Saturday, February 13, 2016

Long Trip Back to Gainesville and to My Alma Mater

On a whim I decided to travel back to Gainesville and see the place where I spent my college years, as well as three years working at Smathers Library West.
Me at the College of Journalism, where I earned a C average. Sigh...

There was a local comic-con, a campus-run SwampCon that's mostly geared towards the anime/manga student fanbase, and had a few events going on during the weekend that were of interest. We're going to host our own comic-con at Bartow next Saturday on the 20th so I wanted to see another example of one before the SyFy one...

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While there, I walked across campus - I miss having a bike with me today, it was clear blue sky weather and it could have been fun - and made my way to Library West...

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When I worked there from 2004 to 2006, the university remodeled Library West by expanded the first three floors, added collapsible shelves to increase collection space, and updated nearly every corner of the building to be a computer lab for student work.

On Saturdays, there's nobody from my Reference Department in, mostly because the demand for research help isn't as high that day. In fact, sad to note that Reference research has dropped well enough that the Reference Desk itself no longer exists on the Third Floor. I was stunned to find it gone. It could well be that the staff roves the floor instead - one of the trends in academic librarianship is portable/remote assistance - but the loss of a standard reference desk just upends my entire experience as a Reference Librarian these twenty-plus years.

Just to note, the pictures I took walking there and back across campus:
Plaza of the Americas

There were a lot of "What Is Love" graffiti on the sidewalks on-campus

Century Tower. Legend has it if a virgin ever graduates, a brick falls off.
See that missing brick, two-hundred and nineteenth up, third one over...?

Trying to get a good selfie with the Tower behind me

In front of the Marston Science Library building. The French Fry statue
is hidden in the sunlight behind me, I couldn't get a cleaner image of it as a selfie backdrop.
The campus is pretty calm on the non-football season weekend, it's more packed on a school day with 50,000-plus people milling about.

At least copies of my book Last of the Grapefruit Wars are still on the shelf, but nobody's checked them out since 2006. Can I get a couple of students to help an alum out boost his circ stats?!

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