Thursday, April 14, 2022

day in another library

Stanford is still closed to visitors (they're private, they can do what they want), so there was nothing for it to complete what I could of the Tolkien bibliography research at UC Berkeley, which is an hour's drive from here without traffic, and UC Davis, which is two hours in the same direction. And it ws best to go as soon as possible before the next wave of virus hits. This week was good: quiet, no appointments, B. out at church rehearsal on Thursday, so no dinner at home.

My plan had been to go to Berkeley first, and finish up the lesser amount of material at Davis later in the day. But then on checking the hours I found that Berkeley is on intersession (Davis is not), and while the library was open in the morning, the privileges desk doesn't open until 1 pm, and a visitor without pre-existing access needs to stop there first.

So it was Davis in the morning, then, and Berkeley afterwards. I left on schedule at 7 AM, well fortified with caffeine, arrived at Davis on schedule at 9, long trudge from the nearest garage to the library (no privileges desk at Davis). Got some hard-copy items I needed to scan. The guy at the computer room help desk was apologetic but knew nothing, but a very helpful person at the circulation desk (and that's a phrase I don't type very often) knew how a visitor could scan items (though not that I had to buy a $1 copy card first, though it didn't charge for the scans), and even where the computers with guest accounts are so that I could access the library's online databases. At which point I found they had some books available online that their catalog didn't know about, aha.

Done by 11.30, lunch at a Burmese restaurant in town (good food in a rather fetid sauce), fueled the car, in Berkeley by 2, which would leave me 6 hours - just enough - to get my work done before the library closes (intersession rules again) if I could have found long-term parking. But by that time of day there was none to be had near enough to walk, and by the time I established that, not enough time to find one further way and get in by bus. Did find a short-term space by the GTU library, but that was only a little help.

So a satisfactory A for the day at Davis, a complete F at Berkeley, and I'll have to try again when I can come back in the morning.

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