Georgetown joins consortium

Georgetown University is now sharing its library resources with GW and other D.C. universities, adding 1.6 million volumes to the 4.5 million students can already borrow from the Washington Research Library Consortium. Georgetown re-joined last week after a twelve-year hiatus.

GW University Librarian Jack Siggins said he is “very, very pleased” that Georgetown is entering the system because of its collection’s strengths in foreign languages, history and international affairs.

Siggins said GW’s more than 2 million volumes are strong in social sciences, political science, religion and international affairs.

The WRLC, which includes six other D.C.-area universities, allows students at partner schools to check out books at any member library.
Students can order the items online and then either pick them up or have them delivered to GW.

Siggins also said that GW and Georgetown have a positive relationship, since they are both part of the Chesapeake Information and Research Library Alliance, a graduate student and institutional research consortium system.

Consortium Services manager Kim To said GW students borrow about 51,000 items from other libraries by each year.

Siggins said American University is currently the leading lender.
Though Georgetown pulled out of the system in 1990 because of “economic reasons,” the university re-joined to share its extensive collection with other schools and allow Georgetown students to access more information, Georgetown Public Relations Representative Julie Batille said.

“We have always been open to the public, now you can checkout books,” said Pamela Noyes, head of the Reference Department at Georgetown.

GW students said Georgetown joining the consortium is positive because of its large collection and proximity to GW, especially after the new Georgetown Metro Shuttle started running last year.

Sophomore Elizabeth Roman said she feels safer going to Georgetown than other area universities, like the University of D.C., because of its close location and enclosed campus.

“(Georgetown’s joining) connects us together and creates unity (in D.C.),” sophomore Rachel Samuels said.

Some Georgetown students said they do not like the idea of sharing resources from Lauinger Library and the Blommer Science Library with
GW students.

“You know what Georgetown students say the acronym GW stands for – ‘Georgetown Wannabes,'” senior Kyle Sweeney said.

-Julie Gordon contributed to this report.

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