So if you don’t love Nancy Lyon by now, you will very soon. I had the chance to meet with her again and do a walkabout through the labyrinth that is MSSA storage. We started in the primary work area in the basement of Sterling. Not very high ceilings, narrow pathways, everything secured. Some things are funny, like the Fortunoff Video Archives (FVA) material I saw waiting in coolers. Regular coolers. Like the kind you might take to the beach, or that comes free with a PBR 12 pack! Lots of signs posted with something to the effect that, “Don’t even think about setting your stuff down here without clearing it with Nancy!” Why, you might ask? Nancy is in charge of space. (I don’t know if that is officially true, but it should be). Space is at such a premium in MSSA that Nancy is preoccupied with space. She wakes up in the middle of the night thinking about ways to optimize space. When people at their staff meetings start asking for more space, Nancy tells them to take their problems to Jesus!
Nancy took me from MSSA across the Wright Reading Room into an area of the building I have never seen. I don’t know what the original purpose might have been, but it wasn’t for people. It looks like an old dark storage unit I used to overpay for in Shelton. She navigates through the area as she would her childhood home. She very proudly points out a corner area behind a brick partition. “Look, I have paper stored there!” And I say, “But Nancy, what if a spider is in there?!” To which Nancy replies, “I don’t care, we need the space.” She moves on. I’m looking over my shoulder to make sure that spider isn’t following me.
Nancy is not without generosity when it comes to space. She has loaned a set of metal shelves to a guy named Art. Art is the man who comes around the library checking to see if any light bulbs need replacing. (He’s also been known to hang a whiteboard or two). My walkabout bonus was discovering that Art’s supply is located in this basement area, and that over the years Nancy agreed they could occupy the same space and made little labels for his shelves. IDK, maybe she just really gets that people need a place for important work things.
There were some other cool treasures stored in this room. I took a few more photos: