Reported in the News Letter on February 7, 1958: Rowdy scenes at Queen’s University as students vent their anger at librarian

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A piece of mud hit the librarian of Queen’s University, Belfast, in the face, and rolls of paper and pennies were flung at him last night when about 200 students demonstrated outside the university library for more than an hour before it was closed at 10 o’clock.

The disturbance came after the library reading room was closed at 8.35pm by Mr J J Graneek, the librarian, because of the foot-stamping by the students who were using it.

There were as many girls as young men in the crowd which seemed to be in good humour. But after Mr Graneek had got out of the building by a back door when the main doors were secured by the students, rolls of paper were flung at him.

Eventually he secured enough order to tell the students that he had closed the reading room because of the stamping and that it would not reopen until this morning at the usual time. The library was still open to anyone who wanted to collect a book; the rest he advised to leave.

After this the crowd broke up suddenly and finally.

During the demonstration some of the young men said that they were annoyed at being “victimised for a natural expression of student exuberance”. They were protesting, they said, at being deprived of an hour-and-a-half of study.

The stamping in the reading room started after someone had dropped a book. Mr Graneek had warned students twice in the past few weeks about the stamping.