This past week, I was in the bay area at a conference hosted by UC Berkeley. I was lucky enough to get a little free time and wander around the campus, and one thing I found that I fell instantly in love with was the first library I stumbled upon, the Doe Library.
UC Berkeley is known for its libraries. The campus is home of the fourth largest university library in the United States, just falling short of other schools like Yale, Harvard, and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. I didn’t know this at the time I was wandering the halls of the Doe Library (thanks Wikipedia), but what I did know was that this was the biggest library I had ever set foot in, so I decided to have some fun.
The first thing I saw upon entering the library was a statue of Mark Twain, so of course I had my friend, Andrea, act as my model and pose with him.
After our deep and thought-provoking conversation with bronze Mark Twain, we continued to explore all of what the library housed—and it was a lot.
Just a few strides back from bronze Twain lied a huge display of literature, art, and biographies of people involved in the Republic of Portugal in the mid 70s. Academic authors like Dr. Luís Nuno Rodrigues and his book Spinola, exploring the life of General Antonio de Spinola during his exile in Brazil were on display, among many others.
Andrea and I finally found some books in the art literature section of the library. While I don’t claim to be an art buff, I am a book buff, and I think if the world ended and I were locked in the art wing of the Doe Library, I’d be okay with the reading selection left to me.
I think this library could talk me into falling for art, or at least, books of art. The library itself also housed a cool mini model of the campus long-ago, before it became as big as it is now.
And, finally, after trying to find a mythical bookstore within the library walls (which, according to the library staff we eventually found, moved out of the library a few years prior), Andrea and I found a wonderful quote upon the library wall.
My time after this, sadly, was up. I was unable to explore the rest of the Doe Library at UC Berkeley, but I’m sure this won’t be my last visit, nor my last conference, in the bay area. This is just see you later, UC Berkeley and your massive libraries—not goodbye.
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