My university's Rodentology Library is the first or second or sixth largest university Rodentology library in the country, depending on how you calculate it. Unfortunately, the movable stacks have been broken for months. The movable stacks are currently just plain old stacks. Several rows of books are trapped in between the stacks because, well, the stacks don't move. If anyone wants to access a book that's trapped in between shelves, they have to walk to the circulation desk (two floors or 30 miles away, depending on how urgently the person in question needs the item), ask for a supervisor, and the supervisor can walk the two floors or 30 miles to manually open the shelves for them. Recently, a colleague, frustrated and in a hurry, wrenched two stuck stacks apart in order to get a trapped book. As a pasty, doughy academic, I couldn't help but admire this display of brute strength, but I understand that sometimes you just NEED THAT BOOK NOW. I would have simply sat down and cried.
Library personnel freaked out. ZOMG don't move it yourself! The stacks are getting fixed, they say. Well, they're not getting fixed as much as they're just waiting for a part so that then they can get fixed. We're so sorry. It's a custom part. It takes 37 years to make, and they only ordered it 33 years ago. Replace the movable stacks entirely? Oh, no. That's over a million dollars. Our top-ranked Rodentology Library has no money to do that. Sorry, what was that? The student activities fee? The School of Rodentology fee? Oh, no. Those actually go towards the salaries of "faculty" who are world-famous and teach one twenty-minute class per semester. Plus their travel expenses, hotel bills, and hookers' fees. Let students manually open the stacks themselves using a handy-dandy lever? No, no. That can only be done by a library supervisor, who works 10:30 AM to 4 PM and takes an hour and a half for lunch and also has ten thousand other very important things that are much more useful than manually opening the stacks for a time-sucking weakling, I mean, researcher. Plus, you know, if someone gets hurt using that lever (it's a simple machine, after all), they could sue the Rodentology Library for all fifty cents that it has.
It's a no-win situation, really. The book that you need is there, because this is one of the best Rodentology libraries, you know, anywhere. But it's trapped in a shitty broken shelf. So you could (a) go get some equally unathletic (but insured!) library supervisor to move it, (b) move those bastards open yourself, risking life, limb, and the wrath of library staff, or (c) throw yourself out the nearest window, except it's not high enough to break your neck. Probably just to shatter your pelvis.