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February 6, 2006

Dissertating on location

This entry comes to you directly from Wilson Library, where I have come to track down the book Foundations of Futures Studies: Human Science for a New Era by Wendell Bell. One of the last details of my prospectus appears to be making the case for futures research, and of course, Wendell Bell is the ultimate expert on this topic, so here I am in the library, perusing Bell's work and wishing I already had a copy on its way from Amazon to me.

As I wandered the library to find this book, the familiar smell of the library brought me back to all of my lifetime library experiences. I would argue that libraries are something like airports--those cultural spaces that are constructed to be enough alike each other that we have tacit expertise even in a new surrounding. Libraries and airports are each different from each other, of course, but I also think there is something intentional about their similarity.

As I was lost in the stacks this morning, I was transported to the Millar Libary at Portland State University in Portland, OR. Anyone who knows me knows I spend too much time missing Portland, and so the sensory experience of suddenly feeling, as I'm wandering down the narrow row of the CB151s, like I could be in Portland was a lot to take in. But, these days I'm researching futures research, not Keats and Shelley or transcendentalist poets. I'm not only in a different library, I'm in a different section of the library. And something about that feels good, even if the irony isn't lost on me that I'm researching the future yet urgently missing the past.

Posted by chri1010 at February 6, 2006 9:53 AM


Hello, Laurene.

Your post also reminded of Millar
Library on PSU campas, myself walking around,
looking for books and carrying some thick thesis.
Or when you were in Portland, we together
serached books!

I miss you a lot.

When I think about your writing this blog
in Mpls but my reading it in Japan though the
Net, I found how interesting this relationships
cross time and countries.

I always wish I could be there and spend
time together.

Take care.

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