Located on Level One of the Barr Smith Library is the Rare Books and Special Collections. I awkwardly wander in, curious about what is held within.
“Can I help you?” says the staff member. She seems somewhat confused to see me checking the locked door to the inner collection. I explain that I want to check out what’s around the uni. Someone else had walked in, for the same reason.
Turns out, there’s a blog for this section of the library. There’s also the option to “adopt” a book, which is brilliant. You pay some money for an old book and help it get restored. They’ve also got records of old letters from university staff. So it’s definitely the place to go if you want to be in on all the hot gossip from a hundred or so years ago. There’s the option to book a tour and see all the things they have on offer. All this is set out on their website (link)
After learning all this, I managed to start a conversation with the other person who also walked in curious about what was around uni. I’ve noted in a lot of past posts about some of the difficulty with talking to new people. It was really cool to meet someone randomly that I was able to talk to easily.
It was strange, because walking around campus afterwards I saw a lot of people that I know. It was a nice feeling to actually be surrounded by people who I’ve met on campus. Maybe that’s been caused by my push to meet more people in my classes. It took three years, but I finally felt some level of belonging on campus.