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Mossey Library pro­vides more resources than stu­dents think. | Courtesy Christian Yiu

As overzealous freshmen flood the library halls eager to begin their Hillsdale learning, it is worth taking a second look at this hal­lowed study spot.

At the start of Mossey Madness last year, I could not imagine that this lit­erary estab­lishment had any sour his­tories, other than the apparent rampant gam­bling ring being adver­tised before my very eyes. Yet, a little trip down Hillsdale’s memory lane (yes, the beau­tiful Col­legian archives) told a dif­ferent tale.

Beginning in November 1932, The Col­legian has pro­vided a platform for stu­dents to voice con­cerns against the library. In the Nov. 1, 1932 issue of The Col­legian, an anonymous senior at Hillsdale wrote, “I write a protest — a protest for all to hear. Gone are the days of peaceful ‘studying’ in the Library.”

That is an opening line that has stood and will stand the test of time.

The author con­tinued, “Gone are those days when one could non­cha­lantly take the arm of one’s ‘friend’ and saunter casually to the library for an evening of peaceful diversion. A place, where ’neath the softly shaded green lights, couples sat alone and whis­pered sweet nothings to one another.”

A pro­tester and a poet it would seem.

But when has it ever been socially acceptable to “whisper sweet nothings” to your sig­nif­icant other in a library? Either 1932 was a very dif­ferent time or this author was a very dif­ferent kind of campus Romeo.

The author con­cluded his outcry with this final petition: “Seniors, I appeal to you to join with me and enter a protest … We must hurry, no time is to be lost, for we have not long here, and a new gen­er­ation is arising, and they will never know what t’was like to find a vacant chair in the Library, — or better yet — two vacant chairs, side by side.”

Well, luckily for us this petition failed and while library romances do still haunt the current stu­dents, they are for the most part a minority.

However, the protests appar­ently were not.

On May 1, 1997, Zachariah Crossen ’98 wrote an article com­plaining about a dif­ferent issue in the college’s library system.

He wrote, “what con­cerns me are the grossly-inad­e­quate library and the pitiful rep­re­hen­sible com­puter facil­ities.”

He con­tinued, “Our college library is per­fectly fine, pro­vided your ambi­tions do not exceed that of an aspiring dilet­tante.”

Tough job on the part of the library to balance this com­plaint with the pre­vious quibble basi­cally asking the staff to become the pro­duction crew of “The Bachelor” and set the boys of Hillsdale up on a dream dates in pur­gatory. In other words, to serve the dilet­tantes of Hillsdale county.

In a par­tic­u­larly low blow, Crossen wrote, “To us, our library is a super­ficial wasteland with more Judy Blume than Augustine.”

Dif­ferent strokes for dif­ferent folks, but don’t you dare shade Judy Blume like that.

“My studies in Islam and the First Crusade have been severely com­pro­mised by our inept selection,” he con­tinued. He should have studied Freckle Juice instead. That one’s on him.

I will be honest, as I con­tinued reading, this guy’s cred­i­bility began to grow severely com­pro­mised.

When he began dis­cussing the com­puter sit­u­ation in the library he wrote, “First of all, whose idea was it to buy Mac­intosh? Good one. Some­times, I hon­estly think I’d rather write long hand than lower myself to the ‘Apple’ level. Give me a break.”

His cred­i­bility is offi­cially in the toilet.

It is around this point that I began to think these com­plaints were part of an elab­orate “Sat­urday Night Live” skit that was waiting for a college student to finally dig into the archives and start writing a column about them.

Then I stumbled upon this gem.

On April 26, 2007, The Col­legian ran this headline: “Library hosts jazz spe­cials.” Now I may not be the most well-versed in library eti­quette, but isn’t it in the nature of the library to be a place of quiet? And wouldn’t throwing a jazz concert into the mix com­promise that very nature?

In my head all I can see is Zachariah Crossen slowly losing his mind.

The ending of this fan­tas­ti­cally head­lined article may be my favorite con­clusion of any news­paper story ever. Author Michael Mayday ‘11 wrote, “Hillsdale freshman Stephen Hilgendorf said he would ‘def­i­nitely con­sider’ attending more con­certs.”

I get that “def­i­nitely con­sider” was a quote and had to be put in quo­ta­tions, but I read the quo­tation marks as more along the lines of “I will never come back to the library again.”

And after this douse of a column I can’t say I dis­agree.