Library Top Trumps –

12 Jan

Rachel: I would like to compile a fun game for bored PhDs everywhere.

Funding Body: Please try again when there is no longer a recession, and I doubt your chances even then.

Rachel: But it is a fun game that also acts as a source of research guidance. You know the kind of thing, teaches PhD students to be better PhD students, might help with that PhD report thing that was written all those years ago that says that we can’t do ‘owt other than research our own niche subjects.

Funding Body: Oh, it will be like HASS?!

Rachel: Yes because HASS is a ‘fun game’ (that is why I got an exemption, I hate fun).


And on the 6th day Library Top Trumps was born. When you go visit a new library then take out a new blog post and complete the top trumps card below and soon we shall have ourselves a rather dull game that tells you which libraries to visit and which to avoid. A game that finally ‘proves’ Newcastle Library should stop winning awards. I will kick us off with two cards to begin with…


Library Name: Armstrong ‘Library’, Newcastle Uni

Number of Books: Around about 5

Loans Policy: Not enough books to loan you anything

Library was designed with the following in mind: Group ‘learning’ whilst watching eastenders on a computer and drinking coffee

Food and Drink Policy: Drinks only – at least people aren’t loudly crunching crisps.

Silence Policy: None.

Enforcement of rules: Negligible.

Catalogue: Designed to stop you realising they have no books

Plague of the library: Rah lads and lasses with too much hair, nattering constantly about last night at various clubs and smelling of vomit.

Funny anecdote from the library: Once I got so angry in the Robinson that I ate the head off an undergrad

Overall Score: 1/10



Library Name: Manx National Heritage Archive and National Library

Number of Books: They are all hidden, could be any number from 1 to 1million

Loans Policy: You cannot take anything out and photocopying is 50p a sheet.

Library was designed with the following in mind: It was once a corridor that they turned into a reading room with no thought that electricity or internet would ever be required by a researcher

Food and Drink Policy: None at all, ever. No pens either.

Silence Policy: The youth that use it are silent, the hearing impaired trying to trace their families before they die seem unaware of this policy, meaning that you will know all about Doris’ second aunt Mildred who once ran a B&B in Douglas

Enforcement of rules: Middling

Catalogue: Only a librarian may search the catalogue, you play a constant game of librarian roulette to see if they can find what you want or whether they merely tell you what you want is ‘not publicly available’

Plague of the library: Family history tracing folk

Funny anecdote from the library: Where to begin, there are so many. One day a film was made in there whilst people continued to read. Sometimes they claim to be too busy (doing what) to get you any books. An old man in a three piece suit once walked 20m across the library to tell me ‘you lady the label on your skirt is showing’

Overall Score: 5/10



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