Library Spaces Closed, Print Circulation Suspended due to Coronavirus

Dear Harvard Library users,

I’m writing to let you know that in keeping with Harvard University’s efforts to reduce the pace of progression of the coronavirus, we have closed most library spaces and suspended circulation of print collections. 

We pride ourselves on putting users first and always working to best serve our community. In this case, we are best able to serve our community by reducing in-person interactions as much as possible. At the same time, we know how important our spaces and print materials are to research, teaching, and learning at Harvard, and we look forward to resuming access as soon as possible. 

Our goal is to continue to support the University’s academic mission with our many virtual resources while working with the lowest possible number of Library staff on campus. With this goal in mind, our policies for the foreseeable future are listed below:

  • As of March 16, 2020, all FAS library locations, as well as GSD, HDS, HLS, and HKS, are closed to Harvard affiliates. Users of HBS, HGSE, and Countway Library should check those school’s websites for updated information. All Harvard Library locations are closed to non-Harvard affiliates.
  • Borrowing print materials has stopped. Circulating collections from all FAS libraries (including materials at the Harvard Depository) will not be requestable. BorrowDirect and interlibrary loan have also been halted for the time being. The scanning of requested material is currently paused as we consider how best to address this going forward.
  • If you have an item on hold or recently requested an item for pick-up, we are unable to provide access to these requests. We will retain the hold/request and if we are able to resume operations we will notify you of availability.
  • Access to Harvard University Archives and special and non-circulating collections in FAS libraries, including Houghton Library, will not be available until further notice. 

We invite you to:

  • Use our virtual services and resources, including helping instructors and students prepare for virtual instruction. See Use Library Resources for Remote Teaching or Get Help from the Library as a Student Online.
  • Ask a Librarian. Librarians continue to provide chat, reference and consultations through online venues.
  • Access our digital collections, which include more than 6 million digitized items.
  • Please keep any library materials you have for the time being. By delaying the return of items, you will help us manage the influx of materials over a longer period of time, protecting both materials and staff.
  • Note that due dates for borrowed items have been extended, to September in many cases, to help students with books on loan as they are leaving campus.

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this challenging period. Please let me know if there is anything further we can do to help. As updates occur, we will post them on the Library’s website.
Take care,

Martha Whitehead
Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian
Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences