Category Archives: Lobby Book

Originally appeared in the Perkins Lobby Suggestion Book.

Why can't I smoke in a classroom?

Why can’t I study in a classroom? [3585A]

[written in other hand:  Actually, yeah, I wanna know too:  why are the classrooms in the Link always locked, even when the desk is staffed?  It’s not like there’s a surplus of rooms!]

The original question is far too general (I can’t comment on classrooms across campus), so I’ll address the Secret Scribbler’s follow up (specifically about the Link, the only location of classrooms in the Libraries). I was told that classrooms in the Link are locked when the Paul B. Williams Service Desk is unstaffed because people had repeatedly disabled the smoke detectors in some of the rooms so they could smoke. As is so often the case, a few selfish people ruin things for everyone else.

Who "invented" oatmeal?

Who invented oatmeal? [3583C]

I assume you mean the consumption of oatmeal as a breakfast cereal.  Humans began eating oatmeal for breakfast thousands of years ago – most commonly in the British Isles – so it’s impossible to know who “invented” it (but I’m going to say it was a guy named Conor, who lived near the current town of Dunfanaghy on the Donegal coast around 420 BC).

Ironically, since he was gout-ridden at the time of his death and could’ve benefitted from eating it regularly, Dr. Johnson referred to oatmeal as “a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.”

To renovate or build

Do my eyes deceive me or is housing on Central subsidary–the section 8A type?  Also, why is money going to renovate parts of West when Central is falling apart and getting filthier as we speak? [3577B]

[written in answer space:  do you read the news?]

Yes, your eyes deceive you.  In fact, you’re blind, you’re blind, and you can’t see.  You need to wear some glasses like Run DMC.

The fact is, it’s about scale, my friend.  The cost of adding to Keohane Quad is insignificant compared to the complete redevelopment of New Campus.  It’s like the difference between scraping together money for a twelve pack and planning this year’s LDOC.

Duke Libraries' LGBT fiction collection

Can the library get a larger section of LGBT fiction?  You have very little… [3574C]

[written in answer space:  Erotic Fiction?]

Sorry to be the one to break it to you, Secret Scribbler, but LGBT fiction and Erotic fiction are not synonymous.

One of the Libraries’ missions is to build collections that support the University’s curriculum and research.  That said, with a finite collections budget and predatory vendors setting serials prices that far outpace inflation, it’s difficult to purchase everything for everybody in our community.  Fortunately, you can get pretty much anything you want through Interlibrary Loan.  With our expedited loan agreement with UNC-CH, NC State, and NC Central, you can get materials from their collections within 48 hours.  Our combined collections are more than 15 million volumes!  And you’re always welcome to suggest a purchase for the Perkins Library Collection.

Stop being a tool and the world will be your oyster

I really like her, but she can’t “handle” me right now.  What do I do? [3576C]

OK, I’m guessing that since you put “handle” in quotation marks, she probably used that word specifically.  In that case, I think she’s intimating that you’re a tool.

What should you do?  As difficult as it might be, if you discontinue your toolishness, the world will be your oyster 😉

Libraries' mysterious motion-sensor sinks

Why do the motion-sensor sinks in the restrooms around here work so poorly? [3586C]

[written in answer space:  It’s all part of the water conservation initiative and the idea is that a majority of people will get frustrated enough to resort to antibacterial no-rinse-required spray.]

Interesting theory, Secret Scribbler.  But it’s more likely imprecise technology than the administration’s plot to force us to use antibacterial no-rinse-required spray.  As evidence I present the fact that, while washing my hands recently and standing a good distance from the Cormatic Automated Touchless Towel Dispenser, that device shot out the prescribed quantity of paper towel.  “What the hell,” I exclaimed, at which point the Cormatic responded by dispensing another quantity of paper towel of the exact size.