Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Library Rant

Yilan is rich in a lot of resources, fresh air, great food, etc, but apparently its most precious treasure lies somewhere with the modern trappings of the University’s library. I have not seen this treasure, but the seriousness with which they guard it has convinced me it must be something of ultimate value… knowledge?

It all started a couple of weeks ago, when I thought there might be something in their English stacks that could assist me in my research. Having helped them with their English corner, I have been in the library before, but this time decided to go on my own. Since I am not a student, they asked for a piece of ID to exchange for a guest pass. On that fateful day, I didn’t have my ARC with me, and tried to give them my health care card. It was denied… reason? It didn’t have my address on it. I can’t even just go inside and look around? Denied. I don’t know what they need an address for anyways, a guest pass doesn’t allow you to take books out, you can only enter the sacred premises.

Frustrated, the following week I asked a friend, who happens to be a student at the university, to take me and maybe check out a few books out for me. I brought the appropriate ID, and after a long registration process, I was in! I felt like part of a special club, like Mensa. I asked them if they also needed a DNA sample, but they said name and address were fine. Now that I was recognized by the system, all I would have to do is bring my card and exchange it (still not allowed to take books out though).
But today, thinking I could bang out part of my paper in the serene environment, and perhaps even absorb some of the knowledge recirculating among the four stories of stacks, I hopefully climbed the library steps once again. But alas, it was not to be. For today, they had already filled their maximum quota of 15 visitors to the holy vaults, and no more were to be allowed in until someone left (sans books of course, since have I mentioned that non-students can’t even take books out?) It was all I could do not to hop the gate and make a run for it. But fearing future banishment, I simply left, muttering  getting in here is like robbing a bank under my breath. So here I am at Starbucks, spending money on overpriced coffee and succumbing to distractions offered by wifi, and ranting. It’s a library for Pete’s sake! What do you think we’re going to do????? Start tearing pages out of the books? Free access to knowledge for all! Burn the ivory towers, buuuurn!  #endofrant 

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