Lamont Library Cafe Opens


October 19, 2006 - On October 17 the ceremonial ribbon was cut and the long-awaited Lamont Library Cafe opened for business. Located on the main level of the library, the handsomely appointed cafe seats approximately 100 and features a light menu of prepackaged sandwiches, salads, baked goods, snacks, coffee drinks, teas, and other beverages. The cafe will provide library users with an alternative study space that fosters group work in a relaxed setting where food and conversation are welcome, and will also fulfill a need for social space on campus. 

"I'm delighted that we shall now be providing sustenance in Lamont for the body as well as the intellect.  The Lamont Library Cafe will surely become a cheerful locus for our students, both for their refreshment and for breaks from their solitary study," said FAS Dean Jeremy Knowles. 

A uniquely student-centered venture, the cafe is operated on a day-to-day basis by undergraduates.  Students serve as baristas as well as on-site managers, with oversight from a Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) professional to ensure that all foodservice standards and codes are met.  Students also played an active role in developing the menu and selecting free-trade coffee and teas.  The vendor they chose, Pura Vida, is a non-profit company that donates all proceeds to its own charitable foundation that helps farmers' families and at-risk children in coffee growing communities around the world build more hopeful futures.

"The cafe is a welcome addition to Lamont where we have so many students working all hours of the day and night.  Creating the cafe has been a real collaboration across many parts of the University.  From the thoughtful proposal prepared through the Undergraduate Council, to the receptive staff in Lamont, to the many offices involved in funding, planning, renovating, equipping, and furnishing the cafe—everyone has given exceptional effort in a very short time-frame to achieve opening day before mid-term papers and exams," said Nancy M. Cline, Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College, speaking at the opening ceremony.

Food service in the Lamont Library Cafe is available between the hours of 3:00 pm and 2:00 am, Sun-Th; 3:00 pm and 9:45 pm Fri-Sat.  The space is open all hours that the library is open, and when food service is not available hungry library users can find provisions in vending machines and a self-serve espresso maker that operates on Crimson Cash.  For more information see the HUDS web site at

Page Last Reviewed: May 12, 2009