It was a tough route up the concrete staircase in the cold to the main library of Birmingham City University, but so worth the struggle to be greeted by squeals of joy from Belle, on duty at the main enquiry desk.
Belle explained that things had been a little dull in the library recently because all the students were absent at a sit-in. She pointed out, however, that the protest was wrongly labelled. Rather than lock themselves in the library or a lecture hall, the students had decided to campaign outside. It was thus more a ‘sit-out’ than a ‘sit-in’.
‘I’d like a SCONUL card, please’ I requested, reminding Belle of my status as a library user, and hers of librarian.
‘One of my colleagues can organise that for you’, she replied helpfully, pointing out another enquiry desk across the hall.
It was at this point that I noticed that we were surrounded by former students from many different cohorts of my long academic career. I recognised all of them, and could name most. They all looked so grown up and sensible, but I was most impressed with FF’s toned forearms.
I found a table in a quiet classroom and asked all the graduates to give an update on their careers. To begin with this went well, but I could tell that after a while they had had enough of hearing about one another’s CVs and simply wanted to get back to work.
They were all in for a shock when we returned to the library. The police had caught up with me and issued arrest warrants for all those with whom I had had recent contact. All the former students were now under suspicion of a terrible crime, just like me.