Accessibility statement

Summer changes: food, noise and bookings

Posted on 18 April 2022

We’ve got a few changes in place for this term, as we try and tweak things to improve your experience.

Here’s a brief summary video, and we’ll go into a bit more detail below.

Hot food is now allowed in the Fairhurst

We want students to be able to heat up their own food to eat in the library. There are lots of you who spend all day here (especially those on placements or traveling in from outside York) and we don’t want you to be limited to cold food or more expensive catering options, so we’re now allowing hot food in the Fairhurst once again. This also means the return of the microwaves in the 1st floor Fairhurst kitchen, which a lot of you have been asking for! 

There are few things we need in order to make it work. The Fairhurst is the only library building where hot food is allowed - so it’s not possible in the Morrell or Burton (or King’s Manor). We can’t allow takeaways in the library. The smell tends to travel further, and the discarded packaging has led to pests in the past, and we really don’t want that… So please only eat hot food you’ve heated yourself, or bought from the library cafe, in the Fairhurst.

Noise and food zones are now simpler

Over the course of the pandemic the policies around food have changed a few times, and we felt people no longer really knew exactly how everything was supposed to work. So we’ve aligned the food and the noise, making the system a lot simpler. In short: 

In Silent Zones you can have bottled water only. 

In Quiet Zones you can have cold food, and hot and cold drinks (with lids).

In Studious Buzz Zones you can have hot food (and lidded hot and cold drinks).

The Burton is Silent, and the Fairhurst is Studious Buzz. The Morrell is a mixture of zones - the 1st and 2nd floor used to be a mixture of Silent and Quiet, but we’re adapting this in response to your feedback. The 3rd floor remains Silent, but the Ground, 1st and 2nd floor are all Quiet all the way through. We hope this gives all of you the chance to study in an environment that suits you.

There is now a mix of bookable and non-bookable study rooms

Back in January we changed from having all study spaces as bookable to a blended approach. However, at that time Study Rooms remained bookable on all floors. You’ve told us there’s still a lot of problems with all the Study Rooms being booked but in reality being empty, with people not showing up. But you’ve also told us you really value the option of booking them! So to try and help with all this, we’re going to bring the Study Room bookings in line with their parent floors. In other words, you’ll need to book Study Rooms in the Morrell 2nd floor and Fairhurst 1st floor, but all the rest will become first-come, first-served and will not be bookable. 

The exception to this is accessible study rooms: these remain mediated bookings, whatever floor they are on.

There are now ‘Book This Desk!’ stickers on all bookable desks

We trialed this in the Fairhurst and you’ve told us you want it extended to the Morrell and Burton, so that has now happened. Each desk on the bookable floors has a sticker on, telling you the seat number and what kind of zone you’re in, plus a QR code linking directly to that seat in the booking calendar. You can scan the code, check the availability, and book it there and then. 

As always, we really hope these changes improve things, and thanks to all the students who have taken part in interviews and given us feedback online or in person. Keep an eye on our Instagram or our Twitter (or these News pages) for more updates, including info on 24hour library opening coming for the exam period, from May 2 to June 4! 

Get in touch if you have any questions, and welcome back.