On the last day of classes my senior year of high school, we all wrote questions on the board for one teacher that we were convinced he owed it to us to answer. And honestly, I forgot many of the things which were written, and, still worse, I forgot much of what this beloved mentor said. But I do recall that amidst inquiries about dogs and cars, someone asked “Where’s the best place to meet someone (romantically) in college?” My teacher, who had taken his task in stride, leaned in to the room of eighteen-year-olds, silent in rapt attention. “The best place to meet someone...” he said with a wink, as we all drew our breath. “Is the library. Because at least then you know they know where it is.”
Well, just in time for Valentine’s Day, I am here to say that the chances are good on the Carleton campus that true love can maybe be yours, since I doubt there is nary a student who does not know where the library is. If you missed the murder mystery/scavenger hunt during New Student Week, you’ve surely been inside to use the computer, look at a book, study, play board games, or read some quality children’s literature. I will say that I have a friend who checked out her first book from the Carleton library a month ago—and she’s a senior (she’s also a computer science major who buys all required reading). But Carls do love the library, so much so that we affectionately call it the libe. And there are so many good reasons why (both to call it the libe and to love it. "Libe" is shorter and has many puns. The reasons for amore should be clear in what follows)!
I now present a game called Two Truths and a Libe. It’s inspired by what invariably ends up happening during the last week of the summer program I work at. Hopefully this version is less awkward, though there’s no telling how much it may in fact reveal about the soul of Carleton. In what follows, I list two truths and a lie about the Carleton library: are you up to the challenge? (Answers are at the bottom so keep track!).
1) The Carleton library has
a) A penguin
b) A naked bronze man
c) A red-haired singing angel
2) The Carleton library subscribes to
c) The Week
3) You can check out these things at the front desk
c) Books you’ve requested from St. Olaf and other libraries across the country
4) The Carleton library consists of
a) Two elevators
b) Five floors
c) One emergency exit
5) The Carleton library contains
a) Sex Pots: Eroticism in Ceramics
b) A book by someone whose last name is Cocks called “Doing The Town”
c) Sense and Sensuality
6) The following amenities are provided in libe study rooms
7) You can do these things on the top two floors of Carleton’s library
b) Have a conversation
c) Release live crickets
8) People who have offices in the Carleton library
a) The research assistants
b) The college archivists
c) The registrar
9) Things you can check out from the Carleton library
b) Computer programs
c) Movies that have nothing to do with classes you’re in
10) The libe hosts
b) A raucous dance party
c) Speed dating
11) The following Carleton groups have office hours in the library
a) The Career Center
b) The Writing Center
c) The Math Skills Center
Bonus: What are the following libe-related Carleton phenomenon?
12) The ENTS lounge
13) The Nerd Bell
14) The Bathroom of Good and Evil
Note: this entire feature was inspired by the fact that I briefly contemplated writing a feature for the Carl (the arts & culture supplement to our school paper) on library style called “Love The Way You Libe” after a friend and I got into a debate about whether one ought to wear beanies inside. Spoiler alert: in the libe, people do!
Also, I am currently without a camera. For those who were following my blog last year, you may know I don’t use a camera once much I have it. But since this is senior year and I would like memories and all, I will make an effort in the coming weeks to take and share some pics. My mom is (hopefully) sending it to me along with Cookie Butter, the world’s most dangerous food.
Finally, while looking for good names for this entry, I came upon a few that the somewhat more romantically cynical Carls might find humorous with regards to theme of this entry. The best was: “Gould [gold] makes the ugly beautiful” from Moliere. So lock yourself in that study room on second. You never know who may come along and unlock your heart...(OK, so you can't actually lock the study rooms. And maybe for this very reason that's a good thing).
1c, 2c, 3b, 4a (there's only one), 5 (OK, so here's the thing: we have all of these books. I made up Sense and Sensuality but it turns out it's real and can be found on the third floor), 6c, 7c (don't do this--someone did last year as a prank on the silent floor but it turns out crickets destroy books. No need to harm literature in the name of fun, people), 8c, 9b, 10c, 11c (this is in the CMC)
The ENTS lounge: "ENTS" is Environmental Studies, and students often do group work on the fourth floor of the library. They claim this is because they don't have an official departmental lounge so the libe must do. But they enjoy the comfy chairs, as well as this really cool screen where you can project from your computer, enough to make the rest of us think they're doing just fine.
The Nerd Bell: The announcement at 12, 1, or 3 (during finals) that announces the libe is closing.
Use in a sentence: "Dude, I've been working on my comps so much--I've heard the nerd bell three times this week"
The Bathroom of Good And Evil: OK, so this isn't a thing yet, but I really want it to catch on. The first floor of our library contains the books on philosophy and religion. And in the women's bathroom there, there is an elevated white toilet and a slightly more sunken black enamel one. It is often very difficult to choose...