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During school years '70 thru spring of 1972 I studied in the library almost every day into evening. Not much of a social life, but found the library a lot like going to church. It had that "new construction" smell of fresh paint. The facility was perfect with all the small isolated desks located behind the stacks of books. I would keep a time card of hours spent studying in the library and obsessed to make this weeks score better than the last.


In 1968 I had 2 older brothers going away to college. The only way my family could afford to send me was if I commuted to Pitt. Thank goodness for Hillman Library. It was a place where I could hook up with my friends. We would sit together on the first floor near the Cantini wall sculpture. Sometimes we would be told to keep the noise down and we tried. But it was a blessing to have the new library there at the center of campus (and near the bus stop) for commuters who had no dorm room to retreat to when we needed to relax and re-energize.


Before the internet age, the newspaper room at the library was my window on the world !


I worked in the Slavic Languages section of Technical Services when I was earning my MLIS at Pitt. It helped me with my studies, and has been an experience that helped me throughout my career in Libraries. My current position is Resources and Finance Officer for Durham County Library. I oversee the library's budget, IT, archival collection, and all of technical services.


I commuted to Pitt, so anytime and everytime I went to Hillman- I was simply a Pitt Student. I was there to study and just take a break from the chaotic college life. Lots of resources and other people hunkering down to get their workload lightened.


I have 2 stories.
1. I was the girl reading a book leaning on a stack in the original Hillman Library brochure. Someone came around one day while I was studying and asked to take my picture for the brochure and she used one of them! I loved studying in a top floor cubical so I could look out the window was so quiet with no distractions....except...


Library had just opened when I started my first of 8 years at Pitt. My most vivid memory of the 'spanking new" library were the Virgil Cantini tapestries adorning the flat walls. I wonder if they are still hanging.....gc


I began working at Hillman Library the year I started my Bachelor's in 1975, and worked part time in many departments as I pursued all my degrees concluding with the doctorate. There isn't a square foot of that library I didn't know. Naturally I have hundreds of stories to share, but one stands out. I was pulling books for Inter Library Loan and on that day's list was a request from either Latvia or Lithuania. It was from one of the Baltic countries in the former Soviet Bloc.


The Library was the central point of my Pitt experience. It had many great areas to work. Whether it was writing Philosophy papers, studying for big exams or just a quite place to unwind the library could accommodate. It was also place where relationships started or ended which happened to me over the years. Even in medical school it was a great place to study as it was far from your peers so one could concentrate without distraction. I lived off campus so it also was great as meeting place or just a spot to hide from roommates.


Hillman library was an integral part of my undergraduate experience and enabled me to get some serious studying done. I remember using the white boards in the graduate reading room on the top floor to learn complex biochemistry pathways during my junior year. Without those huge white boards, I probably would not have done as well in the class and felt confident applying to med school. I took many practice MCAT tests along the quiet walls of the library. While Hillman could have been better lit, it no less was an important part of my Pitt experience.


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