The library should provide services to students and faculty, and facilitate access to research resources. It seems to me that the Durham library is becoming polyfunctional: we can read, study but also eat, flirt, socialize, relax. Fantastic! But there is a difference between a recreation space and a research space. I have nothing against the former, but I wonder what is happening to the latter. DDS material (most of the time confined items) are accessible only within very limited timeframes. I am here on Saturday at 12:30 (PM not AM), my DDS are here (as they are here during the entire period of the library generous opening hours), but I cannot access them, for they are allegedly "rare items" (in fact common books published in 2008 and 2009), and "rare" items ought to be preserved not consulted: more preserved and confined than consulted. Now, did somebody tell the British Library that their "rare" material could be consulted together with a hamburger, a coke, and some fat French fries? I wonder what the reaction would be. If the problem is to "preserve" their intangible and sacred integrity (for this is the problem, right? "noli me tangere"), the only viable solution is, given the circumstances, to take them OUT of the library as soon as they enter in it. I don't see why and how the library would be a safer place to preserve them than, say, an ordinary kitchen. Hungry students need a place to eat (restaurants are not open 24/h unfortunately) in the same way they need books to read: why is food for the stomach privileged over food for the mind?