I thought, since I had written about it recently, that it was about time that I bookporned the myriad faces of our University Library, affectionately known as the You-El (UL), which varies so wildly in character from section to section that no one photo will do its manifold glory justice; therefore consider this a humble acknowledgment of complexity, rather than a simplistic — dare I say imperialistic? — caricature.
those high windows, so reminiscent of another splendid library we have previously encountered, are (so I am told) an ingenious solution to let natural light flood in, without permitting the slothful student’s attention to flood out. as this results in a very agreeable aura of Splendour and Magnificence, I am prepared to let such fascism pass.
but Splendour and Magnificence is largely confined to the ground floor. mostly the UL is a proletarian affair — it is all about those long, narrow, space-efficient and seemingly-infinite corridors
(except for the occasional secret aristocratic room)
and the overflow. oh, the overflow.
and in spite of the borrowing strictures, the overpriced tea room, the cramped stairwells, the arduous daily toil of locating books that will inevitably be found at opposite ends of the immense library, the arcane classification system, the even more arcane manual bag-checking routine at the exit …
some way, somehow — I am still inordinately fond of the darned thing.