Few have ever ventured to the fifth floor of Steely Library, the floor that has long been exclusive to administrators and staff, but The Northerner recently got a glimpse into its hallowed halls and what they house.
Arne Almquist sits in his office, which he inherited in 2001, on the fifth floor in part of what was once the roof before renovations to Steely Library in the 90s.
“They built this whole office area on the fifth floor,” Almquist said. “It puts us up out of the public area, which gives us more space for public services.”
The most striking feature of Almquist’s office is the windows that line the entirety of one wall, looking out into the recently renovated plaza between the library and Founders Hall.
“They’re sloped at about 45 degrees, they give you a great view, and they really just give you an interesting look when you walk into the room,” Almquist said.
Almquist also highlighted the fact that it can be the worst part of the office as it can be a struggle during the hot and cold seasons we experience to keep his entire office at an even temperature.
“If I have a meeting at the other end of the office, in the winter time you’re freezing but it feels normal over here and vice versa in the summer time,” Almquist said.
Now serving as associate provost and dean of the library, Almquist once had a career as an amateur violinist with three degrees in music-based programs.
“I retired many years ago, but I was a very active performer at the University of Buffalo and then when we moved to Texas, I did a lot of playing in Texas and then at a certain point decided, ‘I don’t want to be an amateur,’ so I cut it off.” Almquist said.
Boldly sitting on top of his shelves is a red 1959 Ford Mustang.
“I’ve been a Ford fan for a long time,” Almquist said. “Which is also the year of my birth. So I have to have at least one car in the office.”
When it comes to changing his office, Almquist says he wouldn’t change a thing, except maybe having better control of the temperature he quickly added with a laugh.