August 3,2020: Library locations will reopen to Harvard students, faculty, and staff for the fall semester. See the full reopening schedule.

How to...

Borrow Materials and Use Our Services During COVID-19

Our physical spaces may be closed, but we’ve restarted many of our services. Find out how you can use Harvard Library today.

Borrowing Physical Materials

As of February 2020

We have restarted access to our physical collections, and you can request materials for pickup at Lamont Library and Countway Library. Use HOLLIS to place your request, at that time you can select your pickup location. 

Borrowing Information

How to borrow

  • Book pickup is by appointment only. Submit your requests through HOLLIS, and once your materials are ready, we'll send you an email with information on how to schedule a pickup time.
  • The amount of time it takes to fulfill requests can greatly vary. We are adhering to a number of safety protocols, and turnaround times for book pickup will vary.
  • If you request multiple items, we will batch them together so you can schedule a single pickup. 
  • When you come to pickup your materials, you must wear a face covering and follow all instructions given by our staff.
  • At this time, book pickup is only available to Harvard students, faculty, staff, and special borrowers with an active account.

Items available from:

  • Widener, Lamont, Countway, Harvard Depository, Loeb Design, Tozzer, Harvard-Yenching, Fine Arts, Loeb Music, Ernst Mayr, Cabot, Divinity, Law, HKS, Wolbach, Baker, and Gutman. 
  • Materials from all of our libraries are housed at the Harvard Depository, so please request what you need and we'll do our best to get it to you.
  • BorrowDirect and InterLibrary Loan are available.
  • Looking for something from our non-circulating or special collections? Submit your request and we'll find a way to get you access — whether through Scan & Deliver, a virtual session with a librarian, or another bespoke solution.


As of February 2020

Books can be returned to Widener Library using the Massachusetts Avenue entrance. Please note that you must wear a face covering, and you will not be able to enter the library beyond the drop-off point.

  • Most due dates for borrowed items have been extended. If you are graduating or leaving your staff or faculty position, please contact us.
  • To check your due date and renew books, visit your HOLLIS account.
  • If necessary, you can return your books by mail.
  • We have limited staff on-site to check materials back in, so they may still appear in your HOLLIS account, and you may continue to receive automated notices from the circulation system.

What's New: Library Services Available Now

Remote Help Now Available

Our physical spaces may be closed, but we're available online. We're ready to help you find the materials, resources, and tools you need to do your work this semester.

Get Help Now

Not sure where to begin?  During our expanded chat hours, our staff of librarians, archivists, and subject matter experts are ready to answer your questions.

Summer 2021 Remote Help Hours (Eastern Daylight Time)

  • Monday through Thursday: 9am - 9pm
  • Friday: 9am - 7pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 5pm
  • Sunday: 12pm - 7pm

ASK us

Media Questions?

Looking for remote help with video, podcasting, AR/VR, visualization, or other media? Our staff of media experts are here to help you.

Spring 2021 Virtual Media Help Desk (Eastern Daylight Time)

  • Monday through Friday: 9am - 4:30pm
  • In a different time zone? We can also schedule meetings at a time that's convenient for you. 

Media Help Desk

Ask A Librarian

Looking for immediate help from our staff? Find answers to commonly asked questions and ask your own. Library staff members are also available via chat during posted hours.

Discover More Online Resources

Looking for more detailed information on Borrowing, Returns, and Recalls? Please note that the information on that page is superseded by this page. 


Our services have moved online.
 Harvard Library physical locations are closed until further notice.