When Harvard Library Access Services Director Amy Boucher returned to the Yard at the end of June, she entered a different Widener Library than the one she’d left in mid-March. Re-shelving carts filled the Circulation Room; thousands of book returns waiting to be processed topped tables in the Phillips Reading Room. Masked colleagues and social-distancing signage were reminders of the pandemic and the importance of new safety protocols.
At the same time, Boucher said, it’s been nice to be back.
“I didn’t realize how much I missed the library until I was back on site,” she said. And as her team began greeting masked patrons picking up materials in the Lamont lobby, it became clear that library users were glad to see them back as well.
Boucher and more than 100 other staff members returned to library buildings two weeks ago as Harvard began its phased reopening of on-campus services, allowing access to physical materials that have not been circulating for more than three months.
Books and other physical collections are once again available for Harvard staff, students, and faculty to borrow, through appointment-only front door pickup at Lamont Library. Through HOLLIS, Library users can request items held in Lamont Library, Widener Library, or Harvard Depository. Users are notified once their request is fulfilled and sent a link to schedule a pickup.