Monday, July 18, 2005

Stacks' Appeal

Stacks' Appeal. This is a fun article at the Chronicle. It starts by discussing sex in the stacks and ends by talking about a love for books.

The author wrote, "For the record, I have never had sex in the stacks, and -- even after many years of lurking in several major collections -- I have never had to discreetly avoid anyone else in flagrante delicto. "

I have had to call the police several times when I have had the misfortune of coming upon students engaged in inappropriate stacks behavior. And when I was a student worker at Bowling Green State University we kept getting reports about an Arab man who would sneak up and lick women's feet. And he also liked to flash women too. He was never caught in the library but he was finally arrested when he drove naked through the Burger King drive-thru.

And one time I even saw a t-shirt that read, "Coed naked librarianship, take your wacks in the stacks." I wonder who sells those?

From the site:

I have heard that one of the rites of passage for undergraduates at Harvard University is to have sex in stacks of the vast, labyrinthine Widener Library. It's sort of an academic version of joining the "Mile-High Club."

I suppose sex in the stacks is meant to lampoon the library's aura of high-minded seriousness and Puritanical chastity. Harvard used to keep Leaves of Grass in a locked case in order to guard the moral virtue of undergraduates. And that was in the days before Harvard admitted women.

That copy of Leaves is now in the Houghton Library. The more erotic passages have been underscored and commented upon by James Russell Lowell, the very man who promised one concerned parent that he would "keep it out of the way of students."

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