Last week, I went to the Indiana State Library to do
a bit of research. While I've been there before,
I've never been beyond the contemporary addition.
Attractive on the outside, its limestone exterior does contrast
with that of the original building, but not so much
that it's offensive to the eye.
The contrast between the interiors of each section
is what I found most startling. The older building is
a homage to books, learning, and history,
with frescoes on the ceilings, murals, and stained glass.
It is ironic really, given that the state politicians at the
Capitol Building, are doing their damnedest to tear down
the public education system in favor
of corporate run schools. Already, the names of artists,
inventors, and writers incised in the library's walls
are mere afterthoughts; the state preaches the need for
an educated workforce, but instead seeks to create
a population of menials, an underpaid workforce that
will end up fighting over resources.
The light fixtures look like sheaves of corn,
taking reference from a Native American shown in
one of the stained glass windows, holding stalks of corn.
Whether he is the base of the picture,
holding up the images of the states founders,
or being trampled into submission by
William Henry Harrison and General
"Mad Anthony" Wayne is a matter of viewpoint.
There are murals at each side of the main entrance
to the old building, which leads one to
the BEST PART - the card catalog! Yay!
There they were, rows and rows
of stacked, tiny drawers, mounted along
the long wall. A place of honor.
The picture below shows only about a third
of the drawers in this hall.
I used a smaller catalog in another
department of the library. The habits learned
in childhood quickly returned and I was
able to use the system almost intuitively.
I loved the feel of the little file cards.
They were almost velvety to hand and it was
as though I was greeting old friends.