Stirling Memorial Library

This is me mugging in the Stirling Memorial Library. If it looks to you from the picture like an ancient Gothic monastry, or like something out of Harry Potter, or like the back corner of an old cathedral, then you’re absolutely right.

The library is beautiful and old and ornate and has stained glass everything. Just walking around the lobby makes me feel intellectual. HOWEVER  being in Stirling makes me love Central library infinitely more than I ever have.

Firstly, there are no friendly open shelves. They have so many books they put them in different rooms according to their call numbers, and there are like, at least 4 or 5 floors of shelves and you have to climb up and down different sets of stairs to access them

Next, no nice well lit level 3 loking thing for you NUS-ies, nope, long, dark, narrow shelves greet the eye, and it is MUSTy and even DUSTY. The shelving areas are basically unlit, and you have to switch on tiny lights for each shelf that you’re looking at. So basically unlike Central where you can sort of wander into any random area and browse, that is totally not reccomended here.

The studyability of the library…well, there are little seating areas at the far ends of each row of shelves, which seat a person each (as shown). No communal, friendly study groups here. It’s reallya big contrast to any library I’ve known. I think they’ve retained the old idea of libraries as hallowed areas of learning, peopled only by doddery monks and half crazed alchemists and the like. It is *definitely* not your favourite gathering place.

It’s just a book place, really. And its good for the occasional shot of fairytaliea – when i want to feel like i’m walking around in a castle. Apparently the guy who designed it was this person whose lifelong dream was to design a cathedral, but he never got to do it, so when they asked him to design Stirling, he jumped upon the chance and produced a cathedral out of a library.

On a random note aout architecture – we like the ‘stone walls with ivy creeping up theirs sides’ look so much that someone suggested uprooting a weeny building, shipping it back to NUS and planting it somewhere in the new USP residential campus. Then we’d have our very own mini little Yale college in NUS, and in subsequent years, to save the school some money we’d just send students for NUS-in-Yale, in Yale-in-NUS.