Welcome to the machine. What did you dream?



UBC Library book retrieval system, originally uploaded by stodmyk.

This nifty Creative Commons-licensed photo is of UBC Library’s Automated Storage and Retrieval System. It’s part of the newly rebuilt Main Library at UBC. From what I understand, I’ll be moving my base of operations for professional misconduct back to this building next month as the Irving K. Barber Centre enters its next phase.

Five years ago, my first offices at UBC were in the previous edifice of the library. The ceiling was maybe a foot over my head (we used to say it was like working in a submarine), but I loved that space (pics missing). We had windows that we could actually open to the outdoors, they overlooked the greenspace in front of the Student Union Building. And when I needed to gather my thoughts, it couldn’t get better than stepping out the door and wandering the stacks. More than once I found inspiration or consolation in a serendipitous book or periodical…

I guess you really can’t go home again.

One thought on “Welcome to the machine. What did you dream?

  1. I feel the same way. I went to Santa Clara University, and they are implementing this same sort of system. There was something comfortably oppressive about wandering the stacks looking for that book, but finding 3 others along the way. Are we witnessing the death of Dewey decimal? Today I am all about flexible learning environments and up to date technology/collaboration but I will miss the row of too-short desks next to cold steel bookcases and the smell of old books… http://www.scu.edu/newlibrary/

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