You're at the front door of the original Mitchell Library building.
Once inside, do you take the stairs to the [[Jeffrey Library]] or the [[Burns Library]] or just head straight into the [[Main Hall]]?
Skylights, bookcases, suns with faces carved into them. But nowhere else to go, so you could head back [[downstairs|Start]] or go along the corridor to the [[Burns Library]].This is a room with skylights and various Burns artefacts. You walk around a bit, peering into bookcases full of Robbie Burns-themed whiskey and Coca Cola bottles. It's eerily quiet and your footsteps clatter on the old wooden floor.
Do you get bored and go back down the main stairs to the [[Entrance |Start]] or find yourself drifting to the [[mysterious-looking bookcase at the back, which looks strangely loose on the wall...|Secret door to stacks]]?The ceiling is made of leaded glass. There's a door in the back wall. Do you head back to the [[Entrance|Start]] or see if the door is [[locked|Stacks at Old Lift]]
<img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3161/2406676025_0bb7b08a38_b.jpg" height="512" alt="Mitchell Library_0002"/>
(Photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/bill_anderson/2406676025/in/photolist-4EEQWe-4EK76o-7PiewX-5SqyXJ-887EJ4-cNUAB5-b7fmJn-a7Q2W-amfqjE-7PidVi-7xGqTv-nSd1Cn-8wy7At-7pUvZE-fPxFd8-de89t4-gV9hVy-gV4Et5-gVC3vs-cFnuej-9h3d1A-jCa4gA-7Pngeb-cwbkgb-7xGqQK-fBTSSE-gw9U6-a2Qhak-axK82o-dYrgwZ-7xLf6j-99ex6B-h98AwF-h9nHnz-h99Bis-2Mzjf-4WNc9W-7xphJD-h7dwrX-gVC9RH-6o4NkG-4TuQnw-6o4MU3-gV9xDx-cFnUpw-cFntzU-aDUU4m-5zL3Y5-6nZC46-9gZ5YF">Bill Anderson on Flickr</a>)The door isn't locked - you step into a room full of high bookshelves. There's a lift in the far corner.
The lift doors open, you get in and press the button marked "LG". When the lift arrives and the doors open you step out into a dimly lit area. Do you [[turn left|Old Bindery ]] or [[turn right| Stacks with "keep door shut" sign]]Now that you're closer, you can see there's a twinkling gold-leaf book sticking out amongst the many brown books. It makes you pull on it - something you wouldn't usually do - and the bookcase detatches from the wall with a smooth clicking noise. This reveals a small door, almost Alice in Wonderland-like, which swings open when you push at it, so you crawl through and find yourself in a long room filled with old books on dark wooden shelves. At the back of the room is a [[massive steel fire door. There's a strange throaty growling on the other side, but undeterred you venture on...|Old extension Stacks]] You find yourself in a tiled room filled with all sorts of strange items...
In front of you, at the end of a row of dark, dusty bookcases, is a door with a sign saying "Keep locked at all times". You wonder what's behind it and if it's locked just now...You cautiously pull on the fire door and surprisingly, it opens without complaint. The growling stopped as you approached the door, but now it is open, it has resumed again, more agitated and vicious than ever.
It's a dark room that smells strongly of old books, a smell that would usually comfort you but in the current situation overwhelms you. There are rows of dark wooden shelves filled with books. Shadows flicker on the books, illuminated by a librarian's ever-fading desk lamp.
You stumble, cautious not to make a sound, through them to a couple of metres before another large steel door, when a loud growl makes you jump half a mile in the air. You turn, expecting a Dementor (this is a library, after all), but are pleasantly surprised to discover a small, mangy-looking cat.
However, bending down to pet the cat, you realise that your hand goes through his head. He's a ghost-cat! Well, this'll be something to tell your friends when you get back to school! You're speechless (not that you were going to say anything, because you're alone) but he, it turns out, is not.
"Come with me," he growls through his teeth. You have never heard a cat speak before, but instantly it seems natural so you don't question what he says. You follow, dumb-struck, your limbs moving rigidly.
The cat head-buts the steel door, indicating he wants to continue, so you open it and walking through it, do you find a staircase and follow the cat down, winding all the way to the [[lowest basement]], or do your nerves get the better of you and you run all the way you have come, weirded-out by this ghost cat, to the [[Start]]? Down in the lowest level of the basement - after following the ghost cat diligently to three floors below ground level - the air is musty and old in the stairwell.
However, you creak open the ancient-looking door, and suddenly your eyes are surprised by bright lights and colourful walls. The ghost cat, suddenly playful, bounds in, leaving you in the doorway. You let out a low whistle. This is not what you expected. Do you turn and run back up the stairs to [[Old extension Stacks]], surprised by your find, or enter into the [[Basement room|Secret reading room]]?It's a large, bright room full of intellectual-looking children and adults, all loudly discussing books on one side, lolling on beanbags and sofas, and rows of desks fronted by comfortable green leather armchairs, in which scholars - adults and children alike - are studying books and reference books.
A jolly, Santa-Claus-like man comes up to you and introduces this as the special, secret reading room, for those that come into the library with a real passion and creativity. He tells you that the scanners, cleverly dsguised as ones to detect whether you are taking books out of the library, are actually to see who has an in-built love for reading.
You, he informs you, are one of the most passionnate they have ever had to enter the library. "Down here in the reading room, the lights started flashing as soon as you entered. We decided," he winks, "you were a keeper."
You smile and move further into the room, and immediately are invited into three separate discussions, and stopped by many people who want to congratulate you. They seem to revel your presence and look at you in awe. You settle down with an old Harry Potter (an oldie but a goodie) and feel that, at last, you've found a place to be yourself.