Nov

14

The East Asian Library is Flooded

Written by

actual photo of water-damaged book

Bwogger Gabrielle Kloppers is an East Asian Languages and Cultures minor. Although she loves her classes, she doesn’t need to go to the East Asian Library in Kent all that often. Imagine her anxiety when she realized that the one time she does need it, it’s flooded. Or read all about it here.

So, let me start by saying I didn’t even know the East Asian Library (Starr) was flooded until very recently. And I have classes in Kent extremely often. It may have popped up in an email somewhere, but that was an email I presumptuously deleted.

Oh, my hubris. O, sing Muse of the failure of Me. Picture this: my abstract for a paper on an extremely old book of Chinese poems is due tomorrow. I need several sources to help my ideas, and although I have many ideas, I have not, until this moment, thought about how I was going to actualize them.

I looked up some searches related to this very old book of Chinese poems on Google Scholar. Much to my chagrin, there was not much to be had, or I was using the search terms wrong. What I did find was written in Chinese, and my Chinese is good, but not good enough to want to read linguistics research in Chinese and then compile it into an essay that is meant to be written in English.

So, I turned to my old friend, CLIO. CLIO was more helpful; she turned up a good six reference books that all are written by giants in the field (shoutout to Bernhard Karlgren). The problem? Everything was offsite (must be requested 2 days in advance), or far away at the Starr Library. I resigned myself to the trek; or rather, I told my friend to go and check if these resources were accessible. They are… sort of.

Here’s the catch: because the stacks in Starr are flooded, the books I need will need advance notice of 2 hours before I can use them. I understand this. The problem then is, that these books are non-circulating, meaning I can’t take them out to use them. I ended up getting enough information necessary to write the abstract, but this paper is going to be a lot more annoying than I initially thought. I will need to go to the Starr library repeatedly, ask for the books 2 hours in advance, and then use them, return them, and repeat the process over and over and over again. Please fix the library ASAP! My life depends on it.

So much effort for a 15-page paper, but honestly, worth it. The EALAC department is fantastic; just don’t procrastinate on getting the necessary materials!

Photo via Shutterstock

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I hope the library is OK. This collection is world famous. This the largest collection of Asian books and literature in the world outside of Asia.

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