Battle of the Robinsons: Philip vs Marjorie

One student constructs a debate between Newcastle University's two most popular libraries.

Jack Evans
7th March 2024
Image Source: Paul Meiki, Unsplash
Two important figures, Philip and Marjorie Robinson. Both immortalised by university libraries full of confused and stressed students. Only one can win, but who will triumph? Phil or Marj? 

Firstly, location is a key factor. One closer to Jesmond, the other Sandyford. Depending on where you live, you’ll probably go to the closest option. If like me you live in Sandyford, Marj is the closer of the two. Since Newcastle likes to be either rainy or windy 99% of the time, the closest option is always going to win for me. 1-0 to Marj. 

"Since Newcastle likes to be rainy or windy 99% of the time, the closest option is always going to win for me."

Size is also a factor in the battle between Newcastle University’s two most popular libraries. Phil is significantly bigger and has far more resources, and room for scrolling TikTok and staring blankly at Canvas. So, if you’re there during exam season, there’s more likely to be a space to sit. 1-1. 

However, the Marj just feels a bit less clustered and more organised to me, making it an appealing option if you don’t want to be overwhelmed by places to sit. I reckon that pushes the scales, making it 2-1 to Marj. 

All these factors aside, vibes are an equally important component to any library-based debate. Phil has always been associated with chaos for me. Having spent many days (and nights) there in second year, I can’t recall a fun memory there, mainly just stress and confusion. However, the Marj feels more chilled out. Normally a lot quieter, and I find myself being much more productive there. 3-1 to Marj, she’s running away with it. 

However, the Marj can’t get too comfortable with her current position, Phil still has a few tricks, or should I say books, up his sleeve. In his human form Phil was a bookseller, giving off traditional library vibes and aura. I always felt like a naff version of Harry Potter scrolling the shelves for a non-existent book for some reason. I would suggest it to J.K. as the next book, but ‘Harry Potter and the 2:1' doesn’t really have a ring to it.  

"In his human form Phil was a bookseller, giving off traditional library vibes and aura."

Put this together with a smoking area, 24-hour access and a little sign telling you how many people are in the library at any given time (my favourite feature) and Phil wins for quirkiness. 3-2 now, it's evening out. 

I reckon that’s full time (I’ve exceeded the word count for this article). Final score: Marj wins 3-2. So that technically makes Marj the better library, right? Well, it’s all down to opinion, but give me Marj any day. Put it this way, whenever I hear Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Mrs Robinson’, I like to pretend they’re singing about how good Marj is.  

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