By Robert Mann
LSU’s Middleton Library is a disgusting dump. A building this deplorable would be an embarrassment to a developing country, but seems fine to Louisiana’s citizens and the big donors who give generously to athletics and other areas of the campus.
Official tours of the campus never escort high school students into the library, for obvious reasons. One look at this sad, neglected building by a potential recruit and the University of Alabama or Ole Miss would soon gain a new student.
In a previous post, I presented disturbing photos of the decrepit condition of the library on all five floors, particularly the basement, which floods regularly.
The more I look at the library, the worse it gets. Today, let’s look at room 230-A.
This is a room in a part of the building few students visit, unless they have a course in one of several classrooms on the second floor. Room 230-A hosts about five classes a day. They are courses in library usage and research for non-Library Science students.
Room 230-A, like much of the building, is appalling and an embarrassment. While it sports adequate furniture and decent computer equipment, this sad space says everything about the (minor) importance the state’s citizens and its political leadership assign to what goes on there.
Put another way, by the looks of Middleton Library, in general, and room 230-A, in particular, Louisiana’s citizens couldn’t care less about what happens in this building.
Ceiling tiles are missing. Many are stained. Most have collapsed and have been glued back in the most unsightly manner possible. The covers for nine of the 12 light fixtures in this room are missing. Four of the light fixtures do not work at all. The clock in the room is off by three hours.
Take a look at this room in the following pictorial presentation (I took these photos last Wednesday morning).
Would you pay good money to send your child to a university that requires him or her to attend classes in a room like this?
Room 230-A isn’t the only part of the Middleton Library I overlooked in my earlier blog post. While I presented photos of the stained and damaged carpet on the third and fourth floors, I did not notice the crumbling flooring on the first and second floors.
In this part of the library, the linoleum tiles are so old that when they crack, they cannot be replaced with tiles that match those surrounding them. The result is an unsightly, haphazard design that, again, resembles something you’d find in some developing country. A library spokesperson subsequently explained
A library spokesperson subsequently explained the reason for replacement floor tiles, which are different from the original: asbestos. “The floor tiles in rooms 141, 126B, 109 (FTC), Gov docs (one of the areas that floods in the basements) and throughout the second floor DO have asbestos,” she said. “The floor tiles in those areas that are different colors and are newer do not. The first-floor lobby and the basement lobby were abated in the 90s. Ceiling tiles do not have asbestos, but the old adhesive does for them most likely does.”