Student narrowly misses being crushed by bookshelf

Sable Riley


A 20-foot section of a bookshelf in the university library toppled Sunday afternoon, nearly falling on an unsuspecting student.

Nicole Leuci, a senior hospitality management major from Enterprise, said she’d picked out a quiet corner to study among the government documents section on the first floor.

When she was pulling out a chair to sit down, a fellow student yelled for her to move. She ran backward, narrowly escaping the collapsing shelf.

“At first, I was just really in shock,” Leuci said. “I’m just really glad it didn’t fall on me.”

The student who cautioned Leuci ran over, initially thinking the bookshelf, containing encyclopedias and government documents, fell on someone.

The bookshelf, which Leuci described as “humongous,” collapsed on the desk Leuci was about to use. Later, she had to pull her book bag from under the wreckage, which had a small tear.

Leuci said that in the first split-second, she thought, “Wow, I didn’t know the bookshelves on this floor moved.”

No one caused the shelf to fall, according to Leuci, adding that she didn’t understand why the bookshelf wasn’t bolted to the floor.

“The dang thing just fell over,” said Chris Shaffer, dean of library services. He said he was unsure what caused the shelf to fall, but pointed out that it might be due to students and faculty shifting around government documents, causing an uneven distribution of weight.

He added that the incident occurred during a low-use time at the library and, fortunately, no one was hurt.

Leuci said she believes the university should take more safety measures to make sure incidents like Sunday’s don’t occur in the future.

The Physical Plant will soon have the shelves reassembled, according to Shaffer.

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