So this is my last semester of school ever and seeing as it is grad school, I'm trying to really focus to wrap everything up. To help with this, I do not have a job for the first time since freshman year of high school. This means that I can really focus on my work (or I can sleep in and read a lot of fiction, which is what I have been doing so far this semester). Seriously though, I have spent several days reading in the library so as to avoid all computer, tv, and fiction related distractions. What I have learned is that all the library etiquette drummed into people in elementary school has been forgotten by years of college and grad school pressure. Or at least that is what I assume has happened.
Most university libraries have carrels available for use by students that are strategically located around the floors. These are just desks with walls on three sides to help you focus on your work. They are quite useful, but they are still open to the surroundings. Yesterday afternoon I went over in the lovely weather and settled into my carrel of choice. A little while later two students come in to look for books. At first I assumed it was an employee with a cart of books to be shelved, but then I saw that the obnoxious rolling was from a suitcase/bookbag. I heard the woman talking as they entered my section, but then they proceeded to look at books in the aisle right next to my carrel. All I had to do was look right and they were in the aisle and they weren't just looking. They were basically talking as if they had to yell to be heard over the massive amounts of noise in the library! The place was dead silent (before they came) and they were a foot apart. They obviously forgot about the 12 inch voice or was my elementary librarian the only one who used that? Their list of books must have been huge because they wandered around the section forever, always talking.
Later, someone came up and asked me if this was the west portion of the library. The library here is two rectangles, one being slightly larger than the other. These are labeled the east and west halves. What's funny is that they guy was an employee who was trying to shelve books. Shouldn't he know which half is which? And why couldn't he just look at the call numbers and the corresponding labels on the shelves? It really isn't that difficult.
Last, but not least, stupid grad. students. Normally I find the undergrads to be more annoying, but last week when I was reading, all the stupid behavior was done by the grad students. Most university libraries provide locked carrels for students doing dissertations (or honors theses as with my undergrad which didn't have grad students). These are just small rooms that lock to allow you to keep out the mountain of reading and work you have for your dissertation. They're useful. I had one for my honors thesis in college and it was nice to not have to pack everything up when I was done working. Anyway, the carrel I was reading at was at the end of a row of locked carrels. At my school these have number locks so you have to punch in a code to enter. A grad student walks by and goes to open a carrel. Her code doesn't work. She moves to the next one and tries again. It still doesn't work. She tries several before actually getting in to what I assume to be hers. What's even more stupid is that she looked in the windows of them and then still tried the door. Wouldn't she recognize her stuff? In the end, she went into hers and then left a few minutes later. I was so tempted to ask why she doesn't memorize the room number for her carrel. She probably wouldn't comprehend the question, but that may be too harsh. Then again, she's a grad student. You would think she'd have a brain, but obviously some of the people on this campus need to track down Oz and make a request.
I learned a new word.
6 months ago