Library 20 minute rule!
Reading period and exam time is very stressful. It is the most crowded time in the Library and, therefore, the time when we need to be most considerate toward each other. There is a group of students that find it acceptable to hog workspace - table space, computer space and conference room space - by planting their personal belongings in the desired location and then leaving for hours at a time.
During exam time, we will enforce a 20 minute rule. This means that if you vacate a seat for more than 20 minutes, you will loose that spot to waiting students. This procedure has been applied to conference rooms for a number of years. We are now extending it to computer workstations. If you see a seat that has been abandoned by a physical body, you can ask someone at the circulation or reference desk to place a sign on the space indicating that the user has 20 minutes to return the sign to the library staff, or loose their space. Material will be moved to the side and if a library-owned computer is involved, that person will be logged off. We will not save your documents.
We hope that this presents a good solution to the problem caused by a few inconsiderate people. I'd be interested in hearing other solutions too!