Library Top Trumps: Sackler eddition

13 Jan

Library Name: Sackler Library, Oxford University

Number of Books: All of the books, if you’re an Archaeologist. All of the books.

Loans Policy: I think not unless you’re an Oxford student, but I’m too intimidated to ask.

Library was designed with the following in mind: Competitive studying and posturing with obscure tomes for 12-14 hrs a day. Designed as a space in which it’s possible to forget time and retreat either to calm contemplation or to abject terror depending on your mental state. An Oubliette.

Food and Drink Policy: Are you kidding?

Silence Policy: I am deeply self-conscious of how loud my mouse is when I click. I have rubber soled shoes specifically so people don’t look up when I walk by.

Enforcement of rules: Peer enforced to a high degree.

Catalogue: Online at SOLO

Plague of the library: The sense that no matter how much you study while you’re here, it will never quite be adequate. There is also too little light.

Funny anecdote from the library: When browsing amongst the rolling shelves, I forgot to put the brakes on. The shelves began to close in, I began to walk faster. As they picked up speed, I broke in to a run, thinking I could grab the book and escape before the book-clad megaliths met with an almighty clang that would have seen me banished to the basement until everyone on the first floor forgot who I was. I dived out from between the shelves and sprinted, in silence, back round to where the brakes are to avoid the hideous sound/ bookalanche / social death that was coming my way. I hit the brakes with a fraction of a second to spare and stood there, slightly out of breath and feeling totally foolish. I don’t think anyone saw….

Overall Score: 8/10 (it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as other libraries in Oxford)

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