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New Shelving Evokes Old Memories

New shelving in the “C Quad” of the Law Library. Photo by Betty Lupinacci.

We are now two-thirds through having the Law Library’s shelving replaced in the second of four quadrants in our closed stacks. The new shelving is lighter, easier to move and conforms to current safety standards for spacing between shelves.

And it’s making shelving and retrieval much easier for staff and contractors.

As I walked through the redesigned space, I was struck by something odd, yet somehow familiar.

When replacing the existing shelving, the workers left vestiges of the tracks from the old units.

Now where had I seen that before?

It took a few minutes, but then it hit me. It reminded me of the abandoned trolley tracks around my grandparents’ neighborhood in the South Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!

Old trolley tracks, Pittsburgh, PA. Photo by Gina Lupinacci.

Old shelving tracks. Photo by Betty Lupinacci.

When I was very young, the streetcars (as we called them) still ran and the tracks and overhead connectors criss-crossed the city.

But now the trolleys are almost all gone in favor of buses and the downtown subway. Most of the streets have long since been repaved, but evidence of the old transportation system still remains.

I wonder if, in fifty years or so, some future Law Library employee will want to know more about those tracks in the floor and what the library looked like “way back when.”

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