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It was a bright and sunny day. We were nine students ready to visit the infamous UC Berkeley Libraries. We took bus #6 to Bancroft Avenue in Berkeley. As we arrived the Sproul Plaza area, I was surprised to see a lot of students and protests. We were told by our tour guide and librarian of Lincoln University, Ms. Nicole Marsh, that UC Berkeley Sproul Plaza is famous for rallies, demonstrations, “tabling”, and lunchtime speeches. When we approached Sather Gate, which is the formal entrance to the UC Berkeley campus, a group of students lined up at the Gate with their mouths taped and placards held in front of them. They were protesting and handing out leaflets asking us to remember the Armenian Holocaust of 1915-16.

Librarian of Lincoln University, Ms. Nicole Marsh, explaining the students.

We moved past them towards the Doe Library. I was excited to get inside this historical building, as I remembered it from what I had seen in movies as having grand halls. I was happy to see many shelves of books with big walkways in between, and many readers at the long study tables.The Doe Library is the main library of the UC Berkeley system. It supports the teaching, research, and instructional needs affiliated with more than fifty academic departments and programs in the Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and International and Area Studies.

Some of us got almost trapped in the maze-like architecture of the lower floors of the East Asian Library. After finding the exits, we made our way to the Sather Tower, better known as the Campanile, which is one of UC Berkeley’s most beloved and well-known symbols. Visible for miles, the Campanile is the third-tallest bell and clock-tower in the world. It was a nostalgic experience going up the elevator and listening to the description of the tower’s features in a Diana Burnwood-like voice from the game series ‘Hitman’. Several of us commented on this likeness as we ascended 307 feet from the ground. Reaching the top was the best experience of the tour. The view was spectacular. We could see the whole Berkeley campus, nearby cities, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay.

- Ashi M. Idicual