Students taking over the British Library

In today’s Times.  Authors are unhappy that student’s are taking up all the reading rooms in the British Library.  Here’s Tristram Hunt’s take on the matter:

The historian Tristram Hunt said that it was a scandal that it was impossible to get a seat after 11am when students were there. Many people travelling from outside London complain that they cannot get to the buidling any earlier. “Students come in to revise rather than to use the books,” he said. “It’s a ‘groovy place’ to meet for a frappuccino. It’s noisy and it’s undermining both the British Library’s function, as books take longer to get, and the scholarly atmosphere.”

He suggested that passes should be restricted to third-year undergraduates working on dissertations.

Should students be allowed free access to the British Library, or does it need controlling?



  1. I don’t think based on the opinion of one man that policies should be implemented. I’ve never been and have no first hand experience. It should be investigated if there are sufficient complaints from the general public. I’m sure some arrangement can be made.

  2. Andrew, it sounds like a lot of ‘regulars’ to the British Library have had their feathers ruffled over the whole thing. But you’re right, if the situation has become too difficult to maintain as it stands, new arrangements will need to be sorted.

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