You’re due to open in two months. I sincerely hope you’ll be as great as we have been promised so far. Although I do like a change of scenery every few hours while I’m studying, I’ll be happy to retire from my lifestyle as a study nomad.

Trekking around from temporary study space to temporary study space, sitting on windowsills and lonely chairs, carefully calculating how much time I’ll actually have left to study if I string three ‘Share a chair’ places in Polak together – it’s been pretty exhausting and distracting.

For an intensive research methods course, I’d already spent two weeks studying on campus in August 2016, before the masses arrived. For those two weeks, it felt like the campus was just there for us. From the moment I first laid eyes on Polak, from the jungle desks on the fifth floor to the stairs that look as if they might magically move around to change the routes, I was in love. Little did I know that this building would be overcrowded with thousands of other students, scrambling to find a study spot at the start of the first term.

Not allowed!

Hence, my study buddy and I started going into uncharted territory, finding quiet corridors and desolate canteens all over campus. We used what we found, from camping out in a staircase in G-building (not very comfortable) to the mysteriously empty 3rd floor of Van de Goot building (not allowed!), and from the 18th floor of Mandeville (use the app and bring your ‘Bezet!’ sign) to the waiting area in E-building. We were chased away so many times, that we were happy if we were able to spend more than three hours in the same spot.

Although I wondered why the campus lacked a real library, I didn’t hear about your existence until a few months later, when the first opening date was announced. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to enjoy and explore your facilities until much later, due to my research traineeship and semester abroad. However, I look forward to meeting you in February 2018, when I start writing my master’s thesis. Will you please save me a nice spot, preferably with plenty of natural light, very quiet neighbours, a comfy chair and table, an electrical outlet and a kettle close by? (OK, I’ll bring my own tea, but everything else is required). Thank you!

Yours truly,

Eefje Smeulders

Update 10 April: The University Library wrote an answer to the letter of Eefje!

Dear Eefje,

How lovely to hear that you are looking forward to the moment we will meet! Especially since you are willing to give up your nomadic existence in favour of a long-term stay at my place. I have missed you and the other students, and I totally understand that you have missed having a quiet place to study on campus.

However, I do hope that you can remain patient for just a little longer, as I am bustling to create a magnificent study environment with 909 study spaces for you and your study buddy. I hope you understand that this is not an easy job. I have taken in to account that every study space needs to be equipped with two electrical sockets, so that should be sufficient. And any time you need a break, consider yourself invited to my outdoor terrace. Altogether, a place where you will be able to focus on your studies, meet your fellow students and enjoy the light and spacious study environment. Just hold on for a little while, it won’t be much longer!

It is a pity that you will not be able to be there when I open my doors on 29 May. I would have liked to give you a true VIP’s welcome, but as you told me you will be very busy around that time. Naturally, I hope I will see you before February 2018. Keep in mind, I will save a window seat especially for you!

Kind regards,

Your Library

P.S. You don’t need to bring your own electric kettle any longer. I have made sure that there are several water dispensers in the library, you can get your cup of tea on the walkway to the Theil building.