The Seven Types of People to Avoid at the Library at ALL COSTS

Final’s Week is finally here and you know what that means: Adderall-fueled cramming sessions, insomnia-induced delusions, and last but not least, trips to your local library. Of course, we all know that “Finals” actually stands for Fuck I’ve Never Actually (ever been to our school’s) Library. Fortunately for you, I happened to have a pursued a career (see: actuarial science) that has deemed me the equivalent of The Pagemaster. For the past four years at Penn State, I have spent enough hours in the library to rival that of even the most hilariously stereotypical of fictional nerds.

I’m looking at you, Professor Frink.

There’s only one problem when it comes to the library: the noisy, obnoxious, idiots that frequent them (aka everyone). Don’t start crying yet though, there’s hope. I’ll point out the seven worst ones to stay the hell away from. This will ensure you get the tranquil study spot you deserve. I’ll even Google image search some stock photos so you can identify them visually in case you want to skip all of this boring writing.

1. The “Library DJ”

They came for the silent atmosphere, but they stayed for the chance to kick out the jams! You’ll find these guys in the quietest places of the library. And unfortunately for everyone within a 50-foot radius, they’re blasting their music at full volume.

Ironically, the perpetrator is hardly ever black, but this stock photo really gets the point across.

Along with being able to make out every last word to “Soulja Boy,” you’ll see this dumbass bobbing his head back and forth like he was at a freaking KISS concert. Once in a while you might even encounter them singing along to their music out loud. Unless the person turns out to be Gene Simmons, feel free to beat them mercilessly.

2. The “Page Flipper”

This person is either the smartest person in the world or just realized his exam is in 15 minutes. If you don’t go to school with Hermione Granger, assume this asshole is the latter.

That sentence you’re skimming won’t be on the exam. Get the fuck out!

This maniac will attempt to cram a semester’s worth of material in the time it takes to read your average Dr. Seuss book. Although they tirelessly (and loudly) flip through what seems like the equivalent of 20 dictionaries, they will actually fail to retain a single bit of information. The only satisfaction I get from seeing one of these imbeciles is the fact that they’ll have to take the class again during the summer.

3. The “Buffet”

As an avid studier, I know that it’s not long before hunger kicks in. I’m always craving food when I’m studying. And I’m not a glutton who just loves to eat; scientists actually proved that people that study often need to eat more (citation needed). However, I try to avoid eating crunchy, earthquake-inducing foods in a quiet library. These people are the exception.

This guy’s even willing to waste potato chips in order to annoy any engineering students in the vicinity.

The “Buffet” doesn’t care if you have finals to study for, he’s hungry. The world is his diner, and dine he shall. As he raucously munches on his freshly delivered hard-shelled tacos, thin crust pizza, and Captain Crunch, you’ll want to give him a piece of your mind. However, you’ll probably just end up asking him for a piece of pizza.

The three before were just the tip of the loathsome and irritating iceberg. Just writing about the below four made me want to burn down a forest full of puppies.

4. The “Guy Who Desperately Needs a Tissue”

I understand that it’s allergy season. Believe me, I haven’t breathed through my nose properly since the Clinton administration. However, if you do find yourself with a cold, do your fellow studiers a favor and take a trip to the bathroom.

And don’t use your hand, for God’s sake!

If getting up is an inconvenience and you want to keep a box of tissues around, I’ll allow it. However, if you’re going to be noisily sniffling at a rate of 20 times per minute in a quiet room, don’t be surprised if everyone you’ve ever known in your entire life ends up hating you. It’s really annoying.

5. The “Cell Phone Banshee”

This is probably the one that makes me the most livid. You’re doing your best trying to pay attention to the lamest of topics to ever grace a paper (see: mathematics), when suddenly the loudest, most inconsiderate dingbat answers her phone. That’s right, her.


You can call me sexist, but most guys I know keep their public cell phone conversations to under a minute. And usually you won’t find them conversing about weekend plans, their most recent break-up, or what they’re wearing to formal. The saddest part is that it appears that these people have never learned how to actually use a cell phone. It’s the year 2010, please stop shouting at your phone! The mere fact that this person can shamelessly prattle on for twenty nauseating minutes in a quiet library disproves both evolutionary biology and a loving God at the same time. This irritates me so much that they even named a section of the stacks on floor 2A after me. It’s called the “Shut the fuck up, I’m trying to study you annoying bitch!” Wing.

6. The “Group Project”

While you’re holed up alone at a desk with nothing to keep you company but a semester’s worth of notes, they’re having the time of their life. As they’ loudly crack jokes and tell fun stories of the outside world, you’re doing everything in your power to keep from screaming.

“Before we start, let’s read some pages out of this large, hilarious joke book.”

I’ll admit, we’ve all been kind of guilty of this. Meeting at a group member’s place can be borderline creepy, and there aren’t too many public places to meet. However, if you’re at a computer lab, please have the courtesy to refrain from loudly streaming the newest “comedy gold” YouTube has to offer. There’s nothing worse than hearing the cringe-worthy guffawing that ensues during a public viewing of “David After Dentist.”

7. The “Library Lovebirds”

Once in a while you’ll stumble across a studying couple. As they smile, giggle, and flirt with one another, you’ll get a warm feeling in your heart as you gaze upon such a happy pair. But wait! No self-respecting guy in a serious relationship would bring his girlfriend to a public library to study (or appear remotely “happy” about it for that matter). And that warm feeling in your heart? That’s your blood boiling into a hate-filled steam. They’re not in love! That guy’s just trying to get laid!

Spit your game somewhere else you pube-headed douchebag!

This one’s way worse than the group project and to be fair, I’ve seen this work both ways. Sometimes the girl is attempting to pick up the guy, which can be just as bad. Flirting at the library just reeks of desperation. We’re here to force our brains into learning against our will, not to try out our newest pick-up lines! So save your class-related jokes and nerd humor for next semester, because I will resort to any one of the above tactics to cock-block the shit out of you.

So throughout your finals week, watch out for these seven culprits. And if you do happen to stumble upon one of these and don’t feel like resorting to brutal violence, I suggest getting as far away as you can. In conclusion, good luck with finals, and if you see me at the library, feel free to say hi. I’ll be the screaming lunatic being wheeled away in a straitjacket.


By Matt Radlow, Phroth Writer 2006-2010


  1. Andrew Cass says:

    I would also like to add that you should probably avoid people who yell NERDS! and beat people up in the library.