Study Carrel at the Kent State Library

Y and I applied to share a study carrel at the Kent State University Library with a fellow English Literature PhD candidate.

When we first come up to the office in the library, we were surprised by how much dust and dirt was in the office. I don’t believe that it had ever been cleaned. Y and I returned with a mop, duster, and rags to give the office a good going over. Unfortunately, the grime was too much even for the heavy weapons we brought to contain the mess. We will need to clean it a second time at least.

The carrel has one window overlooking part of the library’s flat roof, one large desk with a tiny drawer, and a five shelf metal book case, which I have been populating with books from home. One side of the office is dominated by a concrete support column, which substantially detracts from the floor space and room volume as compared with other carrels. Nevertheless, I believe this will be a useful office for our dissertation research and writing.

It is an interesting experience having an office in the library. I enjoy not having to pack up my laptop every time that I want to search for a book or use the restroom. Now, I can leave my things at my desk and lock the door on my way out. It also feels like I have a place to go to at the library now. Before, I never liked staying in the library for extended periods of time. I would go, find resources that I needed, and take them home. Library theft and uncomfortable chairs turned me off of using the KSU library as a place to do serious work.

Looking out over the black tar infused with small rocks and bits of buildings sticking up circled by an expanse of trees, I wonder if I will see this same scene in the future when my dissertation is done.

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.