Ted’s Top Libraries

During the month of December, Loyola Libraries staff make lists and check them twice. What are these lists about? Anything! You can look at past years’ lists here and stay tuned for more lists!

Since being hired on at Loyola, I’ve been thinking back to all the libraries I’ve used or worked in over the course of my life.  Here’s a selection!

Saint Paris Public Library

Growing up, I lived two miles outside the village of Saint Paris, Ohio. I remember getting my first library card here at age 8.  I have a distinct memory of looking up at the person behind a very imposing, simulated wood grain circulation desk.  My grandmother lived in town, so when my brother and I stayed with her, we were able to walk to the library and spend as much of the day as we wanted there.  When I was small, they used a handwritten charging system, so you could look at the card in the book pocket and see the name of every person who’d checked out the book and when it was due.  We were all very excited when they offered VHS tapes for the first time.

Clark County Public Library

Fast forward a few years…  I’m an awkward teenager and we’re driving to the larger city of Springfield once a week for my allergy shots, so we use the opportunity to stop at this much larger library.  My parents would drop me off there while they picked up groceries for the week, and I’d be waiting in the vestibule with an armful of books and CDs.  As I started to realize I was “not like the other boys,” being able to find books with queer people in them was a lifeline for my soul.  It helped me stay true to myself knowing that there were other people like me out there.

Thomas Library, Wittenberg University

My work study job was at the reference desk in this library.  I was astonished to learn that you could just show up and someone would help you get started with your research paper or help you find answers to all kinds of questions.  I often shadowed the reference librarians, which I think gave me a good sense of how to interact with and help patrons.  I saw them work with both appreciative and cranky students with constant dedication.  Spending so much time with these librarians, it really felt like they became my friends.

Universitätsbibliothek, TU-Dortmund

For anyone who has studied abroad, using the library can be very interesting experience.  I had a heck of a time getting my library card here; it seemed that I never had the correct papers with me and a regular student ID was surprisingly not a library card.  I remember all I wanted was to be able to send a few emails since my internet hadn’t been connected yet.  I had to prove that I was a legal resident of the city, but I couldn’t quite understand what documents they were asking me for.  I also was yelled at once when I returned a book in the book drop.  It turns out that you had to wait in line to return your books and that book drop was only for patents.  Another “fun” fact about this library is that the books are shelved in the order they were added to the library. 

Olin Library, Washington University in Saint Louis

This was my home library in graduate school.  While I was there, the library was under renovation, so there were often random very loud noises which made it difficult to study.  But by the end, we had a coffee shop to keep us all fed and caffeinated.  Two excellent librarians liaised with my department, Brian and Joleen.  I worked in the cataloging department one summer which was much more interesting than I’d expected.

Philological Library of the Freie Universität Berlin

I spent many hours studying in this (at the time) newly built library with my friend Juliane.  From the outside it looks like a bubble.  There’s a lot of natural light since the roof is made of two layers of clear “membrane” that act as a heating and cooling system.  Definitely an instagrammable study experience!

When Lewis Library Access and Operations Manager Ted Jackson isn’t traveling the world visiting libraries, he can be found at home knitting sweaters, reading books, drinking coffee, and bothering his cat, Dieter.

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