Two Libraries Go To War After Taylor Taunts ‘Size of Rice’s Hole’
College Bounds declared a ‘No-books Land’
By Wagril Slane
Tensions are mounting on campus after the Taylor Library formally declared war on the Sir Duncan Rice library. The senior building is known to have harboured resentment ever since its status as top campus library was lost, when the more architecturally impressive upstart arrived in 2011.
‘These libraries are generally allies,’ Mr Kalim Downe, the university’s Senior Peacekeeping Envoy told The Gaudie. ‘They previously banded together to repel an attempted invasion by Foresterhill, when it marched on King’s in the dead of night with legions of doctors and vets and whatever else goes on there, attempting to gain a foothold in Old Aberdeen. So successful was their defence that today most students don’t even know there is a library at Foresterhill. But, during lockdown, Rice and Taylor have had time on their hands. Rice has always, quite literally, looked down on its older rival across the road, throwing out sarcastic remarks about its “Dickensian wooden seating”, “nice spiral staircase” and “pointless little room with literally three PCs in it”.’
‘But,’ Downe continued, ‘earlier this year Taylor shot back on social media with a rather politically incorrect remark about the size of Rice’s hole. Some have said this language is only to be expected from a library of Taylor’s generation, but obviously eyebrows were raised. We pleaded with Rice to let it go but now we have intelligence it has been flushing all of its toilets simultaneously at the most inappropriate times, which has cut off the water supply to the Taylor. It has also allegedly been channelling turbulent air down its facade and over the concourse in a “wind tunnel” effect, so that heavy gusts blow up Taylor’s ancient foundations.’
Professor Eilyke Kawnflict, of the Department of Politics & Inter-library-loan Relations, explained that such learned skirmishes have been more common historically than people often realise. ‘You have to remember, Taylor ruled the roost for many decades,’ he told us. ‘It was “the” place to go when students wanted to pretend to write essays, furtively swig energy drinks and pose around looking moody and anguished in the hope someone would write an Abercrush about them. Then all of a sudden there’s a new super-library on the block, seven storeys high, boasting it has a “face like granite under a microscope” and taking a “streetwise” nickname from an eighties rapper. Rice wins international acclaim, can stay up all night, and lets students get up to all sorts without as much as a “shhhhh”. Well, Taylor's has had to play second fiddle ever since, and is rather stuck in its nostalgic past, with its signs telling people what to do, “shelves” with “books” on them, and absolutely nowhere to get an overpriced almond latte.
In the latest turn in what’s been dubbed “the new Cold War, but with libraries”, spies from both institutions are believed to have belligerently infiltrated their rivals, inserting squashed insects into journals, moving books into very slightly different classmarks, and replugging USB mice into the adjoining PC instead.
‘Obviously AUSA strives to ensure all students have non-warring library facilities at all times,’ Student Sabbatical Officer Natyua Gaine told The Gaudie. ‘We considered very carefully what to do about the escalating Rice-Taylor conflict, and after several committee meetings, a complicated voting process and some think tanks, have in the end decided to issue this picture of a dog. Look at his little nose! Awww’.
A spokesperson for the University meanwhile said: ‘I’m not sure I get the gist of what you are asking us. Is there an issue with one of the libraries? We already gave The Gaudie a substantial eulogy on the recently deceased Sir Duncan Rice, and I think a “satirical” piece about some infantile “library war” would have the poor man turning in his grave, were he not already doing so, thanks to the noise from his own bloody toilets’.