Lament for the Library


Time for us to sign off for today, we found some old photos of S11 (lovely outdoor eating area) and NLB (the beloved old building) quite randomly. Ahhh those days, affordable food right behind us, and in need of books, we can practically “roll” to the library. Has anyone ever finished your food or drinks very quickly just to catch a bus?

Picture from The Substation Archival Project

Super emo.  The National Library was iconic, and part of the memories of anyone who’d grown up in the 70s to 90s.  It was the Mecca for students doing research, and of course the place to steal stealthy looks at members of the opposite sex when you were a hormonal teenager.  It might be the only place that parents felt safe for their kids to hang out in.  What kind of hanky-panky could happen in a sacred fount of knowledge?

I remember being intimidated by the uni students looking oh so serious while I just wanted to look for some information that the paltry school library couldn’t offer.  Some years later, a cafe was set up in the courtyard, bringing up the hip factor of the red-bricked building.  It was a comfortable place, but of course, nobody would tarry in the loos.  If you went to a library, chances were that you already had an (overactive) imagination.  Tarry not in loos of old buildings…

When I started going to the theatre, the Substation, which was just down the road, was the place de rigueur.  We’d often eat at the S-11 (pictured) right in front of the library.  And yes, I’d run for the bus before countless times from S-11.  Those were the days… (emo posturing coming up…)

I miss you
Your red bricked walls
Waiting at the porch
Whispering by the shelves
Frantic flipping of musty books

They tore you down for progress
For a mere hole in the hill
That cars may travel
5 minutes faster.

We mourn
The end of an era
Innocence gone forever
Link to our history

They who had never been
In your embrace
Know not what they lost
I miss you.


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