Lois McMaster Bujold

Jennifer Forsyth jforsyth at equinox.unr.edu
Wed Aug 23 21:43:21 EDT 2000


alexandra.bolintineanu at utoronto.ca wrote:

>Does anyone on this list have an amusing story about getting locked in a
library >overnight?

Well, it wasn't overnight, and I wasn't  locked *in*, but-- oh, what the heck.
It's just a library story...

A few years back, some cohorts of mine, who were utterly insane but at least
insane in a bibliophilic way, insisted on heading directly to the British
Museum Library where we were doing research immediately upon arrival from an
all-night flight (we were coming from the U.S. west coast) instead of
intelligently sleeping before tackling the enormous tasks in front of us. I
won't be able to describe this very well since I have essentially spatial
recall, but the essence of the library design was (there's a new one now, I
hear) one large room with another smaller room (probably more of these as well,
but only two rooms are pertinent here) as an offshoot to one side. You had to
have a card to enter the first room, and there was another security station to
get into the offshoot. Anyhow, we all set up in the offshoot library, then I
got sent back out to the main room to look up some stuff, leaving my backpack
etc. in the other room. I settled myself on the floor near a wall where I was
looking at some books. I heard some noise in the background, but I was busy, so
it was a while before I noticed that the sound I was hearing was some sort of
alarm, and I was pretty much the last person in the library. I decided to leave
at that point, and while I was standing around outside, I heard that it was a
bomb threat (I didn't realize then how common they were). It also occurred to
me that since I'd left my backpack in that offshoot room, I didn't have my
reader's card to get back into the library. I also couldn't find any of my
friends, who had exited through another door, and had to hang around the
entrance until one of them realized I wasn't there. (Had I been an extroverted
personality, I suppose in retrospect I could have tried to collar someone else
going in and ask them to take a message, but it didn't occur to me.) If I had
been oblivious a little longer, I would have been locked in the library while
they checked out the threat; as it was, it's only a story about being locked
out. (Sorry. This makes me realize I need better stories!)

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