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Library News and Events

This is a platform for Library news and events. Please send comments and suggestions to Thomas Dodson.

January 26, 2015

Dear colleagues,

Like you all, we have been closely monitoring forecasts of the incoming storm that is expected to reach Cambridge and Boston this evening. At this time, we are working with University leadership to determine the best course of action to ensure the safety of Library staff and patrons during what may prove to be a heavy blizzard. In a few hours, administrators from each School will announce any decisions that have been made about closures and modified schedules. We will be in touch with the result of that meeting.

If you have concerns about the safety of your commute, please be in touch with your supervisor to discuss scheduling options. We will continue to closely monitor the forecast this morning and into the afternoon. Should weather conditions warrant schedule changes, we will distribute information...

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File Under: Weather
January 20, 2015

Rowena He, (center ) Lecturer on Government, uses archival research materials from the Harvard-Yenching Library to teach students about the June 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.January 20, 2015—Houghton Library has seen a 200% rise in demand for object-based teaching with its special collections since 2000, a trend that is mirrored to some degree across the University and educational institutions around the country.

“Teachers and students are hungry for the experience of working with objects, touching them, handling them, seeing their markings,” said Rachel Howarth, associate librarian for public services at Houghton Library.

While the dramatic increase in demand was welcome, it challenged...

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January 20, 2015

Julia and Paul Child, Valentine's day card, from the Julia Child Papers, Schlesinger Library.January 20, 2015—This year, you can add an even more personal touch to your sweet nothings by nominating images to be used on the Harvard Library’s Valentine’s Day e-cards. We’re crowdsourcing beautiful, creative and quirky representations of love from those who know Harvard’s collections best—you!

Submit an item for consideration by January 31 and some of our favorites will wing their way to inboxes in early February. Requirements for submission are as follows:

  • Originals must be in a collection from a Harvard Library repository.
  • The item must be digitized.
  • The...
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File Under: Collections, Staff News
January 13, 2015

January 13, 2015—Sarah Thomas, vice president for the Harvard Library and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, will hold two all-staff meetings in late February to update staff members on current and future library activities. There will be an opportunity for questions.

Wednesday, February 25th, 1:30 pm, Yenching Auditorium, Harvard-Yenching Library (2 Divinity Avenue)

Friday, February 27th, 10:30 am, Sever Hall 113

A livestream will be available and further details will be sent as soon as they are finalized. A summary of the sessions will be posted online and included in the March 3...

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File Under: Events, Staff News
January 13, 2015

January 13, 2014—Melvil Dewey may be seen as the father of the library classification system, but he certainly wasn’t the first to conceptualize such a thing; Harvard librarians beat him out by over 200 years.

Today most Harvard libraries use the Library of Congress call number system, but before the adoption of today’s widely used standards, Harvard librarians invented their own. While many users see call numbers only as coordinates to zero in on their item of choice, Houghton reference librarian James Capobianco cracked the codes of the letters, numbers and dots in Harvard’s stacks and shared the results in a recent...

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