Lau-Hate Relationship: 5 Reasons to Love the Library We Love to Hate
By: Sarah Mucha (SFS'17)
Nestled on a hilltop in northwest Washington, DC, Georgetown University contributes to the city’s breathtaking skyline. Healy Hall and the Former Jesuit Residence stand out proudly from across the Potomac River, their stark contrasting colors catching the eye of any passerby. And then there is another, more distinct contrast. One that might cause the passerby to think, “One of these is not like the other.”
Behold, Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library – or as we all know it, Lau. Affectionately called “The Eyesore of Georgetown’s Campus” by some, the library is, well, it’s a little bit like accepting Nick’s solo career after the Jonas Brothers broke up. At first glance it feels like something’s off, but over time you come to accept its place and even admire its… peculiarities (or maybe I’m alone on the Nick thing, but you get the point.)
Beyond its brutalist architectural style that may not seem to fit in with the rest of Georgetown’s buildings, Lau holds a special place in our hearts and without it, no one’s Georgetown experience would be the same.
Here are the top five reasons why Hoyas love (or should love) Lau.
5. The Low-Medium Probability that You Might Meet Bradley Cooper
The Limitless actor is allegedly in possession of a library card that grants him special privileges to Lauinger Library. I say “allegedly” because I don’t have the direct source to quote but trust me: this is a true story, straight from the lips of a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from President DeGioia. So who knows, next time you’re studying for that Microeconomics exam, you just might run into Bradley Cooper himself browsing the DVDs on Lau 2.
4. The Caffeination Station Just Within Reach
While the second floor of Lauinger Library, known as “Lau 2,” doesn’t have that typical modern-chic-hipster-succulent-exposed brick café feel, it does have its own certain 1970s-Anchorman-yellowish ambiance charm. But more importantly, situated just in the back is Midnight Mug, a café run by students for students where you can get your 11:30 pm red-eye fix to get you through that all-nighter you’re about to pull.
3. The Friends You’ll Surely Make
It’s actually really as easy as that. Lau 2 is a major project and exam study session meet-up hub. Early Russian History exam the next day? Chances are you’ll hear people at the table next to you studying for the same exam and the next thing you know, you’re quizzing each other on Pushkin one night and you’re Facebook friends the next day. As a first semester freshman who was as nervous for those first midterm exams as making those supposed “forever friends” you’re supposed to make in college, I can verify that Lau 2 really came through for me in both regards – at the same time. Not bad for a library.
2. The Battle Wounds & Victory Stories
Exam season is a competition. But not in the way that you think– us Hoyas actually love helping each other succeed through tutoring, proofreading, study sessions, etc. No, the real competition lies in how much of your life you have spent in the dungeon Lau. Nowhere else on campus will earn you the same bragging rights as from witnessing both sunset and sunrise from your Lau cubicle. See, studying in Lau, it’s like watching The Bachelor. You don’t like the concept at first, but you give it a chance and it’s ten hours later and you’ve been completely sucked in.
*Note: this is definitely satirical. We encourage self-care and responsible studying at Georgetown. Get enough sleep, people.
1. Because in Lau, United We Stand
I don’t know if you know this, but Lauinger Library is kind of a big deal. It has many leather bound books and smells of rich mahogany. Is it true? Actually… yeah, sort of. Except maybe instead of rich mahogany smell it’s more like dusty books mixed with a hint of moldy with tunes of student’s tears. But, you know, close.
In all seriousness, without Lauinger Library, Georgetown would be a different institution. Lau is that shared struggle of midterms at 2 AM, but it’s also the success of a completed 25-page final paper. Its name is dropped more than probably any other building on campus. Love it, hate it, you’re still thinking about it, right? Kind of a big deal.
Well, and if it’s good enough for Bradley Cooper, it’s good enough for me too.