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Battle of the Libraries: Robbo vs. Marj

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Sales of coffee in Jesmond Tesco are through the roof. Mid-week club nights are practically deserted. A sense of panic is in the air. It can only mean one thing: exam season approaches.

Whether you have essays or exams, you’re heading to the library to give productivity your best shot. But where will you set up camp for the next 12 hours? Go for something fresh and new at Marjorie ‘Marj’ Robinson or keep it classic with Philip ‘Robbo’ Robinson? Let the battle commence…

Round 1: The Numbers Game

During exam season only one thing matters- how late can I sleep in and still make it to the library in time to bag a computer or desk space? Philip Robinson is a much bigger library, which means more available desk space. However, it is also the most popular spot so there’s more contest for those good seats. Ideally you need to be there around 9 to get a good seat during peak exam season – this is not the library for those that like to hit snooze on a morning. The Marjorie Robinson, while smaller, is a lot less popular with the crowds flocking from Jesmond at 8am. Even in peak exam season, you can usually arrive at around 10 and nab yourself a good spot. Marj takes the prize this round.

Round 2: Food Glorious Food

Both libraries offer decent food at a semi-reasonable price, but Philip Robinson has the edge. Bigger isn’t always better… but when it comes to food selection I’m afraid it just is. Although you may struggle to get a seat in the café during peak season, it’s definitely worth braving it for the superior muffin selection in Robbo.

Round 3: Facilities


It has to be said that the Marjorie Robinson offers much better facilities than the slightly outdated Philip Robinson. I’m particularly a fan of the sound-proof ‘Living Room’ spots on every floor and the ‘Chatterbox’ for those who use Skype to keep in contact with family. The Philip Robinson is great, but really lacks spaces to take a break from work. If you’re someone who likes to have regular breaks and get away from your desk I’d recommend checking out the Marj.

Round 4: On the Books

The Marjorie Robinson has the space. It has the facilities. It has the look. But it lacks one crucial thing that a library should really have… physical books.

If you’re knee-deep in dissertation research or end of term essays I’d recommend going old school and sticking with classic Robbo. What it lacks in style it makes up for in substance – from Student Text Collections to Special Collections, Robbo’s got it all.

However, if you are a fan of accessing online resources and eBooks with only a click of a button then I’d definitely recommend the Marj.


And the winner is….

Philip Robinson!
For me, the lack of physical books in Marj just makes it a pain. While it definitely looks better and has some great facilities, it’s not the best place for an essay in progress.


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