New Lau policy cracks down on guests’ computer usage

Lauinger Library is about to get a bit roomier.

Changes to the University’s notoriously lax computer usage policy, which once led Washington City Paper to name Lauinger Library as one of D.C.’s best places to mooch internet access, will make it more difficult for guests to use the library’s computers.

“The impetus for the Library’s new computer policy is to ensure that our services and spaces are readily accessible to members of the Georgetown University Community,” Jessica Pierce, Executive Assistant to University Librarian Artemis Kirk, wrote in an email. “Lauinger Library is a heavily used building and we are constantly challenged to ensure that our resources are available to our primary users.”

Under the new policy, which takes effect on August 5, only 12 computers in the library will remain available to guests: ten on the third floor between the circulation and reference desks, one next to the printer on the second floor, and one across from the elevator on the fifth floor.

When the City Paper article was written last February, University guests had access to nearly every computer in the library, save for the ones meant for specialized tasks, such as editing or scanning.

Although the new policy seems to force out guests, it simultaneously “encourage[s] guests to bring their own laptops to Lauinger Library and take advantage of the free wireless network available throughout the building.”

Vox doesn’t know what’s worse: the way this policy tiptoes around the fact that many of the library’s “guests” are homeless people, or how it suggests that every inch of Lau has wireless internet access.

7 Comments on “New Lau policy cracks down on guests’ computer usage

  1. As a Christian University, GU should pride itself on serrving populations that wouldn’t otherwise have access to these types of resources. That the policy either ignores or explicitly targets the homeless and other economically vulnerable populations in favor of students who have far more access to laptops and other computer resourrces (incl. The ICC, and St. Mary’s, in addition to dorm computer labs) signals either the University in general, or the library in parrticular has ignored this part of Jesus’ call.

  2. Lauinger is still a surprisingly accessible library – plenty of my friends who attend other schools are shocked at how late the hours are, and especially at the fact that you’re even allowed in if you’re not a member of the university community. It’s good to provide services for the community at large – not just the homeless, but those members of the Washington community who want access to scholarly books but are unable or unwilling to buy a book whose price in dollars exceeds its length in pages – but the library should be primarily for the use of the students and faculty. If the lenient policy is making library resources less accessible to those people, then there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Helping the community is great, but this is a private university, not a public community center.

  3. Yes Doug I wholeheartedly agree! The library restricting public access to a mere DOZEN computers indicates the absolute bankruptcy of Georgetown’s moral legitimacy, and its total ignorance of Christian values of caring for the homeless and the poor.

    Having the seventh most expensive tuition in the United States: excusable.
    Offering a dozen computers free of charge to the public: THOU HATH ENGAGED IN BLASPHEMY.

  4. “If a man asks you for your computer, give him your mouse and a couple movies from the media center too.”

  5. I b8 in Lauinger Library all the time.

  6. So that really WAS Chuck Schumer surfing Redtube in Lau. I thought it was just a mendicant that looked like Chuck Schumer surfing Redtube in Lau.

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