Town House Troubles

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What does the new Town House library have in common with a bad date? A lot, apparently.

Going to the new Town House was, for me, like going on a date with really high expectations and leaving very disappointed.

The building itself is beautiful.

When I sit by one of those huge windows with the sun in my face, I do not feel like I am trapped inside. Everything is clean and organised. Big and bright.

The idea is great, but why does it not work in real life?

Town House is trying to be both a library and a café. A place where you can write your essay in absolute silence as well as where you can hang out with your mates and throw around ideas for your group project.

It is also trying to be open to the Kingston community, inviting members of the public in for a cup of tea and a chat with their friends, all while their kids run around screaming. How is this supposed to work? Is it a library, a coffee shop or a kindergarten? I cannot tell.

The problem is that Town House is essentially one big room with five different floors. There are no doors or high walls to shut out the noise. What or who is there to stop the racket?

One would think that people would treat Town House as a library and stay quiet. Would you go to the British Library and play music on your phone really loud? I doubt it.

People should realise that Town House is not their living room and they are not supposed to do whatever they want in there. It should be a place without any distraction where you are able to concentrate.

When Town House was designed, did anybody even consider those who would use the space the most – students?

Of course, I appreciate that we can actually find the books that I am looking for with an ease that the old library never quite had. I love the fact that there is space to sit, and everything is nice and new.

But it seems that many people – like members of the public and a rare few KU students – do not know how to behave in such a place.

Maybe next time you have a very loud conversation on the stairs between the fourth and fifth floor, think about it for a second and ask yourself a question: “How would I feel if I was coming here to find a quiet spot to study in and somebody decided to share a story with everybody in the building about the night before when they got absolutely wasted?”

If people treated their peers the same way they want to be treated, Town House could actually be a really nice place.

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