22 January 2008

Bike racks of Hyde Park: Crerar Library

First in what may or may not be a series, John Crerar Library, the main science library at the University of Chicago:

Hell freezes over. And when hell freezes over, you can, among other things, find a parking spot next to Crerar.

Fun facts: When the University of Chicago acquired the John Crerar Library collection, Special Collections swept in and whisked away all the good stuff to their darkened, access-controlled warren in the Regenstein. The rest was either integrated into the university's main science collection or deemed obsolete. The obsolete materials are stored in the basement in compact shelving according to their original Dewy decimal call numbers (the U of C library uses the Library of Congress classification system); hence, it's referred to as the "Dewy Collection." So Crerar isn't really Crerar anymore, and thus I never liked all their bragging about being such a wonderful free public full-access library of such historical significance. Note: Special Collections allegedly did the same thing with the now-defunct Yerkes Observatory Library. Fracking vultures.

More fun facts: "Hell freezes over" is one of the unofficial student mottos of the University of Chicago. Another is "Where fun comes to die." (These often appear on t-shirts; houses sell them as fundraisers. My, has my hair has gotten long since June. On the other hand, no one's called me "sir" lately.) Hence the caption above--in less adventurous weather, those racks are completely full at all hours of the day and night. Don't ask me how I know that.


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