It was the libraries that saved Angela Titone’s sanity at Illinois.
It figures, given her UI master's field of study (library sciences), her first job (USA Today librarian) and her position since 1996 (senior manager, research library, Consumer Technology Association).
"A current Daily Illini story bragged that you could 'go to the library without ever leaving your bed.’ But I would have missed the serendipity of wandering in the then open Stacks," she says. "You could search for one particular book, and instead happen upon some dusty-covered tome, a hundred years old or so, distracting you from your original purpose.
"Urban legend suggested the Undergraduate Library was built underground to protect the university’s original, experimental corn fields, and it was such stories and history that made each library unique.
“One of my part-time jobs was as a librarian in The Daily Illini’s newspaper library, a room everyone called the morgue back then. It was housed in a nondescript campus building’s basement, full of life and newspaper deadlines.
"I clipped news stories and then indexed them on now-ancient looking VDT (video display terminals). Devising subject headings for the sports stories was the easiest; the opinion pages were tough. It was great practice for my days in the USA Today Library.
“I’d then wash the newspaper ink off me to head to the Illinois Union Library. It was there, with the thick carpeting and paneled bookshelves, that I would sink into a leather chair for some undisturbed reading time. It sounds like it now has become the President’s Lounge, which 'has evolved into an intimate and quaint space to concentrate on coursework.' No doubt, there is Wi-Fi access.
“Bookless libraries may be on the horizon, but I’m glad there were plenty of book-filled libraries in my university days.”