Thursday, March 22, 2007

Main Library

When I was seven my Mom took me to UBC to see the libraries. We saw Main Library and Sedgewick (which no longer exists). It was a sunny day that day, unlike today when we have a rainfall warning, and that was the day I decided this place was where I *NEEDED* to go to university.

That's right, at age seven I'd already decided where to do my post secondary education. I didn't have a clue about high school, heck, I was still in awe of the "Intermediates" (also known as all those cool students at my little elementary school who were in grades four through seven), but I darn well knew where I needed to spend four years learning...something.

I was taken by the huge library, with its stone front and dark entrance hallway. There were more books in that one library than my little brain could fathom. As a student, I even discovered the old children's books hidden deep in the stacks. The basement of the stacks, in the very back, by the window was my favourite studying place. Level 6 was home to the cleanest bathroom on campus, probably because no one could find it. I got lost regularly looking for it and I knew where it was. I spent hours in that library. It was my refuge between classes when Gage Towers seemed too far from Buchanan to walk in the rain (hello, three blocks), it was a quiet place to study and sleep the year I had a room over the boiler room and something was wrong and it emitted a high pitched whine at all hours of the day, and it was a good place to go when I just couldn't get motivated. I loved it!

When I started working on campus, the north wing of the building had been torn down and they were building a modern structure. I mourned the loss of the computer lab with the high ceilings and soaring windows where I spent hours researching on the internet and sending email to my high school friends scattered around North America (this was the dark ages - my personal computer, an unheard of laptop, did not have the ability to browse the internet using a browser with fun stuff like graphics and colour...I only got text).

The new addition is kind of cool. It has a big archive room where everything is stored in boxes and retrieved by robots. It is somewhat mesmerizing to stand outside and look in while the robot does its thing. I will admit, I have not yet set foot inside this lovely building.

Once the north wing had been torn down, the east and south additions were removed and new glass structures are being built. But they kept the main part of Main Library. My beloved stacks might be gone, but the part that first drew me to the university is still there...

When I walked past today, I couldn't believe the progress. And the clock tower was playing music. I've heard it once or twice since I started working on campus, but only once while I was a student. I was trying to write an exam in Buchanan B Block and I couldn't concentrate on my exam because the tower was playing Christmas Carols!

Oh, Main Library....

main library

No comments:

Post a Comment