Friday, February 20, 2009

Knowledge for all! UPDATED

The Youth are still at it. Ironically, given that part of their platform is to open the library to the public, it is now increasingly difficult for even those with honest-to-goodness NYU IDs to enter the building with the books. (Ironic, that is, unless what they're going for is no access until access for all is instituted, in which case I'm really starting to dislike them.) One route to Bobst is blocked altogether, and the others require showing a cop your ID. (The good news, as far as I'm concerned, is that I still look like a Youth myself, as I was asked by one of the cops if I go to NYU, suggesting I do not look like the haggard instructor-of-undergrads I in fact am.)

OK, but back to the library thing. From what I understand, The Youth are for opening the library (as opposed, I'm assuming, to the day-pass-type arrangement that currently seems to be the rule) because they want knowledge to be accessible to all. Alas, the NYPL has far, far more books than NYU does, and is very open to the public. Of course, if what they want is to extend lending privileges to every raving lunatic and European shopper-tourist who happens to pass by West 4th Street, then the protest is bad news indeed.


The 'quiet reading' section of the library, at least up in the PQs, sounded just now like it was host to a drum circle. Why? Because someone, long ago, had the brilliant idea to place student centers next to university libraries.


Whitney said...

As long as university libraries are even located on campuses there is bound to be noise. I remember at Columbia, every other weekend there was some loud event going on on the steps of Low Library across the way, every note from which rang throughout practically every reading room.

And as long as students in general are allowed to enter university libraries, there will always be crunching, slurping and bad headphones to compete with concentration.

Phoebe said...

You make a good point. So far at NYU, I haven't seen any under-the-table nail-clipping, which I did see at Chicago, so... so far so good?

Nick said...

say what you will about the reg nail-clippers (which I don't recall, but which wouldn't surprise me), at least the reg was quiet. and had better places to nap.

in fact, NYU definitely needs better places to nap. we need to add that to our list of demands...

Paul Gowder said...

How odd. Don't they have any real demands?

(I shouldn't complain. Student activism at Stanford would probably be tying a ribbon on a pair of Uggs.)

Phoebe said...


There were most definitely nail-clippers, but more than that, there were nose-pickers, neither of which NYU seems to have. But yes, 'more places to nap' goes on the list.

Paul Gowder,

OK, having looked into this a bit... they have (had, at this point) a mix of real-ish demands; random points meant to make them seem lefty and rebellious, but with no relevance whatsoever to life at NYU; silly, poorly-thought-out demands that, if met, would be destructive to the university; and silly, poorly-thought-out demands that could not possibly all be met (such as lowering tuition and raising salaries).

I'm sure at Stanford, like at any other large school, there's a group of a few dozen kids ready to fight the Man, or at least to go on the evening news for doing what looks like that.