Campus & Community

Lamont Library Café open for business

3 min read

The long-awaited Lamont Library Café opened for business this past Tuesday (Oct. 17) with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. Located on the main level of the library, the café seats approximately 100 and features a light menu of prepackaged sandwiches, salads, baked goods, coffee drinks, teas, and other beverages. The café 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 Café will surely become a cheerful locus for our students, both for their refreshment and for breaks from their solitary study,” said Jeremy R. Knowles, interim dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

A uniquely student-centered venture, the café 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 food-service standards and codes are met. Students also played an active role in developing the menu and selecting free-trade coffee and teas. The chosen vendor, Pura Vida, is a nonprofit company that donates all proceeds to its own charitable foundation that helps farmers’ families and at-risk children in coffee-growing communities from around the world.

“The café is a welcome addition to Lamont where we have so many students working all hours of the day and night. Creating the café has been a real collaboration across many parts of the University,” said Nancy M. Cline, Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College, speaking at the opening ceremony. Cline added, “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 café – everyone has given exceptional effort in a very short time frame to achieve opening day before midterm papers and exams.”

Food service in the Lamont Library Café is available between 3 p.m. and 2 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 3 to 9:45 p.m., on Fridays and Saturdays. 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, visit the HUDS Web site at