Leeds Library Survival Guide

Carys gives blogs the low down on how to survive the library system here at the University of Leeds.

Libraries, they are a place of tranquility, of solitude, of calm … aren’t they? No. No they are not.

Stereotyped as a place for nerds and try hards to work efficiently, the libraries of Leeds are anything but.

Edward Boyle: The cool kid of the library world

Let us start with Edward Boyle, known more commonly as ‘Eddy B’. This is the cool kid of the library world. Everyone wants to get a seat here, but in order to do so you have to be committed. It’ll be a 7AM start at the latest and even then you will most likely be faced with a queue that would have you thinking Beyoncé was making an appearance inside. Exam season is hard enough as it is without having to hustle and bustle your way through the masses of students who are all equally determined to claim a seat in this academic hot spot.

Brotherton: Ahh Brotherton…

If you are lucky enough to bank yourself a space at Eddy B then congratulations my friend – be warned though, if you go to the toilet or for a lunch break people will show no mercy in stealing your sought out space. Thankfully, the high demand for working spaces means that Leeds has no shortage of libraries.

Let me introduce you to Brotherton. Being located in the Parkinson building, it is hardly difficult to find. The one drawback is it is a more old fashioned library of sorts.

Dark and gloomy surroundings can leave you feeling unmotivated and, if you are a night owl, Brotherton may prove an issue as it is only open until 10:30pm. That said, it is still a fairly good option.

Laidlaw: Another library you will have to fight for

Now let’s look at Laidlaw, mostly recognised as the library with Cafe Nero. You’ll no doubt end up having copious amounts of caffeine to get you through your work in this neat little spot.  It is mainly for undergraduates, and has bookable booths if you are organised enough to plan ahead and go with a group. The main drawback is space. There are only 900 available spaces which, compared to the 2,000 seats in Eddy B, makes it another library you will have to fight for.

Health Sciences Library: A hidden gem

Ok, so far I’ve stressed how Eddy B and Laidlaw are often packed and the less appealing environment of Brotherton shuts early. So what is my solution?

Well, many students are unaware that there is another library, more of a hidden gem actually, located in the Worsley building. I’m referring to the Health Sciences Library, which is largely unknown and therefore nearly always quiet. It has fab facilities and a cafe so you can stock up on snacks if you feel yourself lagging. Whilst Eddy B is wonderful, if its popularity is causing you to search for hours in vain, then definitely pop down to Health Sciences.

So there you have it, a quick survival guide to help you negotiate the libraries of Leeds this year.

Carys Reid-Davies