The Barnwell Chronicles: A Case Study on the Library Wildlife

By: Kippi Hall, 282 Library Stalker

After 4 years of research as a library frequenter, these are the species found in the Barnwell Library:

The Highschool Sweethearts:

This couple knows nothing could ever rip them from one another’s embrace– rain or shine, in or out of state college, ‘til death do they part. Their biggest quarrel is who will sit on the other’s lap while sharing the same chair in the library today. Holding each other’s hand, mellow whispers being thrown about whether the other wants to grab pizza after school, the disappointed look when the questioner realizes their mom doesn’t know about their star-crossed love yet (they recently learned about star-crossed lovers from Romeo and Juliet). The library is their safe haven to be open, to love each other completely, to be totally engrossed and alone in their own little universe, except for everyone else who has to uncomfortably tolerate it while they attempt to do their algebra homework. 

The Midterm Veteran:

A seasoned Central cadet escaping to the library for asylum, their war zone lies within the walls of Kannengieszer’s room, the Hogwarts decorations a taunting reminder of the one magical realm where a reading check is impossible rather than inevitable. This being knows not to stop and say hi to anyone, as they really need to hunker down and study for their AP Spanish test on the imperfect subjunctive rather than be lectured on the Lobronic-Buddhist teachings of the day. Do not try engaging with them, you will be met with a quick glare before they return to their blue-lit, thousand-yard stare into their Chromebook. 

The Aisle Nomad:

Almost as impossible to avoid as the Highschool Sweethearts, the Aisle Nomad is silent but fatal if you happen to trip over them. Marking their territory in the middle of an aisle, whether by peacefully hibernating or playing Hay Day for the next 50 minutes, the Aisle Nomad understands consolidation of land is key. They are both a hazard and a nuisance to the average library frequenter, creating a much more physical obstacle course of the Dewey Decimal system. It is also common for this creature to leave mementos of their presence for the next explorer to discover: a phone, a wallet, gum wrappers, all are possible easter eggs to find on one’s next peruse through the shelves.  

The Frequent Crier:

The post-breakup chrysalis form of the Highschool Sweetheart, for some reason this creature still believes the library to be a private place of introspection and reacting to their reflections. The Frequent Crier finally comprehends that star-crossed lovers really are meant to fall apart, with subtle tear stains lining the sleeves of the hoodie they kept from their lost love. Perhaps they aren’t heartbroken; no, they’re just having a bad day for other reasons! Mr. Sheikh won’t let them re-do their titration lab, or that Kannengieszer reading check didn’t check the parts they actually paid attention to and it brought their grade down to the dreaded 89%. Whatever the reason for these sniffling fauna, they are Central’s most relatable species one can find in the library— Dr. Soda should really keep tabs on them. 

The Unicorn Borrower:

Finally, on the list of Barnwell’s wildlife appears the Unicorn Borrower, named for their elusiveness and pure heart as they track the scent of Catcher in the Rye through wooden shelves (it’s on the top left balcony, middle shelf on the furthest wall). The Unicorn Borrower is the only creature who comprehends that the Barnwell really does have a good selection of books, and they are willing to learn about the Lobronic middle path to literary nirvana in order to fully soak in the knowledge found within the leather-bound treasures and the database subscriptions. With their loot stacked high in their hands like a freshman’s first day receiving textbooks, they begin their new journey into whimsical worlds of— oh, sorry, the alarm is going off, let’s try scanning these books again. 

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