Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

2 Exhibits Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Lauinger

Lauinger Library is celebrating its 50th anniversary with two exhibits honoring the evolution and history of the building since its opening in 1970.

The main exhibit on the fifth floor of the library is titled “50 Years of Excellence & Service” and examines the library’s legacy from its construction to the present, according to a Feb. 11 press release posted on the library’s website. The companion exhibit on the third floor in the Kerbs Exhibit Area is titled “Eight Things You May (Or May Not) Know About Lauinger Library.”

KASSIDY ANGELO/THE HOYA |The main exhibit, titled “50 Years of Excellence & Service,” is located on the fifth floor of the library, while the companion exhibit, “Eight Things You May (Or May Not) Know About Lauinger Library,” is located on the third.

The exhibits feature artifacts, pictures and other documentation relevant to the library’s history. Both exhibits opened Feb. 3 and will remain on display until May. An online version of the “50 Years of Excellence & Service” exhibit is also being created on the library’s website. The webpage details the history and importance of all the objects included in the physical exhibition.

The exhibits celebrate Lau’s importance to the Georgetown University community, according to Harriette Hemmasi, dean of the library.

“Over the years, Lauinger has become more of a place to create knowledge than just consume content on the shelves,” Hemmasi wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Through the use of digital technologies such as podcasting and tools such those found in the Maker Hub, students and faculty are able to express their scholarly ideas and arguments in new ways and with new meaning.”

Lau first opened in 1970 after the university’s book collection outgrew Riggs Library, the library on campus at the time, according to the library’s website. 

One of the most recent expansions of the library includes the creation of the Maker Hub on the first floor. The site, which was constructed in 2016, was designed as a multipurpose workshop for students on campus. 

The creation of new spaces within the library has expanded the number of resources the library offers to students, according to the Feb. 11 library press release.

“Today’s Library remains a central place to conduct research and to study; it is also a place of creativity and exploration. Several major transformations in the Library’s recent history reflect a shift toward more collaborative and experiential learning,” the press release read.

In addition to providing an overview of the building’s design and planning process, the exhibit highlights examples of scholarly work and projects undertaken by Georgetown faculty and students who have been supported by library resources, according to Lynn Conway, one of the curators of the exhibition.

“Lauinger is much more than simply a place. It’s a combination of amazing collections, services and staff, all available to the campus community,” Conway wrote in an email to The Hoya. “With the Library 50th anniversary exhibition, it was fun to work on a topic which was very familiar to me in some ways (I’ve worked in this building for 25 years) but also one which allowed me to discover and share new aspects of  Lauinger’s history.”

The exhibit also features documents, photos and other artifacts celebrating the history of libraries on Georgetown’s campus and the lead-up to the creation of Lau. 

The main exhibit includes a portion of a door from the university’s first library from 1831, a map of campus showing potential sites for a new library from 1945, library construction photos from 1967 to 1969 and other documents honoring the evolution of Lau’s capabilities as a library. 

Another aspect of the exhibit focuses on the specialization of each floor to meet various student needs, including a social work space on the second floor, as well as a space dedicated to research on the fifth floor. 

Every student at Georgetown can find an effective study space in the library, according to Hemmasi.

“While many students want a quiet place in the library to study, others need and enjoy different types of study environments such as the more collaborative, social space on the second floor of the Lau,” Hemmasi wrote.

For students, this multi-functioning space on campus provides students with a versatile space to work, according to Saahithi Dantuluri (MSB ’23).

“Lau is one of the best places on campus to study in,” Dantuluri wrote in an email to The Hoya. “The quiet reading rooms allow you to focus on studying for tests or writing essays, while Lau 2 is a busy environment where you can get your group projects done.”

As part of the anniversary celebrations, the library will also host an open house reception March 30 for students, faculty, staff and graduates.

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