Mar 212013

Author: Kelsey Contouris

I still remember the first time I visited the Morgan Library – a vast, furniture-filled maze of bookshelves preserving decades of knowledge and history in one massive, modernized building. I was in awe. The wonder stayed with me each time I came back, venturing farther into the library’s depths and discovering more and more that it had to offer.

After being at CSU for more than a semester, I feel like I know the library fairly well. Maybe not every nook and cranny, but I’ve stumbled upon a number of tucked-away areas seemingly unknown to the rest of the student body – especially at 7:30 in the morning. Nonetheless, the Morgan Library continues to surprise me.

I recently decided to do some exploring on the south side of the library where the other main staircase is located. The first floor being no more than textbooks and reference materials, I walked up to the second floor to see what new treasures I could uncover.

In many of my library adventures, I’ve noticed that the best discoveries come from walking between the bookshelves rather than through the main walkways. Upon reaching the second floor, I decided to do just that. What I found on the far west wall were two large wooden sets of small drawers with a sign across the top that read, “Government Documents shelf list. Filed by call number.” Each drawer was full of index cards with information about the location of everything from government educational studies to military documents. What struck me was the age of the whole thing – the yellowed cards, the dated font, the slightly weathered drawers. It felt like peering into a grandparent’s personal file cabinet, except this information was probably much more important.

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A drawer from the government documents shelf list

Once I became bored of looking at the small cards, I made my way back to the staircase and went up to the third floor. It was there that I made perhaps my favorite library discovery yet.

If you’ve been to the south side of the third floor, you’re probably familiar with what many call the “furniture room.” The semicircular sofas and sleek coffee tables are enough to amaze anybody (and to attract a few tired students). A cozy cavern, yes, but my most recent explorations led me to something even better.

On the west side of the furniture room, just past the staircase, is room 302: the living room. I had never bothered to open either of the two doors before because from the outside the room doesn’t look much different from the rest of the space – just a bunch of furniture, yet most of it is red. The room’s real treasure is what you can’t see from the outside.

When I walked through the door, the first thing that struck me was the great view of the mountains. Then I turned around and saw the wall behind me – three large, oddly-shaped holes were carved out of it to provide seating. Two of them had tables and one was for lying down. I’d never seen anything like it.

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The three wall seats in the living room

I was suddenly really glad I had gone in the strange red room, and I immediately sat in one of the wall seats. The library being so deserted early in the morning, I felt like I was in a secret hideout.

However, no matter how isolated you feel on campus, somebody else is bound to know about your spot. After being in the room for just a few minutes, another girl came in and sat down in one of the wall seats. So much for a secret hideout. At least I can still say that I have a new favorite place in the library now.

For those of you who are not very familiar with the Morgan Library, it’s well worth exploring. In fact, any building on campus is worth exploring – even those you have no reason to visit. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been at CSU for several months or several years – you may be pleasantly surprised when you take some time to seek out the unfamiliar in this oh-so-familiar place.

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