School Libraries

Am I missing a message?

As my faithful readers know, in 2007 the Hackley School’s Kaskel Library burned down. In a mere 10 hours this:.

became this

and then this

Sigh.

Milton’s William Coburn Cox Library is a little less Gothic, a lot more Brutalist, and 65 years younger, but still (apparently) fragile. You see, it was built in the early 1970s with windows that don’t open and a ventilation system that is well… less than what it should be. Essentially, it has fans that pull air in from the outside. That’s great when cooler night air is pulled in before a hot day, but not as helpful in really cold or really warm weather (there is a heating system! we didn’t freeze this winter!)

Just before Spring Break we learned that our North/South situated building had an East fan and a West fan, and that the West one had ceased to fan. All the classrooms are on the West side of the building. Because in this Age of Covid ventilation is critical, students cannot use the library for class. We librarians have been told to not congregate in groups on the West side (with only one of us in at a time, “group” is a reach!).

Still, it’s another library fail under my watch. Like Hackley, Milton will rebuild/repair (in this case, not the whole building needs it, just the 50-year-old fan workings). But maybe, just maybe, there’s a message I’m missing? A message that sounds suspiciously like Retire Before You Do More Damage. To which I say, soon, building, soon.

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