Harvard College Library News: News from around the libraries

Open House Introduces Freshmen to Harvard's Libraries

lamont open house  

September 13, 2012 – Hundreds of newly-minted Harvard students attended the annual Freshman Open House, held August 30 in Lamont Library, for an introduction to Harvard’s libraries that included tours, free food and drinks and the chance to meet with librarians one-on-one.

Dozens of library staff were on hand to help new students to become familiar with the many services offered by Harvard’s libraries by answering questions, advising students on the best way to access library resources, and leading tours of Lamont.

More than 350 students took part in tours of the library that highlighted areas like Research Services, the Multimedia Lab, the Language Resource Center, the Collaborative Learning Space and the Ginsberg and Donatelli reading rooms. As an added incentive, students who took the tour and received stamps from each location were eligible to enter a raffle with prizes that included, movie passes, tickets to Boston museums and electronics.

In addition to helping students become familiar with the library’s physical spaces, the tours were a chance for students to get acquainted with the collections they’ll use in the coming months, including Lamont Media, the Woodberry Poetry Room and Farnsworth Room, which houses a collection of leisure reading.

Informational tables were set up in the Collaborative Learning Space on Level B, and staff from other Harvard libraries – including Cabot, Widener, Houghton, Harvard-Yenching, Loeb Music, Fine Arts, and Tozzer – fielded questions from the more than 300 students who visited. Tables were also set up to distribute information about online services like Scan and Deliver and VIA, Harvard’s catalog of visual materials. The Bureau of Study Counsel, which offers tutoring services to undergraduates, also set up a table during the event.

Among the most popular displays were two new interactive surface tables, one of which displayed an online exhibition of the Samuel Johnson manuscript collection, while the other displayed NUIverse, an astronomy application.

Library staff who took part in the event or helped prepare for it came from many Harvard libraries and units, including: Cabot Science Library; Fine Arts Library; Fung Library; Harvard-Yenching Library; Houghton Library; Loeb Music Library; Maps, Media, Data, and Government Information, Lamont Library; Reference Services and Learning Technology; Services for Academic Programs; Widener Library Collection Development; and Wolbach Library, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. There were also volunteers and assistance from: Harvard Library Access Services; Harvard Library Preservation and Digital Imaging; University Archives; Library Technology Services, Harvard University Information Technology; Bureau of Study Counsel.