Junior Parents Gather at Houghton Library for Reception

Junior Parents Reception  
Class of '08 parents filled Houghton Library's Edison and Newman Room for the Junior Parents Reception.

March 5, 2007 – Parents gathered in the Edison and Newman Room of Houghton Library on Friday, March 2, for HCL's Junior Parents Weekend Reception, sponsored by the Friends of the Harvard College Library. The annual brunch reception, part of the campus-wide Junior Parents Weekend, gives parents a chance to meet librarians, learn about library programs, and discover how the library is, or can be, part of their child's college experience.

Lynne M. Schmelz, Librarian for the Sciences, and Friends co-chair with Joan C. Suit, welcomed guests. Nancy Cline, Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College, presented opening remarks about the library collections and the extensive array of materials, traditional and digital, available to support research and teaching activities. "Houghton, like every other one of the libraries here, welcomes undergrads," said Cline. "Libraries like this are one of the absolute advantages of a Harvard education."

Cline also described to parents how the library is as important as ever in today's digital world. Harvard's primary research materials complement its ever expanding digital collections, and the libraries are committed to making more quality digital content available. At the same time, another invaluable resource is to be found in the library staff, and Cline encouraged parents to go home and talk with their students about their library experiences.

Keynote speaker Jeffrey Hamburger, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, toldĀ parents about how he uses the Harvard library collections in his teaching and how important it is to expose students to the available resources. "I think it's essential that every undergraduate get lost in the stacks at least one time just to be overwhelmed by the unparalleled resources available here," said Hamburger.

He also discussed his recent freshman seminar in which first-semester Harvard students worked hands on with rare books at Houghton, ultimately producing an exhibition and an online catalog. An experience like that can significantly impact a student, he said, whether or not they continue in that field.

Tours of Houghton and Widener followed the reception.

Arrangements for the Junior Parents Reception were made by Sabrina Particelli, Administrative Coordinator for Development, Office of the Librarian of Harvard College, and Lynne Schmelz.

Lynne Schmelz
Jeffrey Hamburger
Lynne Schmelz, Librarian for the Sciences, welcomed parents and guests.
Keynote speaker Jeffrey Hamburger, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, spoke to the assembled parents about how he has introduced his students to rare books by incorporating Houghton materials into his undergraduate classes.

Nancy Cline, Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College, spoke to junior parents about the library collections and resources available to their students.
William Stoneman, Florence Fearrington Librarian of Houghton Library, answered questions about the collections lining the walls of the Edison and Newman Room.