The Great Library Stand Off

Whether you prefer the atmosphere of the Robbo or want a change in the Marjorie, the library you choose is a serious commitment, but don’t fret, Charlotte Broomfield is here to help you make one of the biggest decisions of your student life.

15th February 2016

The Robinson vs The Marjorie

Up until this January, the Robinson Library has been the only real place on campus to get your head down and do some work (unless you do Law or Medicine and are fortunate enough to escape the rest of us with your own library).

You can try and convince yourself that your crappy little desk in your student house will suffice in order to avoid the added stress of fighting for a desk in the beloved Robbo during deadline weeks, but you’re lying – you’ll end up on your phone scrolling mindlessly through your Instagram feed or watching telly with your housemates.

The struggle for desk space in the Robbo peaks around deadlines and exams to the point where you’re circling the floor waiting for someone to give up and go home. Finally, our prayers have been answered and the Marjorie Robinson Library opened this year just in time for exams. Is it a new and improved version of the original or just a couple of computer clusters not really worth checking for space?


Round 1: Group Work Space

The Robinson provides you with a large area for group work which allows you to talk while you work. There is also the option to book a room for a bit of privacy. Admittedly, the YourSpace section of the Robbo downstairs is overly colourful, always packed and the lack of windows makes it way too claustrophobic. Also, it’s actually way too noisy to do any real work so really, the only positive is the abundance of vending machines.

Marjorie, on the other hand, has got it all. The desks are better, the seats are better and you don’t feel like you’re in a weirdly colourful cave that’s been designed by a CBBC presenter. It’s not too loud but it’s also not too quiet so that you feel awkward for actually talking, making it the perfect place for your project or a bit of group revision. Marjorie wins this one.

Round 2: The Cafe

The Robbo café is the social hub and is pretty decent. It is often used as a meeting place to help you keep your sanity during those long days staring at a laptop. The selection of food is quite varied although most of it fairly expensive, which I guess you deserve if you can’t be bothered walking down the road into town to get food.

While Marjorie Robbo’s café has a similar selection of sandwiches which make perfect brain fuel, the café there isn’t half as sociable and it closes before four, which is pretty naff if you’re staying late. I think The Robbo gets a point back in this round.

"The Robbo café is the social hub and is pretty decent"

Round 3: The Silent Study

As much as we all hate to admit it, the silent study area is the most important part of any library. Marjorie doesn’t have quite as much space for silent work, while the Robbo has endless desks for when you need to get your life together and actually get down to business.

While the Robbo can feel a bit intense when you’re stuck next to someone doing their dissertation while you’re just doing a mid-module essay, seeing people as stressed or more stressed as you are is the motivation you need to actually get through.

Even though you have to get up earlier to get a space, the classic Robinson has to win this time.


The Verdict

I know that sometimes it can be hard to let go but let’s be honest, overall, the Robbo still comes out on top. Marjorie is more aesthetically pleasing inside and has more chilled out vibes, however it’s only open eight thirty until midnight and is dangerously close to Northumbria.

The Robbo has actual books in it (although I bet they’re barely ever used) and is there for you when you’ve stupidly procrastinated to the point of needing an all-nighter. Where else are you going to get your celebratory bacon sandwich? The good old Robinson is definitely the alpha-library.

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