Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Libraries I have known: Five

Five: Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University

I studied abroad at Emory University in Atlanta for the second year of my degree. I spent a lot of time in the library there. In the basement, apart from lots of PCs, was an area of comfy arm chairs. You could move these chairs together to make a kind of bed and have a lovely sleep. I had a few - sometimes on purpose and sometimes with a book in my hands. I broke up with someone in the library basement, and I took part in races. Once race was to finish a paper before a fellow student (these papers were a couple of hundred words long and took only minutes to do - we'd call them comprehensions, I think). The other races were in the twirly chairs - a friend and I would push off from the desk with our hands and see who went furthest - quite simple. 

I don't remember taking many books out from the library, but I know I spent a lot of time on the computers (I didn't have my own), and frequently sipped from the myriad water fountains. Everyone was in the library, and we all stayed up late to finish things. I watched Gone with the Wind for the first time and Raging Bull, in a booth, on a small TV with big headphones.

Finally, I learned a very important lesson from a fellow student called Michael. We were taking a class about Utopian Fiction and at the end of the semester we had the choice to write an essay or a story. I bumped into Michael in the library and I told him I couldn't decide whether to write the story or the essay. He said, 'Who does the essay?'