Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | December 6, 2011

Library Life: It Could Be Worse

Whether you’re one of My Faithful Readers or if you’ve simply been here randomly at any given point in the last five years or so…you are probably well-aware that one of this blog’s main purposes in life is serving as an outlet for some of my work-related rage.

One thing in particular that has driven me nuts for years is the way patrons flip out about not being able to get into the library when we’re, you know, not open.

A quick search of my archives reveals a whole big butt-load of situations wherein patrons yelled at me, called me a liar, bitched about “poor customer service,” and/or just banged on the damn door despite the sign on the same door telling them we’re not open.

I’ve bitched. I’ve moaned. I’ve whined. I’ve cried.

However, after what went down last weekend at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, I’m thinking maybe I don’t have it so bad.

Peep the video of the Black Friday-inspired stampede to get into the library and pay particular attention at the 34-second mark when someone is clearly ON THE F’N GROUND:

The whole thing is freakin’ nuts.

Do these people not have dorm rooms or apartments that are likely drastically more comfortable? Do coffee houses no longer exist? What the hell is wrong with getting together to cram for finals somewhere other than a library?

I’ve never, ever understood the obsession with being “in the library” to study. Most of the time people get into the library and they either immediately pass out from stress, get on Facebook or just dick around in the group study rooms instead of working on anything.

I feel like a lot of the unnecessary drama could be avoided if people decided to go somewhere other than the most crammed and overpopulated place on campus to work on their stuff.

According, to the official recap in the student paper, The Virginia Informer, students were openly crying and breaking down as they waited for the library to open.

Trent Sterneck, the student who taped the video, gave a pretty solid run-down of how crazy things got in an interview with the paper:

“The video was taken just before 1:00pm on Sunday when Swem Library opened its doors to a line of several hundred frenzied students waiting to begin day two of the pre-exam ‘reading period.’”

“The students at the very front of the line had supposedly been waiting outside for hours in effort to stake claim on Swem’s finest real-estate: the private study rooms.”

“Tensions were high as 1:00pm approached. A group of girls attempting to ‘cut the line’ were quickly sent back by an onslaught of dirty looks. One girl in line told me she had pepper spray and was ready to use it if things got rowdy.”

Holy shitballs!

Gang mentality. Pepper spray. People getting curb-stomped. Kids just breaking down and crying.

…and this is all to get into a f’n library!

I’ve seen a lot of crazy shit in my day.

I’ve been yelled at. I’ve seen kids breakdown and cry. I’ve had people mention/threaten suicide. I’ve seen the high-tensions spark and seen some near fisticuffs.

…but damned if this isn’t the craziest scene I’ve witnessed in a library.

Maybe I should put a mini-embargo on bitching about my job until something happens that tops this crazy-ass shizzle?!



  1. […] today’s entry—much like Tuesday’s post—isn’t about me or any of my experiences in the library. It is, however, about an experience […]


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