Almost exactly six months ago I moved here. Can you believe how fast it went? I can’t! My time here in Illinois is quickly drawing to a close. I’m so ready to move home and finish my degree online! I don’t like living so far from my family, I miss Steve, I miss my friends and yes, I miss the security of being in place I’ve known my whole life. Despite being homesick, I am so glad that I did move here and force myself to experience life on my own. Living here has taught me a lot about myself, other people, and the world. I wouldn’t trade this experience or anything! Here are my top five uniquely Illinois moments!
… In no particular order
This might actually be my favorite moment. In my class on library buildings we spent the entire semester learning what NOT to do when building a library. The two biggest things to avoid are 1) building underground 2) atriums. On our field trip to Chicago we went to the University of Chicago to see their library. While there we were given a presentation of what their newest library building will look like.
It is a giant atrium. With an underground storage facility.
None of us could make eye contact during this presentation–we would have just died. Everything–EVERYTHING we had been warned against was going into this library. Let me give you some more details.
It is a giant atrium with an underground storage facility. You’re thinking, what’s wrong with that? Underground isn’t so bad… And then you realize this is in Chicago. Next to a lake. Under the water table. On what used to be a marsh. The head of maintenance used to call it “The Bathtub” until the school asked him to stop.
And what’s wrong with an atrium? Lots of light, isn’t that a good thing? All those windows are hard to maintain. And those windows? Yeah, they’re only manufactured in Germany. So when (not if, when) one of them breaks they’re going to have to wait at least a few days for a replacement.
Other problems? There isn’t a bathroom in the building. There aren’t any private staff areas. And the real kicker? They’re putting the preservation and conservation unit in it. Maybe this isn’t obvious to everyone but… BOOKS DO NOT LIKE SUNLIGHT. Old books especially do not like sunlight.
You can see more pictures of the Bathtub here.
I’ve blogged about this quite a few times already so I won’t go into much detail, but seeing the Gutenberg Bible and Shakespeare’s First Folio were amazing and awe-inspiring experiences. So, so so awesome.
I also already blogged about this. Making paper was such a cool thing! It was so much more fun than I ever would have thought, and it made me realize that I want paper making to become one of my hobbies. It was relaxing, fun, and it creates something beautiful! I’ve been looking for a long time for a hobby that doesn’t involve the computer, and I think this might be the one that sticks!
Meeting Jess and Deirde
And everyone else, really. I have met so many awesome people here. Everyone is so nice and smart! Librarians/future librarians are definitely my favorite people! But Jess and Deirdre definitely stand out as the people I’ve gotten the closest to. We figured out in the second week that we had all of our classes together and from then on we were always in each others corner! Having both of them in all my classes (except Rare Books) made my first semester of library school so enjoyable!
The more I reflect on it the more I realize that this class was the prefect introduction to the field. Instead of lectures we had discussions. It was such a great way to become accustomed to the issues within library science! My favorite night was the last night. We all presented on our final papers. I loved hearing about the things other people felt were important, and it was the perfect way to end my first semester. So thanks everyone from 502–you spoiled me for other classes with your awesomeness!