Answered By: Ewan McCubbin
Last Updated: Aug 25, 2015     Views: 38

Thanks for your comment and I'm sorry that you've been finding it frustrating at Martyrs.  We are aware that the security arrangements at the church are far from perfect and that the unstaffed nature of the facility means that the system can be abused.

It's disappointing to hear of research students behaving in this way and I will be following the matter up with the Postgraduate Society and the Students' Association, making it clear that any student found to be in breach of University regulations could face disciplinary action.  If you have more specific details of the days/times you are witnessing this type of thing, I'd be happy to look into the matter further.

In saying all of that, I am also very aware of the pressures faced by undergraduates and PGTs in terms of trying to find a study space.  We have been coming under some pressure from the PGT community to allow them some kind of access to Martyrs and this is something we're considering for next semester.  This would, however, be strictly limited to evenings and weekends when the occupancy of Martyrs is lower than it is during the day Monday-Friday.  We have no plans to open Martyrs up to PGTs all of the time.

Ultimately, Martyrs was designed as a facility for research students/staff and only has 40 desks in it.  It was never intended to supplement the Main Library (and other sites) as a study space facility for PGTs and undergraduates - it simply doesn't have the physical capacity.

I am, along with my Library colleagues, involved in ongoing discussions with the University and Students' Association about the pressures on study space provision.  Despite the redevelopment of the Main Library in 2011/12 (resulting in a third more study spaces), we continue to be regularly overcrowded and it's this type of pressure that can lead to the kind of behaviour you are witnessing at Martyrs.  

Thanks again for your comments.

Best wishes

Ewan McCubbin, Assistant Director of Library Services

December 2014