Students pass through the lobby of the library. (Hiatt Ellis)
Students pass through the lobby of the library.

Hiatt Ellis

Belk Library through a day’s light

April 3, 2023

To students, staff, employees and visitors, Belk Library and Information Commons stands as the beating heart of App State’s campus, both geographically and culturally. A prominent spire in the skyline, a place where roads meet, parking decks and bus stops are made, and the universities wealth of knowledge in both its shelves and its students at each table studying. Due to the nature of college student life, and the importance of the building, Belk Library stays open 24 hours a day from Monday-Thursday, with limited hours during the weekend, although their hours are subject to change. During midterms and finals, the heart of campus beats faster and more erratically, similar to its heavily caffeinated residents. 

The Appalachian’s photo desk found it important to photograph the library during the midterms at the library. However, to truly capture the magic of a 24-hour space, it must be photographed during each of the 24 hours to be truthful, which the photo desk did Wednesday, March 8. Photographers chose from the 12 two-hour blocks throughout the day and night, and were tasked to stay on assignment their whole shift inside the library. They photographed what they saw, felt, or otherwise deemed important. Here is what they saw:

12:11 a.m.

Students on the 3rd floor are hard at work while some others start to feel the fatigue of the night. (Landon Williams)

1:32 a.m.

The lobby statue sits alone with not a soul in sight at such a late hour. (Landon Williams)

2:15 a.m.

A lone book sits lopsided and unattended on a bookshelf. (Landon Williams)

3:17 a.m.

The second floor is still, as empty chairs and tables line the wall. (Evan Bates)

3:37 a.m.

The single student on the second floor, hard at work.
(Evan Bates)

4:46 a.m.

Trey Stevens (right), and Matthew Hatfield (left) work the night shift as security guards. They work to pass the nights in their own ways, Matthew on heavy amounts of caffeine, while Trey passes the night wholly uncaffeinated. (Evan Bates)

7:17 a.m.

The view from the second floor window reflects the bookstacks onto the mountains that surround campus.
(Ashton Woodruff)

7:33 a.m.

(From front to back, left to right) Hannah Wood, Rony Hakeem, Malayna Eudy, Dacey Tripplett, and Carson Davis meet in a study room for an early morning bible study.
(Ashton Woodruff)

8:43 a.m.

A student working on a computer in front of a window on the first floor. (Gwyn Wetzell)

9:26 a.m.

The main stairwell, viewed from the fourth level. (Gwyn Wetzell)

10:52 a.m.

Old film rolls collect dust on a shelf on the lower level. (Mayesivy Carlson)

11:36 a.m

A student sits at a desk on the third floor working on their computer. (Mayesivy Carlson)

12:00 p.m.

The midday exterior as students flow in and out of the building. (Darcy Sluder)

12:52 p.m.

The bustling halls of the first floor during class-change.
(Darcy Sluder)

2:00 p.m.

Racks of books are lined up on the second floor of the library. (Hiatt Ellis)

3:22 p.m.

Students pass through the lobby of the library. (Hiatt Ellis)

4:46 p.m.

Kyla Willoughby and SJ Bender do homework in the Wired Scholar coffee shop. (Joshua Walters)

5:34 p.m.

Dinner time leaves the second floor fairly empty and quieter than usual. (Joshua Walters)

7:13 p.m.

Taxidermy Canadian goose sporting sunglasses and 2017 Old time fiddler convention ribbon found on the 4th floor of the library. (Justin Hernandez)

8:16 p.m.

An assortment of framed maps and portraits found in the special collections section of the 4th floor of the library. (Justin Hernandez)

8:38 p.m.

Students take a break from their work on the 1st floor. (Evan Bates)

9:57 p.m.

A student rests at the back of the first floor. (Evan Bates)

10:45 p.m.

Maggie Ballard and Elijah Zay take a break from studying on the second floor to complete Buzzfeed quizzes. (Maggie Busch)

11:59 p.m.

The exterior of the occupied library, just before midnight. (Maggie Busch)
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