A Bad Case of the Mundays: Library Review– Eric Boshart
Every university needs a well-intentioned library to allow students to sit around and pretend to read scholarly articles. I hope you’ve seen the new library at St. Edward’s. If you haven’t, just head to that building that looks like a German state government office. Why German? I don’t know, Germans are minimalist, and the designers of the building went with the theme “Less is More.” Or perhaps it should be titled the “Nothing is More” theme, for there aren’t any actual books on the shelves. As a library, that would be my top priority. But hey, no one can deny the importance of sticking to a central theme.
The theme is further affirmed in its interior. The greyness of the walls, floor, ceiling, tables, desks, chairs, and everything else make me feel like I’m in a 90’s prison visiting room. And I can’t really tell if I’m the prisoner or the visitor, for at times, I am able to leave when I please. At other times, when I’m at my most vulnerable, I am frozen to my seat. Most literally. The temperature inside ranges from 0 to -300 degrees Kelvin (approximately). Which is fine if they rented out parkas at the research desk or if we had penguins walking around. This is perhaps where the library lacks the most. Petting penguins is nearly a necessity to deal with the stress of Capstone. If you’re going to make us do CULF classes, at least give us an arctic petting zoo.
The next “Nothing is More” aspect of the library is the minimalist art. If you have not heard the beef with it, supposedly our tuition dollars have gone towards purchasing them. They’re huge paintings that a penguin could have probably painted (I swear I’m done talking about penguins). They are gray as well and seem to have nothing to do with the things we try to accomplish at the library. But if we bought them, we might as well enjoy them. Also, as a side note, many argue that our tuition money was not well spent on such a building. And you probably think I agree. The only problem with the argument is that the Munday family provided a donation large enough to build the entire library. But I’ll still argue that our money is not well spent (just go to ACC).
The best part of the library has to be its numerous computers. There are more computers in the library than there are St. Ed’s undergraduate students, and I applaud their focus on technology. I am writing this on one of those computers, staring at the grayness of my reality. One problem with the computers however is that the “Adjust Volume” button is locked. You have to go to the Start bar and manually change it. If you forget to do so, everyone will know what you’re up to. And I don’t need people knowing that I write my papers best to Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie.” Another problem is that there are two discoverable printers. For 18,000 computers, you’d think they’d get more printers. But there’s still more printers than there are Economics majors.
Even as I complain, the library has become my second home. In the blistering Texan sun, it’s nice to be in an igloo for an hour or seven. It’s also relatively quiet, unless the workers are waxing the entire floor . Which they do every thirty minutes. But I understand; you have to clean what you have to clean. If you are reluctant to step into the building because you are afraid there are prisoners or German officials, I assure you there aren’t. I actually don’t know about the German officials; you never know who is and isn’t one.