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Harvard College Library News: News from around the libraries

Lamont Library Welcomes Freshmen Parents

Open house and student-led tours kick off annual Freshman Parents Weekend


Susan Fliss, associate librarian of Harvard College for research, teaching and learning, Lynne Schmelz, librarian for the sciences and librarian of the Cabot Science Library and Laura Farwell Blake, head of services for academic programs, welcome parents to the library as part of the “Your Student @ Lamont” tour.

By Beth Giudicessi, HCL Communications

November 8, 2013 – Freshmen and their parents may already know that Lamont Library, home to a café, multimedia lab, collaborative learning spaces and staff eager to help, is open 24 hours a day.

What they may not yet realize is that there is an honorary title bestowed on anyone who takes advantage of its mid-night hours.

“If you pull an all-nighter in Lamont you become a ‘Lamonster’,” joked tour guide Annie Dang, a member of Harvard’s class of 2016.

Dang, a Social Studies concentrator and Circulation Desk Trainer at Lamont, was part of a group of students, faculty and staff that introduced parents to the library’s collections and resources during the “Your Student @ Lamont Tour” at this year’s Freshman Parents Weekend.

Curators from Houghton Library, the Fine Arts Library, Harvard’s Map Collection, Digital Collections, Loeb Music Library and University Archives displayed rare maps, books and electronic objects from their special collections, including a historic look at life at Harvard that included campus photos and a 1800s student summer garment.


Tour guide Annie Dang, ’16, leads parents of Harvard freshmen through the Woodberry Poetry Room on the third floor of Lamont.


“What’s cool is that you can touch it,” freshman parent Cary Huettner said of the materials, “where else would they even allow you to even have your hands on these? That’s amazing.”

In addition to insight about Lamonsters, guides also answered visitors’ questions on what kind of food is served in the Lamont Café, when students declare a concentration, what a “p-set” is (clue: the “p” stands for “problem,” and they are assigned during math and science courses) and how freshmen can check out books and laptops.

On Dang’s tour, parents from as far as New Zealand and California stopped in Lamont’s stacks, circulation desk and cafe, as well as in the Woodberry Poetry Room, the Larsen Room for interactive electronic teaching and the Farnsworth Room, home to a leisure reading collection specifically tailored the undergraduates’ book requests. Dang also pointed out the Multimedia Lab, which she used to arrange music for her a cappella group.

“The library was really interesting,” added parent Julie Huettner. “I’m so glad we went in here. It’s a beautiful library.”