An Open Letter to the Main Library Facilities Management

10 Dec

Hey guys,

Let me start out by saying that I know y’all have a tough job. I get it, homies. Main Library is a large, confusing building and also one of the ugliest things ever conceived by the human mind. And, as far as I can tell, the facilities management staff has zero employees. So I understand that you have kind of a tall mountain to climb in your quest to, you know, do your job.University_Library,_Northwestern_University

But Jesus CHRIST guys. I don’t know that I’ve been witness to so much rampant incompetence and obvious lack of hustle since I saw JerShon Cobb wearing a “Lazy but Talented” shirt in Plex dining hall[1]. And I think maybe we need to talk about it.

You know, part of me originally suspected that perhaps you do what you do (or rather I guess don’t do the things you don’t do) in some incredible plot to actually allow the library to fall into such structural decay that the University is forced to burn the damn thing down and build a new one.

And let me tell you, if that was actually your plan, I think EVERYONE would be very supportive of that. Very supportive. That would be some north campus-south campus-uniting shit right there. Even Patricia Telles-Irvin would smoke an ounce to that[2].

But then you went ahead and turned Reference to some weird, frankenstein-monster creation of acoustics and tiny, awkward desks that apparently only serves the purpose of giving football players a place to be loud/pretend like anyone gives a shit about seeing them on campus. And you spent a LOT of money on that shit. So I’m beginning to think you’re just out to fuck with us.

And if that’s truly the goal, then allow me to apologize for/rescind the earlier statement accusing you of incompetence. Because goddamn, you’re doing a bang-up job of pissing everyone off.

Admittedly, I have yet to specify my actual complaints regarding the services you (allegedly) provide, but fortunately I compiled a list of incidents that I’ve noticed over the past quarter.

1) First week of September: Escalator working in normal condition expected of escalators.

2) October 7th: Escalator breaks

3) October 8th: Unable to get wifi in core. Relocate to lakefill.

4) October 10th: Giant pool of water flowing out of men’s bathroom on 2nd floor

5) October 10th: Facilities management notified of broken escalator

6) October 19th: With midterms approaching, unable to locate electrical outlet anywhere outside core

7) October 19th: Unable to get wifi in core

8) November 1st: Escalator still broken. Entrance to escalator blocked off by library cafe sign to prevent anyone from the potentially life-threatening act of using escalator as stairs

9) November 8th: Giant pool of water flowing out of men’s bathroom on 4th floor

10) November 12th: Ten minutes of functioning wifi achieved in core

11) November 13th: Unable to get wifi in core

12) November 20th: Spent 20 minutes attempting to get Wildcard scanned at front entrance. Looked stupid in front of everyone

13) November 25th: Giant pools of water flowing out of both bathrooms on 3rd floor

14) December 6th: Escalator still broken

So, you know, there’s room for improvement there. And just be aware that we’re ALL rooting for you to succeed. If there’s any way we can help, maybe it’s by just listing the things that are most important to students, or perhaps just encouraging you to, you know, do your fucking job, just let us know. We’re all full of ideas.


The Northwestern Student Body

[1] Actually Happened

[2] Hi Patricia please don’t kick me off for hazing

5 Responses to “An Open Letter to the Main Library Facilities Management”

  1. Johnson December 10, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    This sounds like a really spoiled and entitled piece.
    For starters, what is wrong with you? You can’t get wifi in Core? Why are you even in Core? Core is the worst place on campus to get work done. It’s loud, windy, and people are always yelling. And I say that while living in a fraternity house!
    Second off, regarding the escalators: We have elevators. Better yet, we have actual stairs right next to it, and that junction is rarely crowded, so it’s not like you have to wait in line there to get upstairs.
    Third, the level of cleanliness in the library isn’t perfect, but there have been countless times I’ve been working on an essay at 2 in the morning in one of the towers and the facilities management people come bustling through with their carts picking up our crap. Crap we leave behind because we don’t know how to pick up after ourselves. I don’t think Norbucks has people coming in at 2 in the morning to clean up.
    Last, about the toilets: three clumps of toilet paper per flush. It’s not rocket science, (which incidentally is what many Northwestern students are better able to do than not clog a toilet.)

  2. Kat Denning December 11, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    In all seriousness, my Shermanavenians, I must say the subject has a lot of potential. You can’t have a super-mega-turbo-optimus-prime-rose-bowl-kobe-goat title, and have a meh article. This ain’t Buzzfeed.


    Can ASG do Therapy Cats Next Time?

  3. Sarah Pritchard December 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    On behalf of University Library, I apologize for the plumbing problems and we will look into the situations you outline. The wireless is a known problem; we keep adding more routers and nodes for the data network, but we can’t do much about cell phone connectivity. Student sustainability groups have actually asked us to decommission the escalators; we haven’t decided yet about that although they are redundant. My own wildcard won’t scan half the time at the entry gate, the electric eye is just finicky, but requiring this security is also in response to student request. — From Sarah Pritchard, Dean of Libraries.

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