With Find a Space, students can choose from a variety of study spaces, including Widener Library.

Rose Lincoln/Harvard file photo

Campus & Community

New tool removes study space stress

2 min read

Find a Space lets users land the perfect spot across 15 Harvard libraries

One perk of holding a Harvard ID is access to the numerous study spaces in the Harvard Library system. But with so many options to choose from, selecting the right study spot can leave anyone feeling overwhelmed.

Now, thanks to a new tool — aptly named Find a Space — landing the perfect study space is a click away.

Located on the Harvard Library website, Find a Space allows users to search through more than 100 study spaces in over 15 Harvard libraries based on a variety of criteria, including noise level, whether food is allowed, and if the space is suited for individuals or groups. The website also includes photos of each space.

Developed in response to heavy demand from students, Harvard Library’s User Research Center took last year’s website redesign as an opportunity to address the concern by adding Find a Space to the site, said Amy Deschenes, head of user experience and digital accessibility.

“Before building Find a Space, we kept hearing from students that they didn’t know how to find out about different library study spots,” said Deschenes. “Now, they have information about hundreds of different spaces — all in one place.

“The feedback since we launched has been overwhelmingly positive,” Deschenes said, adding that during prototype testing, one student told her that Find a Space was “straightforward and easy to use,” and included everything students would look for in a study space.


From study spaces that have technical support to the quiet of the Henry Weston Farnsworth Room at Lamont Library, Find a Space lists them all.

Courtesy of Harvard Libraries

Since Find a Space launched, Deschenes and her team have continued to incorporate student feedback to make the tool as user-friendly as possible. The team made additional changes to the page, including prioritizing key filters, based on feedback from usability testing sessions in August.

Some members of the Harvard community find their ideal study spot and stick with it. But for those looking to get a sense of what’s available, or searching for a new favorite, the Find a Space feature on the Harvard Library website is a good place to start.