There’s a certain appeal to old books. Maybe it’s the mustry smell, or the worn leather binding, or the longetivity of the information within, no matter how out of date it is. It could be the small trip back in time to another era when people believed something which has since been proved false or utterly ludicrous, such as the sun orbiting the Earth.
Unlike your modern public library, which are packed with copies of the latest John Grisham thrillers and novels which only the most bored would ever pick up and read, University libraries have the benefit of containing books from over the decades and centuries. They come from acquitisions from private collections and donations from churches. Right next to a book on the laws of Plato from the early 1900s sits a modern interpretation of the same subject from just a decade back.
The above books are from the Glasgow University Library. I took this shot during my very first adventure into said library, so I can’t recall which floor or department I found them in. I think they contain something about insects. Beats me.
The Library itself is divided into 12 floors, 11 of which are accessible to all students and staff. Level 1 is closed as it contains the library stack where older material no longer in high demand is kept. Level 2, where one enters the library from, contains most of the services of the Library, including the info desk, short loan, and lending services. Level 3 contains general reference material and student PCs and printers and copy machines. Level 4-11 mostly contain the loanable materials from most Departments. Level 12 contains the Special Collections (basically the really old and really rare materials.)
That might seem like an oversimplifaction of the contents of the massive library. That’s because it is. You can find all the floor plans on the Library website. I personally have never stepped foot on Levels 1, 4, 7, 9, 11 and 12, mainly because my subjects can be found on Levels 6 and 8 and in short loan on Level 2. I’ve only been as far up as Level 10 and the view from there was fantastic. The next time I hold Library Week here I might have to go exploring through more floors for hidden treasure and fantastic views from the top.
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