem to know that this institution is called the University of Nottingham (not Nottingham University).

    Just wondering, is it liable to compare people with Hitler? My partner works at Hallward and has never even thrown a punch in his life, let alone committed a genocide.

  41. A Hallward library member of staff
    January 15, 2010 at 18:30

    If your memory retention is so short, that you and your peers cannot remember to bring your card to access the library, and you feel you can flout any rule you deem unnecessary. What chance do have lasting in business.
    Just as you find it irksome library staff enforcing the rule, we also find it irksome having to do it.
    Grow up and start acting the adults you’re supposed to be.
    Shame on you Impact magazine for publishing this article.

  42. LG
    January 15, 2010 at 20:12

    Why should Impact be ashamed for publishing this article? I see few students complaining, only disgruntled Hallward staff and their associates. I had no negative views about the Hallward staff until seeing their evidently humourless and over the top response to a bit of gentle mockery.

  43. AT
    January 15, 2010 at 20:46

    I think students must be fairly bemused by it all (I happen to be one). After all, the article is complaining about a set of rules which are not only well known in the Hallward library, but are actually fairly common in any library you would care to go to. Isn\’t it self-explanatory that spilling coffee over a book is more severe than spilling water on it? I know that the lines are blurred at this university, and that there must be some who see the library not as a \’library\’ but as some sort of social mecca, but that doesn\’t mean that we should expect standard, reasonable library rules not to apply.

    The examples given are all of people breaking rules which we are all very aware of and, upon reflection, know full well are reasonable and appropriate in any well run library environment. We all bend rules from time to time, but only some of us throw our toys out of the pram when we get called on it. As for expecting a cafe to provide cutlery and condiments for you to use on other peoples\’ food – pull the other one!

  44. Ian Tonnage Bell
    January 15, 2010 at 20:48

    An excellent point made about our Hillary, “Is Hillary Hattington even really a student? She doesn’t seem to know that this institution is called the University of Nottingham (not Nottingham University).” Oh my God, imagine if people actually went around calling it Nottingham University?! Glad I have those to remind me of the instititutions proper title, it’s so relevant. This just proves exactly the type of people that find offense in this article, namely pencil-pushing, high-vis jacket wearing, socially inept milk monitors who enjoy admin in their spare time.
    Also not really sure of the relevance of Weasel’s partner never having thrown a punch. It’s precisely those who lack any sort of personal and physical confidence that abuse power the most. I’m sure he’s a real nutter though when he’s got his name tag on and is basking in the glory of his Regional Junior Assistant to the Assistant Manager job title.

  45. Student
    January 15, 2010 at 23:25

    This is aimed mainly towards Brigadier Block and his quote, “Lets be honest being a librarian isn’t really living the dream”. This is highly insulting, and me, being a student, appreciate all the hard work and effort that the staff at Hallward put into maintaining a clean, secure and overall outstanding environment. The library staff are simply standing up for themselves as they feel hurt from the unnecessary, personal nature of the comments. As for the point about taking it as a joke – jokes are meant to be humorous and this clearly isn’t, resulting in upsetting a lot of people who don’t deserve this harsh criticism by the article and individuals like you.

  46. An amused reader
    January 16, 2010 at 01:31

    Wow, HH really has irritated a lot of people!

    @Andrew – you actually can withdraw money from a bank without a card, it’s a relatively modern invention actually…

    @re Library Mess – why do those flipping machines print a receipt every time? I’m well aware I just took two books out and returned one, I don’t need a slip of paper to tell me, surely it should be a ‘would you like a receipt?’ option instead…

    Hilarious article for the most part (I doubt HH actually breaks these rules and then writes about it!?!), although slightly harsh on the staff who seem to be nice 95% of the time but then that just wouldn’t get the same kind of response in the comments would it?

  47. Jo Charles BA(Hons)
    January 16, 2010 at 01:54

    Does this qualify for “Heard in Hallward”?!

  48. Bemused Lady
    January 16, 2010 at 06:16

    *Rolls eyes and continues revision of French grammar 🙁 *

  49. Chief Munch
    January 16, 2010 at 15:05

    Poor Ms Hillary Hattington.

    A true munch with a lady-like use of kettles and command of the English language has really come under attack for a slick, entertaining and well pitched to the main reading demographic of Impact Magazine.

    Hillary has used references to figures, such as Hitler to make this article accessible to the majority of the University of Nottingham with an attention grabbing headline and an entertaining piece of text which entails.

    Freedom of speech is something we should respect. Hillary Hattington is an accomplished journalist for Impact magazine merely representing a large cohort of the student body and addressing the overzealous and pedantic authoritarian methods used by the university librarians during a time when students are under enormous amounts of pressure.

    Many of the cutting comments made by posters on here seem to be regarding the coffee/Ribena incident claiming that a library is an area solely to retrieve books and knowledge and not an establishment to quench ones’ thirst while reading and studying. A university library is indeed an emporium for research and gain knowledge in order to aid in a student’s tertiary education, however university libraries such as Hallward have areas to undertake private study and revise – which normally requires the use of your own laptop, notes and books and not the libraries. The fact that a library rule is that liquids other than water are not suitable hydrating agents while undertaking further academic study is truly barbaric. Are these alternative liquids comprised of varying chemical compositions really upsetting the librarians that much?

    A mass-power trip by the majority of the librarians is what this article is highlighting, an abuse of power representing the hierarchy that seems all so relevant at the University of Nottingham; ‘Them’ VS The Students.

    Is this really the environment wanted or more importantly deserved by the majority of, us, the students who are here to nourish and further or academic careers and who are paying the majority of most of the librarians’ salaries? All we want is to study.

    R.E.S.P.E.C.T is needed.

    This is opinion. This is an article in a student magazine. This is not life or death.
    Get some perspective people.

    Yours Truly,

    (Awwwwwwww) Harry

  50. January 16, 2010 at 15:24

    I must say that’s the first time I have heard somebody describe fairly normal, self-explanatory library regulations as ‘barbaric’ and ‘an abuse of power’. There’s flamboyant exaggeration, and then there’s that!

    A couple of people have mentioned the fact that they pay the librarians’ salaries and are therefore entitled to a say in the library regulations. By this logic, am I entitled to, say, repeatedly interrupt my lecturers because, after all, I pay their wages? It ‘should’ be fairly clear that this argument is hogwash, and I’m not sure whether people are joking or not when they throw it around.

  51. Chief Munch
    January 16, 2010 at 16:35

    Dave Jackson; you seem to have missed the 2 key points from my post:

    1.Hillary wanted to draw attention to the abuse of power demonstrated by the librarians.

    2.I wanted to draw attention to the need for RESPECT in the library, towards and from the librarians.

    Please do not engage in infantile ‘flamboyant exaggeration’ for the sake of upping your BNOC stocks and shares by making a name for yourself on an internet website.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Chief Munch, (Awwwwwwwwww) Harry

  52. Postgrad
    January 16, 2010 at 16:53

    I’d much rather work in a library than write for the Daily Mail which HH seems to be headed for if this is anything to go by, if only to retain my self-respect, dignity and integrity.

  53. peggy
    January 16, 2010 at 19:12

    whoaahhh…i think this is being taken way too seriously…i didnt realise “no sense of humour-compulsory” was on the application form for jobs at the library…

  54. A rambler
    January 16, 2010 at 20:19

    Many years ago, when I worked for the Nottinghamshire County Council, I was quietly reading a newspaper in the Member’s library when the thermostatically controlled radiator I was sitting next to switched itself off. A few seconds later the words: “How would you like it if I came into your house and switched off your heating”, floated across the room from the direction of the head librarian’s desk. I denied all responsibility but she seemed strangely unconvinced. Notwithstanding this, I have to say that of all the people I have ever known at work and socially (and that’s a lot of people) I have never found any so interesting, knowledgeable and a real pleasure to be with as librarians. If I ever get trapped in a lift my only wish is that I am trapped with a librarian.

  55. Luke 'Briggsy' Brookner
    January 16, 2010 at 23:36

    You’re all being so mean to the library staff! I think they’re wicked wicked, give them a break x

  56. January 17, 2010 at 01:27

    Interesting to note support for the library rules from someone I remember seeing being escorted from the building for talking in the silent area during exam revision a few years ago!

  57. Librarians!!!!!!
    January 17, 2010 at 15:25

    Chief Munch… please reread all comments.I’ve already said the Library workers are NOT LIBRARIANS… they are support assistants ( its an admin job about 7 quid an hour) . The jobs open to librarians ( qualified) are much higher up the University hierachy in information services… level 3 jobs and above . For the most part with a few notable acceptions they do not work on the frontline.

    Oh and the one poor person so lampooned in the article ( very personal attack) describing their accent. Left the employ of the University Of Nottingham for pastures new.

  58. Mat
    January 17, 2010 at 15:39

    It appears that this thread has become the front line for the ongoing “Battle of Hallward”, a conflict which I have seen erupt many times over the years as stressed out students trying to cram that last formula into their heads attempt to dodge rules and procedures laid down on them by an increasingly stressed Hallward staff trying to control a library which is full beyond capacity (I write this as I sit under the stairs on the bottom floor as it is the only bit of ground on which a tent has not been erected made of notes and textbooks). In the end there are many problems with Hallward and both sides have committed their violations worthy of UN intervention and trial at the Hague. Students who leave rubbish in areas are high on my list of annoyances, along with individuals which I can only assume appear in the early hours to reserve a computer by logging on, leaving some work and then disappearing into the night never to return. Library staff who have seem to have little sympathy to the crazy eyed student with wild hair who has been in the library long enough to register it as a second home and is fuelled by caffeine and taurine also play a part in my daily annoyance. There comes a time when the rules, some of which I can see perfect sense in and some of which could only have been devised by a mad man intent on global domination must be bent. Students need coffee, and short of a student being a seven year old or having a severe balance deficiency should be aloud to drink it at there desk. I also speak from experience of that fateful day when you forget to put your wallet in your pocket and arrive at Hallward with no card. Im only human, and Id like to think that this indiscretion will not hamper my chances of a well paid job in the geese trading industry. Maybe Im crazy, but could library staff not have access to University student records which includes a picture (the one printed on our cards)? Thus allowing access to the unfortunate student who has callously forgotten his/her card and avoiding the eventual confrontation as they try to enter the library by crawling through the air vents. Could students not simply clear their rubbish, books etc. from their desks when they leave. Im sure that many of the problems which have been outlined by other comments could easily be overcome with a few sensible solutions, or we could all just meet on the downs for a re-enactment of the opening scene of Gladiator. Either ways fine for me…

  59. Hitler
    January 17, 2010 at 19:44

    I think the problem in this article begins with the title; ‘Hallward Hitlers’. Should Hitler ever rise from the dead and become a librarian, i do not believe we will be worrying about the coffee we cannot take upstairs. As we can see disabled facilities are available and there is space to drink your coffee on the main floor even if you do not have blond hair and blue eyes.

  60. @LG
    January 17, 2010 at 19:46

    Gentle mockery, that’s a good point, let me think for minute… oh wait, my mistake, that’s ABSOLUTE bullshit.
    If this is gentle mockery, you must be as ignorant as the writer of this article. Maybe you two could start a club of being rude and ill-informed together, and then we can write an article that “gently mocks” you. For people enroled in this level of education, you sure are stupid.

  61. Katie
    January 17, 2010 at 23:04

    Controversy isn’t such a bad thing. I think it’s always healthy for a student editorial to publish bold/innovative articles that really push the boat out in terms of representing the views and attitudes of a very diverse readership. However, in this case, I’m very sorry to say the article falls into neither of these categories, for it’s simply written in bad taste.

    Any claims that this article is satirical should immediately be assigned to the dustbin. If you google the definition, you’ll find that a staple requirement of satire is irony. “This irony (or sarcasm) often professes to approve the very things the satirist actually wishes to attack.” If anyone could point me to a single moment if irony, I’ll be damned. The writer is incredibly mocking and derisive ad verbatim for all the wrong reasons (“excessive twattish library-worker laughter”), and far from exposing the flaws in the current library system, rather points to her own follies. It just left a very bad taste in my mouth, as it did almost everyone else I know who has read it.

    What could have potentially been a razor-sharp, witty article showing up the shortcomings of library administration is actually a piece of self-important, uninspiring journalism. Poor effort.

  62. Hear, hear
    January 18, 2010 at 08:55

    Thank you, Katie – you’ve summed up my feelings exactly – and explained beautifully just why library staff (those supposedly “humourless” people) were so offended by such a nasty, vindictive article. Those of us who work in the library system know it isn’t perfect; HH lost an opportunity to try to make some fair points by deciding to concentrate on being self-obsessed and vitriolic. I can assure her that the vast majority of library staff do very strongly have the students’ interests at heart, and will make every effort to be helpful – being called Hitlers and jobsworths is just mean and unjustifiable.

  63. An extremely offended library worker
    January 18, 2010 at 09:07

    If Hitler ran the library all the books would surely have been burnt to a cinder by now!

  64. tommy
    January 18, 2010 at 10:41

    Is not the real issue here that;
    students+work=pissed off student.
    Pissed off student in library- coffee and mobile= even more pissed off student.
    Even more pissed off student+further work= failed degree.
    The problem seems to be the library here, its the cause of all failed degrees. Its not the staff its the library. The maths speaks for itself.

  65. Andrew
    January 18, 2010 at 11:57

    Brigadier Block “Instead of crying over how poorly you’ve been portrayed, why not take the joke and respond in kind with a piece tearing apart the students?”

    Because we’d be disciplined as it would be seen as unprofessional

  66. Andrew
    January 18, 2010 at 12:05

    @An amused reader
    Ok you go in with no card, no bank book or cheque book and see what you come out with… foolish comment, try again.

  67. Ben Lucy
    January 19, 2010 at 19:10

    I’ve got into Hallward & GG without my library card a few times. Guess I’ve just got one of those faces

  68. Lucky me
    January 20, 2010 at 09:12

    I can stroll up to my bank with my passport or another accepted form of photo id and they’ll give me enough cash for the day.

    The uni has a database with all our names on it. Would it be that hard for a library worker to accept a driving license as proof of identity and then look you up.

    I don’t think people would abuse the system and do it that often because it would be pretty inconvenient and take a couple of minutes.

    I am humble enough to admit (without a hint of sarcasm) that I may have missed a fatal flaw in this system.

  69. Random person
    January 20, 2010 at 15:43

    The database isn’t available to any University employee who wants to use it. Usage is strictly monitored to avoid abuse.

    It is a good point though but good enough to spend a significant amount of student fees looking into?
    Surely the money would be better spent going toward education instead and the students guilty of forgetting their cards, should just learn to live with their unfortunate memory lapses?

  70. Dave Jackson
    January 20, 2010 at 17:40

    Chief Munch, I assure you that my BNOC potential isn’t exactly brilliant. I’ve pretty much given up hope on that score. Even if this was what I was concerned about, posting comments on here isn’t my main plan of attack.

  71. I second that
    January 20, 2010 at 19:25

    Chief Munch, you need to familiarise yourself with this:


  72. Cunny Joeingham
    January 23, 2010 at 02:11

    I’ve not seen such vitriol online since Jan Moir got started on Gately.

    Next month: George Green Goerings, Clive Granger Goebbels’, Sports Centre Stalins, Kings Meadow Kim Jong-ils, Mooch Maos, Portland Pol Pots…I’m here all week folks.

    January 30, 2010 at 15:36


  74. Luke Foy
    January 30, 2010 at 18:56

    I am Nottingham’s finest mechanical engineer. I can tell you Hallward is a wonderful place. I have full respect for the cleaners who have to clean up all the mess that I leave on the third floor and in the toilets. Bravo!