Thursday, May 23Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Is the 45 Minute Rule a Help or a Hindrance?

Students are finding the ’45 minutes’ rule in Bedford library more of a hindrance than a help.

Bedford library is aware of its popularity around exam time as a place for students to revise and write up any impending deadlines. Due to this fact the library enforced the “If you leave your space for more than 45 minutes your desk will be cleared for other students’ use” rule. This seems like a fair system, it means that those who try to leave and come back hours later while other people are desperately searching for a study space cannot simply ‘reserve’ themselves a seat. It also means that others can’t simply ‘reserve’ a seat for their friends when another student may wish to study.

So yes, from this point of view it is a good system but with this system come issues. A big problem is the constant monitoring whilst students try to stay focused on their studies. It does not help that there is an individual walking around seemingly looking over your shoulder whilst you try to avoid the urge to procrastinate. The people who monitor the library spaces have often been coined as ‘library Nazis’.

Also there have been cases where individuals have simply gone to get some lunch (because you need to arrive before 10.30am for any chance of getting a space in the library) and been delayed slightly only to come back to find their revision tools moved. In short, if you want to find a space and keep it your best bet is to eat a big breakfast, get there early and try to bring your own lunch. They know when you leave and your space will promptly be cleared as soon as you’re absent for the 45 minute mark.

There are pros and cons to this library rule but the main issue comes down to the lack of library space. Founders library is of course an option but even then it is difficult to find any space. We can only hope that the arrival of the new library will end this hunger games style battle to find a study space.