Last spring, Duke Law students had a fit because Duke undergrads were taking up valuable space in the law library. I admit, I enjoy having a little bit of fun with Duke Law students (haters gotta hate), but I’m with them on this one.
Undergraduates have two or three libraries (or maybe more, I don’t know if Duke is one of those schools where every major department has a library in its campus headquarters) where they can go play footsie and pretend to study. Or they can go to the business school library (the MBA kids are all at the bar “networking”) or the medical school library (the would-be doctors are busy being bought by drug companies or conducting unnecessary tests).
But at the law library people need to work. You can’t learn the law without spending a lot of time quietly reading the opinions of old white men (shut up “law firms,” nobody spends three years and $100K to learn practical lawyering skills). Those cases aren’t going to brief themselves! Law students need a quiet environment to think deeply and prepare for the eight hours of terrified regurgitation to come.
It looks like the administrators of Duke finally got the message…
In a letter to Duke Law students, the associate dean for library services communicated the good news:
To ensure that adequate study space is available in the Goodson Law Library for law students during the reading and exam period, the Library will implement a new access and use policy from December 2-18. The policy has been reviewed by the Library & Technology Committee including your student representatives Phil Rubin, Tim Calloway, and Nick Passarello.
During the reading and examination period, use of the Goodson Library will be restricted to the law community at all times including times when the doors are unlocked. Exceptions will be made for others enrolled in law school classes, or with a demonstrated need for use of the law collections. Others may be asked to leave.
Notice how the school didn’t have to shut down the whole library to keep out people who shouldn’t be there? If only this kind of radical thinking could somehow make its way up north.
Congrats to Duke Law students. Now you can study without being distracted by a nubile co-ed in the bloom of youth, bouncing around with her nearly fully exposed “art history books” all up in your face.