Space hogging and the ever-present ghost

There’s the person in the library who speaks on their phone incessantly, so much so that by the end of the day you know more about their personal life than you ever wanted to. There’s the person who crunches on their crisps so loudly, you wish they’d eat just anything else – and when they do, they choose an apple. There’s that person who reads to themselves out loud and the one who keeps laughing uncontrollably at Twitter memes on their computer.

But who is worse, who is so much worse than all of these people combined?

The person who isn’t even there.

A pile of textbooks lying on a desk, a notebook left open with a pen positioned as if ready to jump up of its own accord and start writing. Sometimes a coat is draped over the back of the chair for effect, occasionally a bottle of water waits patiently beside the books – all for a person who never seems to be coming back.

Does this scene sound familiar to you? Maybe you’ve seen it as you haunt the Learning Commons in your eternal search for a computer. Maybe you got to your favourite desk in the Main Library a little later than usual and found it a casualty of this phenomenon. My friends, this is the work of the space hogger.

A spirit made out of pure uncoolness, this phantom seems to be present (absent) everywhere you look. “How could they have gotten here so early?” you think bemusedly, staring at a space-hogging incident at 6am in the morning. You got up super early and denied yourself a morning coffee to get here – they just went home last night leaving their stuff so they’d have the space again in the morning.

Or maybe reader, as you’ve been reading this – you’ve realised that you yourself might have been guilty of space hogging. Perhaps you didn’t give it much thought at the time, maybe it was just a short lunch break that turned into several hours. Maybe you thought that taking just one computer when there are so many wouldn’t affect anyone. In fact, we’ve probably all been guilty of some form of space hogging at some point in our student life!

So here’s just a reminder, a wakeup call even – it’s worth thinking about how your actions might affect other students because you might be these other students at some point! We collected some statistics on how bad the problem actually is and they’re quite illuminating. Have a look at our results below and don’t forget to be considerate of everyone around you. 🙂


Don’t forget to contact us on Twitter if you have any ideas on how we can reduce space hogging in our libraries!

By Madha and Rav from the Student Team

Also, many thanks to Hannah from the Student Team for analysing the data!



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