austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Heaven help us if the library caught on fire

I was at the Michigan State University library for such things as are ordinarily done in libraries. While I was checking out a mass of books there was a group gathering in some of the open space there. The docent was explaining the library --- that students can check books out for three-week spans, that books can be renewed subject to recall for a good long time, that there wasn't the need for any separate card or anything, just your student ID.

It took a moment to realize that this was a library orientation lecture being given on the day before the start of Spring Break. Wouldn't this be something for orientation week, or the first week or two of the semester for students who transferred in or something? What's going on that they were being introduced to the idea of ``you can take books out if you show your card'' eight weeks into the second semester of the academic year?

Were they incoming students who had early admission and were having a very early orientation week? But this was the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday; why not have that on the weekend? High schools on their spring break already? I suppose that's the least unsatisfying explanation, but it seems like a pretty specialized special case. I can't quite explain why this was going on this past week.

Trivia: Author and British Foreign Office official Charles Marvin was arrested for the theft of top-secret documents, following the May 1878 leak of secret agreements from the Congress of Berlin (related to agreements between Britain and Russia) to The Globe newspaper. He was acquitted when no documents could be found in his possession. Marvin had memorized the entire text, rather than stealing anything tangible. Source: The Great Game: The Struggle For Empire In Central Asia, Peter Hopkirk.

Currently Reading: Dimensional Methods and their Applications, Charles M Focken.

PS: When 2 plus 2 Equals 5, plus Another Unsettling Equation, second mathematics post since the last roundup. Can be sent to your Friends page or your RSS reader if you like.


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