'Hooking Up' Amidst The Books: The Reputation Of The Library 'Stacks'

May 10, 2015

Credit Bryan Alexander

College students often hear that their time at the university are the best four (or five, or years of their lives, and that they should take in as many experiences as possible, and maybe, every once in a while, cross the line. 

But what lines will people cross to check an experience off of their four-year bucket list?

One University of Oklahoma employee, who asked to remain anonymous, says that ambition to fulfill pent-up desires led to one of her most embarrassing moments in the tall, secluded bookshelves tucked away in the Bizzell Memorial LIbrary.

"I was walking back to our office on the third floor and there was a couple sittings at the table with something going on under the table,” She said. “I just walked faster after I noticed and pretended not to notice but I heard shuffling and like, giggling after I passed by. I was embarrassed and they were embarrassed.”

Other people are more open about the concept. Another student described what she encountered in the stacks - narrow, multistory bookshelves that haven't changed much over the decades. 

"It was finals week. The library was open 24/7,” she said. “I was really tired of studying for my sociology test and I was kind of talking to this athlete and we were just studying and it was like four in the morning and we’d never been to the stacks before so we were like okay lets go explore the spooky part of the stacks and then he just pushed me against the wall and we just kissed a little bit.”

Although she didn’t give her name, she was more than willing to explain the appeal of stealing a kiss in the stacks.

“It’s just exciting knowing that you might get caught even if its something as harmless as a kiss, its kind of taboo to do that in the library,” she said. “And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the library security but it’s just really thrilling to think of the idea of one of them catching you kissing someone.”

Her friend sitting across from her laughed as if this is typical behavior for her. But even for those who are less adventurous, she says the prospect can still be exciting.

“I’ve always heard of people doing it and I always thought it was really an exciting idea but I actually don’t have the courage to do it myself,” the friend said. “I don’t know how many people have actually hooked up in the library but everyone talks about it.”

She uses the term “hooked-up” lightly. Even though she says the risks outweigh the rewards, she still entertains the idea of crossing that line. But even if she never acts on it, it's probably inevitable.

“We are college students and that’s something college students like to do,” she said. “Whether we’re in public or not."


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