that library

This is so important… Feel free to repost📚😊☕
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I don’t want ‘your’ help

So I am on desk at the library and a unfortunately familiar thing happened to me today. A man was walking around, looking a little lost. I asked him if he needed any help, and he said no. So I told him I would be at the desk if he needed anything and left him alone. Occasionally he would pass by the desk, and I would smile and wait for a question, but he moved on to a different part of the library. I saw him leave for a while and then an hour later he came back. He kept wandering around looking more and more annoyed. 

I was joined by my coworker at the desk, and I was getting ready to go back to my office. The man walked over and started asking my coworker a bunch of questions. He even had a list of things he wanted. I was a tad confused because he had been sitting near the desk for a good 30 minutes and I could have helped him with all of the things he was asking. But at that point I was ready to get back to my office so I could put some orders in. As I am about to leave the man asks a question about one of our meeting rooms. My coworker doesnt know the answer so they ask me. I tell the man politely what he needs to know and he nods. He follows up with another question, which my coworker again throws to me. I politely answer. My coworker is able to answer his questions and I go back to my office. Only to be called back out because the man has questions about teen programming. (I’m in charge of that). 

The man directs all questions to my coworker and even looks annoyed when I answer. And It hits me. He doesnt want my help. He wants my coworkers help. Who is also a man. 

Out of all the illustrations in all the books in Special Collections, this one ranks high among my favorites. It’s the last image in Leonhart Fuchs’ stunningly illustrated herbal De historia stirpium comentarii insignes, and it acknowledges just how important the artists were in the production of this book. This is thought to be the first book that has portraits of the artists, and here they are, in hand-colored woodcuts, labeled with their names and the tools and activities of their trades.  At the top, Albertus Meyer produces an illustration from a live specimen, while Heinricus Füllmaurer transfers the drawing to a woodblock.  

The sculptor, Vitus Rodolph Speckle, appears below.  He would have carved the wooden blocks so they could be used to print the intricate illustrations that appear in this work, but he is the only one of the three who is not depicted working with his hands. Perhaps this denotes that Speckle held a higher status than Füllmaurer or Meyer, an idea that relates to Renaissance debates about which art form was greatest: painting, sculpture, or architecture.

- Kelli

 Fuchs, Leonhart, 1501-1566. De historia stirpivm commentarii insignes … : adiectis earvndem vivis plvsqvam quingentis imaginibus … Accessit … uocum difficilium & obscurarum passim in hoc opere ocurrentium explicatio. Basileae : In officina Isingriniana, 1542. MU Ellis Special Collections Rare Vault QK41 .F7  

anonymous asked:

Hi Stephanie, I'm at Oxford for a term as a visiting student and have been looking for quiet study spots. I don't work well in large reading rooms padded by the incessant banging of keyboards. Since you must be a lot more familiar with the nooks and cranes of the Bodleian libs, I was wondering if you could recommend some places (besides study carrels) where I could be a peaceful hermit with her reading. Thank you thank you thank you!

Hmmm. You may want to check first if your college library has any nooks & crannies that often go unused as a first option. If not, here are a few recommendations, though I want to preface by saying that the amount of noise in any given library (coughing, papers rustling, laptops, etc.) in Oxford is largely a function of what time you’re in the library. (Also, you might have thought of this already, but earplugs–the foam ones from Boots–also do the trick in a pinch.) In my experience, the Bodleian/other major libraries are busiest from the hours of 10:30-4:30 PM. 

  1. Laptop-free sections of the Bodleian reading rooms. Ask a librarian where these are in each library if you aren’t sure. I know for sure there are a fair amount in the Upper Radcliffe Camera, the SHist section, so have a wander. (If by any chance someone has been naughty & is using a laptop, let a librarian know and they will move them to another part of the library without incident.) 
  2. Silent study pods in the Social Science Library. These sound pretty perfect for you.
  3. Top floor of the English Faculty Library. Hardly anyone goes up there because it’s laptop-free! 
  4. China Centre Library has individual booths for study and a separate no-laptops reading room with a closed door.
  5. Radcliffe Science Library Reading Room. I’ve heard it gets cold in the winter but more science students who do their work by hand (and also have labs & can’t camp out all day necessarily) = less laptops & more quiet.
  6. The Sackler (Classics library). When it’s busy, it’s busy, but in quieter hours (early morning; evening) it’s excellent, and the circular shape + bookshelves being made out of quite thick metal means sound is easily muffled.
  7. Upper Reading Room is generally quiet in the early morning or evening, plus being so high up (as opposed to the Lower Rad Cam, for instance) means there is absolutely no noise coming from the outside. Many of its regular readers are above the age of 25 and thus usually go home after 5 pm, so definitely consider this for evening or early morning use. There’s also no better validation than being one of the first people in the Bod, incidentally.
  8. Duke Humfrey. Again, not laptop free, but as it’s a rare books room and not for regular use, it’s quieter than the reading rooms generally are. There’s an old woman who angrily hushes people if they type too loudly.
  9. See if there’s a book you need to reference that is only available in a college library. This is a really good way to get into a college library to study, as they’ll let you into the library to reference one book because you won’t have borrowing rights (one time only though, usually, unless you can make an excuse for needing to see it again.) This can also be done if you have a friend at another college. Many college libraries are huge, sparsely populated, deathly quiet. Off the top of my head, Lady Margaret Hall has several quiet desks with beautiful views; St. John’s is creaky but hushed, & when I was there, there were only two other people (I couldn’t hear anything they were doing); Wadham has several reading rooms (think an art history one?)
  10. The Oxford Union. If you’re not a member sometimes the gate is open. Its library is small and full of laptop-users, but the rooms (downstairs and the few upstairs) are generally not in use, if you’d like to take up residence for a few hours. Not all of them have wifi but they are deathly quiet. 

I’ll edit this as I think of more but hopefully this’ll start you off!