Beyond the Bag Checkers

We are relieved to be rid of the inconvenience imposed by Lamont Library’s bag checking system.

Harvard students, suffice it to say, have it real tough. Our favorite eateries close down weekly. Rare diseases spread across campus. Professors demand class attendance. And, until last week, we had to wait in line before leaving Lamont Library, facing the dreaded bag-checker, indiscriminate in its resolve to ensure that we didn’t steal books that are free to check out anyway. Quelle horreur.

But at last, a ray of hope has shined down on our lives: The removal of the bag checker station. No longer must we suffer the indignity of opening both our laptop case and every single pocket on our backpack—even the small one where we keep our gum or phone charger.

In all seriousness, the bag checking was a minor inconvenience. And yet, we feel overwhelming joy that we can now walk out the doors of Lamont without the little added stress that came with that book check, a check that felt eternal when running late. Although there are concerns of book thefts rising, we hope the Lamont powers that be are able to institute and maintain appropriate anti-book smuggling procedures.

We are glad to see a tangible link between what the student body wants and what the administration is willing to do—especially in a space so commonly tied to gloom, tears, memories of staying up until 4 a.m. writing Government 20: “Foundations of Comparative Politics” papers and the pseudo-productive atmosphere of Lamont Cafe. While this policy change may seem insignificant, we hope it speaks well to the future of communication between students and the administration.

We would be remiss not to praise the other benefits Lamont announced as well: upgraded, high-speed WiFi throughout the building, new water stations, and the addition of more moveable whiteboards. We appreciate these changes, as they have turned a previously soulless building into one marginally more tolerable.

These recent changes to Harvard’s libraries have made them much more open to students. They may have achieved the impossible: making Lamont a space students might actually want to go to. We hope this upward trend of positivity and added benefits continues, making once-feared places across campus like Lamont more friendly.

This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Crimson Editorial Board. It is the product of discussions at regular Editorial Board meetings. In order to ensure the impartiality of our journalism, Crimson editors who choose to opine and vote at these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on similar topics.