Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Doriot Library

It’s been a long time since I’ve sat in a university-type library. When I was doing my masters in Modern History, the library (and the “archives”) became my second habitat. No group work for History students. No, it was all about spending solitary hours buried into old-smelling books (that no living soul had opened after World War II), and into boxes filled with, in my case, letters written by 18th century Frenchmen.
Being in the library meant concentrating 100%. Not difficult, since there was nothing else to do, and one word to some fellow student already provoked angry looks from the librarian. It was as if everyday life seized to exist. Only the yearly Christmas market, held right in front of the library, managed to penetrate its walls. So while you were trying to make your way through the umpteenth bibliography, Rudolf the rednosed reindeer would be happily trudging beside you.

Anyway, here I am, after all those years, sitting in an academic library again. The Insead library, that is, or “Doriot Library”, where P and his fellow students camped out during the P1 exams. Somehow this library is very different from my old university library, which was anything but modern, and where tyrannical librarians kept peace and order.
But the atmosphere is the same. All that matters is the book in front of you. I totally forgot how relaxing this can be, to be cut off from any sound or other activity. To just sit, concentrate and read.

So now I know why they all like the library so much, and why they spent hours and hours in it. It’s the “INSEAD-bubble” in it’s most concentrated form :-)

1 comment:

Cecile said...


I stumbled upon your (very nice) mention of the Doriot Library and was wondering if we could link to it from our own Doriot Library blog: ?
Cecile (reference librarian @ Doriot)
Let me know, thanks!