Posted by: Staff | 02.25.2008

The Mysteries of Beaver: The Book Elevator


Throughout middle school, I was puzzled by the apparent existence of a small elevator that led from the library down to the language wing below. I never really questioned what it was, but I knew that, behind the computers in the main library area, there was a metal door with a few buttons next to it, so I just thought it was an out-of-date laundry chute. I suppose that if I had took a few minutes to actually think about it, I would have realized how ridiculous that scenario was.

Turns out that it is a book chute, used for, quite simple, moving heavy stacks of books and magazines from floor to floor. There is one in the balcony area of the library, one behind the computers, and one across from the language office. The language office opening might be best explained by the fact that the entire lower floor of the science wing was once an open-floorplan Middle School area, and that there was a nonfiction books section down there. (That also sheds some light on the odd, unused, closed-off staircase to the Language Wing from the Library.)

Perhaps the most mysterious thing about the chute, though, isn’t that it’s there, but that there are four buttons, but no sign of a fourth floor.

According to Ms. Horwitz, the chute can be used for books and magazines, but, unfortunately, not people. It requires her key to operate, probably just to make sure that students don’t test the whole not-made-for-a-human concept.

Thanks to: Ms. Horwitz, Toph Tucker



  1. When I was in Middle School, I pretty much didn’t realize the language wing existed. It sort of terrified me. I had to go down there now and then to get Mr. Adjout’s recycling, though.

    (Also, I seem to remember a time when the main-level door wasn’t blocked off by computers… 6th grade doesn’t feel that long ago, but it’d be fascinating to go back and see just how much about the building has changed…)

  2. There are 4 paces it can be accessed, and thats why there are 4 buttons. Aside from the three you mentioned, there is one in the front office of the Library (by the front door). That one and the balcony one are the most used stops.

    Also, the one in the language wing still gets use. You know that whole hallway under the science classrooms where there are a few doors that are never used? Through those doors are the archives, with an insane amount of magazines and old books and such, If you ever needed to get really old articles (and didn’t want to use the internets… either the WWW or the Gopher Web), you could get the actual magazine from the archives.

    And how does one find all this out? Well, long ago there were library interns who helped with all this stuff; shelving, usign the not-so-dumbwaiter, putting stuff in the archives, etc. But that puttered out several years ago because no students were willing to come volunteer their time. Tis sad really. *tear*

  3. Nice little follow-up here. 🙂

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