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Open House Introduces Freshmen to Harvard Library

The annual open house aims to introduce students to all of the resources Harvard Library offers. 

Students gather for a tour of Lamont

Two hundred incoming students attended the annual Freshman Open House at Lamont Library on August 28 to get an introduction to Harvard’s libraries and the services they offer. The freshmen were welcomed with tours, raffle prizes, and food in an event coordinated around the theme “Lamont & Beyond.” Sixty staff members from across the Harvard Library and FAS pitched in by serving as greeters, tour guides, food servers, job recruiters, button-making advisers, and more. “It was really gratifying to see how many students came to the Open House,” commented Steve Kuehler, member of the Freshman Open House planning team. “We had a great group of volunteers again this year, both staff and students.”

Students attending the event were given a portable USB power charger and a keyring light with an image of Lamont at night. Greeters encouraged them to visit the Lamont Café to enter the raffle, pick up a snack, find out about Harvard Library’s User Research Center and commemorate their experience by making a button with a picture of one of several well-known Harvard alumni. Representatives from the Bureau of Study Counsel, which offers tutoring services to undergraduates, were also on hand in the lobby to provide information and answer questions.

Tours of Lamont ran continuously throughout the two-hour event, guided by students who work in Lamont Access Services as well as staff. They highlighted areas and collections students are likely to use during the academic year, including the unified service point at the main desk in the lobby, the Media Lab, the Language Resource Center, the Collaborative Learning Space, the Ginsberg and Donatelli reading rooms, the Woodberry Poetry Room, and the Farnsworth Room, which houses a collection of leisure reading. “It was great to see how excited the freshmen were to learn about all of the resources available for them at Lamont,” said Molli Goetz, tour leader and Access Services assistant. “I'm glad I was able to show them some of my favorite study spots and help them learn how to take advantage of everything Lamont has to offer.”

The Collaborative Learning Space on Level B provided the “…& Beyond” portion of the event. Informational tables were set up to showcase libraries, special collections and services from across campus, including Cabot, Widener, Houghton, Loeb Music, Fine Arts, Baker, Harvard Law School, and Schlesinger libraries; the Harvard University Archives and Harvard Map Collection; Harvard Library Digital Collections; and Villa I Tatti and Dumbarton Oaks. There was also a table that provided information about Borrow Direct and interlibrary loan services, as well as jobs that are available to students in the libraries.

“A large number of volunteers from libraries across campus staffed tables in room B-30 this year,” noted Reed Lowrie, the Open House’s B-30 manager. “The room looked festive and welcoming, and we were especially happy to have a representative from Villa I Tatti, one of Harvard’s most far-flung libraries!”

Photos of the event can be found here

Learn more about Lamont Library by visiting its website and viewing this Prezi presentation on its resources.

By Lynn Sayers, Administration and Events Coordinator, Lamont Library. 

Published on October 4, 2017.