Living in the Library

After the amount of times I heard, “at Oxford you’ll be living in the Library,” I assumed Oxonians take the library very seriously, but I never anticipated just how seriously. We were formally inducted as readers of the Bodleian library today. Make no mistake, the Bodleian, a copyright library which has reserved the right to every book published in English past, present, and future is quite the grand affair. However, the grandiose nature of our induction was still quite unexpected, thrilling and beautiful, but unexpected. First, we were ushered into not just any room, but a room where parliament was once held. Then, we were made to state an oath out loud and sign our names one by one in front of a witness. Here are our beautiful smiling faces right after getting our library cards–eager and ready to learn.

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photo courtesy of Austin Carroll

Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to take pictures inside the library, and nor would I want to, lest I disturb the complete silence that is inside the reading rooms. I swear, I can’t even breathe without making too much noise. Stress inducing silence aside, the inside of the Bodleian is a magical place complete with seemingly endless staircases, underground passageways, and hidden doors. Uhm, can I say Hogwarts? Yes, I can; because it is.

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