‘Noise and disruption everywhere’ – University of Sheffield’s plan to open library to school pupils faces scrutiny

The University of Sheffield's decision to open its library to school pupils has come under scrutiny, with some users describing the plan as ‘disastrous’.

By The Star Newsroom
Tuesday, 07 May, 2019, 08:33
The Diamond building, The University of Sheffield, where it is claimed a 'mass brawl' broke out between school pupils to which the University deny

A recent strategic plan for the university's libraries included a policy to 'welcome students from local schools encouraging them to see the University Library as a place for them to learn and discover’.

However, one user of the Western Bank library contacted The Sheffield Star to say policy has been ‘disastrous’ with no plan set up to manage the pupils resulting in the building being flooded with hundreds of children causing ‘noise and disruption everywhere’.

They claimed there had been a 'mass brawl’ between children from opposing schools in the University of Sheffield Diamond building, further claiming that students often eat hot food which is banned amongst other allegations including pupils ‘urinating in waste bins’ and engaged in ‘incidents of sex’.

When contacted, the University of Sheffield firmly denied these allegations, stating they had not received any reports of such incidents instead confirming they had received a ‘couple of complaints around noise disruption from school children’.

Addressing the noise complaints, a spokesperson for the University of Sheffield, added: "The number of spaces in the city for school and sixth form students to study away from home has reduced, so we're proud of our civic commitment in providing valuable space for this to happen.

“This includes a recently refurbished community space in our library that we are encouraging our school students to use.

"Of course there are sometimes challenges, but we work hard to quickly address them, including through focus groups with students."

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Some University students have also taken to Twitter to express their concerns.

One student said they were “disappointed by the lack of action taken against the large number of GCSE kids who use the library to chat, laugh and play games, with zero regard for people who require a silent work space? Been distracted by a different group everyday this week.”

Whilst another wrote that there had been ‘lots of complaints’ in their course chat about noise by visitors to Western Bank.

In response, the library said they have now implemented changes which means that from April 13 to June 8 access to the Library is restricted to registered Library users.

They added: “Our priority during this time is to ensure we have sufficient study space and a quiet study environment for our students in the lead up to exams.”

Although the new changes are in place, the website also states that local students in post-16 education can still become library members by filling in a temporary membership form.