MacOdrum Library: Finding your path


MacOdrum Library: Finding your path

When I was a student here many years ago, I was what you’d call “on the introverted side.”

From time to time I would muster up the will to hang out with people I didn’t know at Roosters or Ollie’s, but more often than not I would settle in my room in residence and read.

After a few months, I had run out of the books I had brought with me from home – a list of books that consisted pretty heavily of Stephen King and Stephen Leacock. So, out of books, and with a love of spending time on my own, I made my way to the MacOdrum Library, ready to expand my story collection.

I got there and was overwhelmed because this was a library unlike any I had seen before. Each floor; home to rows upon rows of books, dwarfed what I had had access to in high school. I couldn’t believe the amount of choice and freedom there was to read whatever I wanted – my only deterrent was time.

So one day I pulled a book at random, sat down at a desk, and read. I came back a few times that week and read the whole thing while sitting in the library.

I started doing this every week. I would complete my assigned readings (admittedly some weeks I would skip this part) then head to the library to pick my random selection. Then I’d sit and read and enjoy what I was doing. This was, I assumed, something I was only able to do because I was now an “adult.”

I didn’t manage to keep this up every week during my time here but over the years I spent at Carleton as a student I probably crossed 30 books I would have never found otherwise off my list.

Now, as I sit at my desk typing this, I am an employee in the same library I used to spend so much time in as a student.

This time, I didn’t feel the same need to find a random book. Having graduated from university, gone back to university, gotten married, and had kids, I know which books have helped shape who I am today.

So, I walked to section PR6068.093 and found the books that I now get to read with my kids every night.


I took a Children’s Literature course when I was studying and in that course, I was introduced to a modern children’s literature piece I had never heard of, Harry Potter.

I guess if you spend enough time in life doing random things, somewhere along the way those random things will meet up. I haven’t picked up a book at random yet since my return to the Library, but plan to eventually.

Stop by one day and try it for yourself.

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