Academics are nerds. We all know it. One of the things that is illustrative of this common trait is our love for libraries. The larger, the better.
I was reminded of this last night while watching Game of Thrones for the second time. It was the episode where Sam finally makes it to the Citadel. Once he’s checked in, he is given permission to enter the Library while he “waits” to be fully admitted. The look of sheer joy on his face is classic!
I remember my first time in a large, University library. I had experienced my high school library, but had never experienced a multi-floor stack of books, newspapers, newsreels, and historic relics. The University Library overwhelmed me. It took my breath away.
Over the course of my academic career, I found myself attracted to the Library. As a student, as a professor, as a campus visitor, I always carved out time to visit the Library.
The “best” library I have ever been in is the Library of Congress. We could not venture into the stacks, but we could (as Senate Interns) check out books as long as they remained in the Library. Reading them in the Library was an experience I will never forget. The smell of history permeated the air inside the library.
The “most modern” library I have visited was the newly constructed library at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It had robots that would seek out and retrieve the books you were interested in using. It was pretty incredible to see in action.
I guess my favorite library was the one at Cal. The Classics section was incredible. I would request books to read that were over 300 years old! At that time, I was reading books on Christian history, with an occasional venture into political theory.
I have yet to actually spend time at the Library on my new campus. I intend to visit it soon, though. It will be a great time of discovery. I will enjoy every minute of my visit.
I told you we are nerds!