[rescue] Do you remember when? Security software.....

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Fri Aug 15 12:45:08 CDT 2003

On Fri, 15 Aug 2003, Dave McGuire wrote:

> > As much as good libraries are -essential- to a well-informed public,
>    They are?  People still go to libraries?

Oh, -hell- yeah.  Fondren Library at Rice is almost -always- busy,
even in the dead of night.  I killed I don't know how many days in
there.  It's terrific.  Just pull a topic out of your ass, look it up in
the card catalog, and you can find the most twisted stuff on the
subject.  Free-associating in a 24-hour library is a good way to lose an
entire weekend; I speak from experience.  If I had something even
remotely as neat as that here[0], I'd probably still do that at least
once a week.

That said, Fondren Library is quite large.  Dinky little community
libraries just aren't in the same realm.

The last time I was in Fondren (and it has expanded since then, it was 7
stories, with the basement, ground floor, and first floor, being about
the size of a soccer field, and the remaining floors being about a third
that size.  Except for the offices on the top floor, the conference room
on the 4th, the computer lab on the 2nd, and the open reading areas on
the ground floor, it's filled with books.  The shelves (stacks) are
about two feet apart, run half the length of the floor and are PACKED
with books.

And the basement of Rice Stadium (also quite large, they held the Super
Bowl there quite a few years ago) has _some_ of the overflow.

>    Of course.  They're run by the government, which considers
> individualism a threat.

Fondren Library was actually owned by TWMRIFTAOLSA, a.k.a. Rice
University.  Rice was absolutely terrific in that regard when I arrived
in 1998, but they started to turn sour about two years later, especially
in the CS departemnt.  I blame the students as much as the
administration.  The student body in 1998 had a tongue-in-cheek "fuck
the man" attitude, and the administration bantered with it; it was great
fun!  When I left in 2001, there was an overwhelming "Why should we
question the administration/professors?" sentiment, and it took away the
open debate I enjoyed so much.  I hope they turned around.

Seriously, if I were sitting on enough money to pull it off and live on,
I'd buy one of those townhouses across the way from Rice and finish what
I started there.  As much as I talk smack about it, I direly miss that
place. :(

[0] Sorry, but LBJ library is mostly law stuff, and Fondren was almost
    entirely tech and humanities.
Jonathan Patschke   )  "We're Texans.  We figure out ways to do these
Elgin, TX          (    things..."                    --Bill Bradford

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