In my thesis year my nicotine cravings wore out the hinges on the library doors. The lack of a smoking salon was its only flaw. My best library memory is of the reading room, where the handsomest boy on campus smiled at me all evening from the mezzanine. It turned out that he had thought I was someone else, but I still cling to the image. I read some good books there too.

Shane Davis '94

Picture that scene in any number of old Western movies where some Gabby Hayes look-alike shoots off a pistol and the mobs of settlers go careening across the prairie to stake a claim to the prettiest piece of land you ever did see.

That's what it was like. On a certain day of orientation week in fall semester, students would gather in the library lobby way before we opened the doors-definitely the only day of the year when we had an early-morning rush of Reed students. This was no event organized by the library. It was just a common understanding that this was the first day of the semester when you could lay claim to a study space in the library, and that's what these students were there to do. When I tell this story to my librarian colleagues at other schools they shake their heads.

A couple of years ago the library board-which is our campus advisory group of students and faculty-helped us come up with a method for discouraging this phenomenon that had come to be known as "the desk rush."

Vickie Hanawalt, Reed College librarian

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