Information Services

Study Break Scheme

Learn more about the study break scheme operating at the Main Library (LVL01), Law Library, and New College Library

The Study Breaks Scheme returns for Summer exams

Revised end date for Study Breaks Scheme

Please note due to our libraries having past their peak occupancy levels for this exam /  revision period the end date for the Study Breaks Scheme has been revised. Please see the table below for information on these changes


When will the Study Break scheme run?

Location Period of opepration
Law Library 08.04.2024 - 10.05.2024
Main Library 19.04.2024 - 12.05.2024
New College Library 22.04.2024 - 10.05.2024

Library staff monitoring will be within core hours, or as staff resources allow.

The Study Break Scheme may be suspened earlier or extended as local needs require.

What guidance is being given to students using the Study Break scheme?

Study Break Card

Notices are to be displayed at key points in the Law Library and at the Main Library forum feature stair and the entrances to the south and north study areas of the Main Library 1st Floor. Additional desk notices will be displayed. Study Break cards and forms will be distributed in these study areas. Additional publicity will be given through computer screensavers in these areas, and social media posts.

How to use the Study Break scheme

I'm taking a Short Break

This Study Break Card allows you to leave your desk for a Short Break of 15 minutes or a Study Break of up to 60 minutes. 


  • If you are taking a Short Break of 15 minutes turn the card round to display time.
  • If you are taking a Long Break of up to 60 minutes enter the time that you left the desk and the time that you will return to the desk.
  • Place the card on the desk where it can be seen.
  • If there is no card on an occupied but unattended desk a 15 minute card will be placed there.
  • If you have not returned within the set time other students or staff have permission to move your belongings to one side of the desk (Library Regulation 29).
  • If you are going to be away for longer than 60 minutes you must leave the desk vacant for other users.
  • Please leave the card on the desk for others to use.
  • Always take your valuables with you. The Library accepts no responsibility for items left unattended.

How is the Library monitoring the spaces as part of the Study Break scheme?

Students are encouraged to follow the guidance on a self-service basis. Depending on staff resources, Library staff will be deployed during core hours to monitor the desks and the study break cards and forms to ensure absences are as indicated.

Care will be taken to move items to one side to enable another student to use the study space, and nothing shall be removed. A note will be left indicating to the student whose belongings have been moved that Library staff have moved the items.

The space monitors can also promote alternative study spaces when the area they are monitoring is full. This includes temporary additional study space in the Main Library and 40 George Square. Information about all the study spaces available on

What are we doing about desk hogging?

Main Library, Law Library and New College Library are very busy over the revision and peak exam weeks. We will focus our efforts to deter desk hogging at these three libraries, specifically the Main Library 1st Floor, and throughout the Law Library. We use the Study Break scheme to help students occupying a study space to identify when they are taking a legitimate break, and by freeing up study spaces by moving items aside at other times.

Why are we seeking to deter students’ reserving study spaces (‘desk hogging’)?

Student often find it difficult to find a vacant study space over the revision and exam weeks. Partly this is due to other students leaving belongings at study desks when absent for extended periods. Such absences may be legitimate, eg a short break to attend book shelves, use printers, take a comfort break, or ask a question at the help desk; or may take a longer break to consume refreshments for healthy study. At other times absences are not because of these or other legitimate reasons and may be described as ‘desk hogging’. Students in their feedback have complained about this behaviour and have asked the library to help manage it.

How can I give my feedback on the Study Break scheme?

We welcome all feedback on any aspect of the Study Break Scheme. Please use the library graffiti boards, or use the Comments, Suggestions, Complaints form at Comments Suggestions, and Complaints | Information Services.