Memories #4

The basement of Strozier Library will always be a scary place in my mind. As a freshman at FSU, I vowed to avoid checking anything out of that library if I could help it. It was a naive promise, and one that was broken within several months.

I reluctantly accompanied Heather to the library one night. I was desperate to get out of the dorm (it had been a hard night with a lot of tears), and I needed to do some research anyway. It was on that night that I paid my first visit to Strozier’s basement.

I can’t remember what book I was looking for or what kind of assignment I was on, but I found myself in front of rows and rows of crankable bookshelves. Have you ever seen these things? They’re used in tight spaces to cram in as many books as humanly possible. Before you open the aisle where your book is being held hostage, you have to peer down surrounding rows of books. The last thing you want to do is crank open a case and trap someone between rows of books.

As I’ve already explained, I was feeling rather emotional on this particular evening. Instead of distracting me, the library heightened my fears. I sat on the floor between two sets of shelves and cried. I couldn’t find the book I wanted, the boy I liked wasn’t interested in me, and the library was creepy. I was blowing things out of proportion, I know, but I sat on that basement floor and wallowed in my self pity.

I’ve grown up a lot in four years (as one would hope!) I spent two and a half hours of my Saturday in Gorgas Library. Again, I sat on the library’s bottom floor, this time prowling through Readers Guide to Periodical Literature, volumes one and two.

The musty smell bothered me, but I plodded along in my search for materials. When I left several hours later, a lengthy list of sources in hand, I reflected on that night four years ago. I’ve matured, not only in my use of university libraries, but in my relationships with men and in how I deal with my emotions. (Thank God I’m not still the child I was at 18!)

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