Hey look, Olde Library administration went through the trouble of discouraging deviant behavior! They used to crack down in the Olde Library way back when. You know it. Now that I think about it, it would probably not be such a big deal to smoke in the stacks of today's Olde Library, given that there is no smoke detector/sprinkler system and the place smells like stale nasty chemical corrosion anyway. But still, even now, that sign is not messing around.
Here's a fun Olde Library activity: browse through back issues of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. If you've never experienced some of the before-and-after plastic surgery patient photos, you are in for a real viscerally fascinating yet shockingly disturbing treat. Since these journals are from the '60s and '70s, the plastic surgery patients actually needed plastic surgery...badly (sometimes awful badly). I'd like to think that these people were such disasters, money was not an object, as they were still fine-tuning the art of plastics, boobs and noses were not yet in the mix, and insurance companies had not yet privatized the entire U.S. healthcare system. Sometimes when my mind is overrun with naive, empty speculation about reform, being in the Olde Library helps me respect the human body and the way people all around the world have studied it. I respect it so much, I will never smoke in the stacks.