Answered By: Sharon Nangle
Last Updated: Aug 25, 2015     Views: 431

Thank you for completing a “You said, We did” card recently referring to “seat hogging” in the Library. 

We can sympathise with your frustration over this issue.  We’ve asked Library users for their views on the issue of seat hogging a number of times, and each time we’ve found that opinion splits fairly equally into two camps; one which says we should remove belongings from desks if they have been left unattended after a period of time, and the other which says that if someone arrives in the Library early enough to get a desk, they should be entitled to “reserve” the desk for the day.  As the Library works on the basis that we provide the support, services, and environment that library users want, it’s very difficult for us to enforce a policy without the support of the majority of the library users, especially one as contentious as handling someone's personal belongings.

There are also some practical issues around how we would enforce any policy.  By removing someone’s belongings, the Library might be considered the custodians of those belongings, and if we were to accept this position we would need to ensure we had a secure space to store these, and ensure we handed them back to the right person. The issue of whether there should be further sanctions would also need to be addressed.  We'd also need to ensure we have a fair system of identifying spaces which had been abandoned for a long period of time, from those where someone is taking a short break.  

We very much welcome ideas from Library users on how this matter might be dealt with, and hope that we could resolve the issue in the future, with the support of Library users.

Thank you for letting us know how you feel about this issue.


Sharon Nangle

Academic Liaison Librarian

April 2015