Peer Research Fellows

  • PRFs offer study breaks in the Houses of their assigned Neighborhoods on a rotating basis.
  • For helpful research tips and resources created for students by the PRFs, visit the Library Peer Research Fellows website.
  • To learn more about the Library Peer Research Fellows program, contact:
  • To learn more about teaching and learning at Harvard College Library, contact:

Students Helping Students

Peer Research Fellows (PRFs) are available to students in the House Neighborhoods to assist with research questions and provide information about library services and collections. In addition to recommending effective search strategies and helping peers document sources responsibly, PRFs strive to consider how library resources can support all aspects of student life.

A Familiar Face

Undergraduates who reside in the Houses have a PRF in their Neighborhood, sponsored by the Harvard College Library.

Each PRF is mentored by a librarian who is dedicated to their Neighborhood and has expertise in research, teaching, and learning.

A Helping Hand

PRFs in the River East, River Central, River West, and Quad neighborhoods offer the following services to House residents:

  • Regular study breaks
  • Basic research assistance
  • Support for academic integrity
  • Referrals to librarians with relevant expertise
  • Events featuring essential research techniques and strategies
  • Email updates on library services, research tools, and collections

A Campus Partner

The Library Peer Research Fellows program offers students in the undergraduate Houses convenient access to the Library’s unparalleled collections and expertise in support of research projects, extracurricular activities, and personal endeavors.

The Library is delighted to join the community within the House system that informs students’ intellectual and ethical development.

PRFs are a natural partner in realizing Harvard’s pedagogical values and seek to harmonize programming with the Advising Programs Office, the Bureau of Study Counsel, the Harvard Writing Program, the Honor Council, the Office of Student Life, and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.

Related Literature and Websites

Barber, G. (2009). SOS–Supporting Other Students: the role of student library ambassadors at Southampton Solent University. SCONUL Focus, 45, 15-19.

Barnes, N., & Peyton, G. (2006). Reaching out to the net generation on campus: Promoting the MSU Libraries in the residence halls. Public Services Quarterly, 2(4), 47-68.

Bodemer, B. B. (2014). They CAN and they SHOULD: Undergraduates providing peer reference and instruction. College and Research Libraries, 75(2), 162-178.

Foster, N. and Gibbons, S. (2007). Library design and ethnography. In N. Foster and S. Gibbons (Eds.), Studying students: The undergraduate research project at the University of Rochester (pp. 20-29). Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries.

Gilroy, S. (2007). Project Information Literacy: The Harvard context. Unpublished summary, Harvard College Library, Cambridge, MA.

Harvard College Institutional Research. (2012). Results of the 2012 senior survey. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (2012). The Dean's annual report 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2012

How undergraduates approach research at Harvard and beyond: Student research survey findings. (2010). Unpublished summary from Project Information Literacy (PIL) and the University of Washington’s Information School.

Morgan, K. (1931). The Harvard house libraries. The Library Journal, June 15, 1931, 536-539.

Riehle, C. F., & Witt, M. (2009). Librarians in the hall: Instructional outreach in campus residences. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 16(2), 107-121. doi:10.1080/10691310902958616

Rudin, P. (2008). No fixed address: The evolution of outreach library services on university campuses. Reference Librarian, 49(1), 55-75.

Strothmann, M., and Antell, K. 2010. The Live-In Librarian: Developing Library Outreach to University Residence Halls. Reference & User Services Quarterly 50(1), 48-58.

University of Washington Information School (2014). Project Information Literacy (PIL). Retrieved from

Walsh, C. (2013). A 21st-Century Campus. Harvard Gazette.