Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Moveable Feast

I enjoy reading the Library Babel Fish blog, which is written by Barbara Fister, a librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College, and appears regularly on Inside Higher Ed. The most recent post, "Finals: An All-Consuming Ritual," hit home for me. Fister describes the "binging and purging" that are as much a part of exam preparation at her school as cramming and last-minute writing of papers. So much food is consumed in her library during finals that "the amounts of food-related trash that [the] custodians ... haul out ... [is] prodigious."

Our final exams began last week, and will conclude the end of this coming week. As I reported in a prior post, the library is extremely crowded with students, most of whom are bringing in not only cups of coffee, but large grocery bags filled with all manner of sustenance, some of it extremely smelly. Garlic-laced salad dressing is particularly pungent and the odor permeates all five floors of the library with remarkable speed. We have had to invest in industrial size and strength garbage containers--all with lids--in order to contain the mess and the smell, and we have requested that our long-suffering maintenance staff empty all the containers at least three times a day during finals. Thanks to the large garbage containers and the attention of the maintenance staff, we are keeping the situation under control as we count down the days until exams are over. I never thought I'd become an expert on garbage cans!

No comments: