Sunday, May 19Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

The EWD Library for Dummies

Whether you are approaching academia from a fresh perspective or returning to the perils of all-nighters, we are all a bit bamboozled by the newest addition to campus. Have no fear, I am here to assist.

A professional idiot here to tell you about all the terrible decisions I have made in one month of exploring!

Where are my books?

Shamefully, it took me at least 3 attempts to work this out. It’s still a general pain finding books, but now with a fun ‘I might ACTUALLY die researching this dissertation’ twist! To find any book, access Library Search online, type in the book you are looking for and find out where it is in the library. The first step in this Crystal Maze is to check whether it is in the High Use or the General Use collection. The High Use books are on the ground floor of the library, past the futuristic barriers that currently serve no purpose beyond adding a sprinkle of alien chic. General Use can be found on the first and second floors in numerical order, with handy posters on the doors providing some direction.

How long can I borrow a thing?

This is IMPORTANT. Take notes, get it tattooed on your forehead, whatever it takes to get this in your head. 24-hour loans are now in the High Use collection. Back in my day, when Bedford was still used, the 24-hour loans were held in their own section.

There was an air that students should approach these books with caution – but why are they so scary? Unlike other loans that the library offers, these can’t be renewed and, as the name suggests, they can’t be taken away for more than 24 hours. The punishment for not returning 24-hour loans is a £0.50 per HOUR fine. You can imagine the horror I faced when I took two 24-hour loans on a weekend to Bath!

What is the deal with the bookcases?

They are stuck together right? Well this is where the fun starts. You too can put your life in the hands of your fellow peers. Just rotate the wheel on the end of the bookshelf and all the shelves will roll together. All of them. More than you’d expect. Oops was someone else looking too? Don’t forget to pull the handle below the wheel on both bookshelves either side of you so that they will lock in place – unless you want to find yourself in a Tomb Raider situation.

Not just a library though, right?

So much more. The library has its own shop – which proved handy when my roller ball pen ran out of ink and I could quickly pop downstairs to replace it! There is also an exhibition space, Student Services and Careers Centre. I’d also recommend the Café on the Square for your morning Starbucks. There are plenty of cosy book nooks to be discovered, so what are you waiting for? Exam season? Me too.