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Library Services

Harvard Library Patron Agreement

Harvard Library Patron Agreement

Harvard Library operates as a single library service. This Patron Agreement applies to all libraries and facilities at Harvard. Harvard Library serves the University’s students, faculty, staff, and other authorized members of the scholarly community. To provide an environment conducive to research, to preserve the collections, and to ensure ongoing access to them, users are expected to respect the rules and regulations around use of library materials and property and to assist in the protection of library materials. Use of Harvard libraries requires honesty, respect, and consideration among library employees and library users.

Harvard Library users have a responsibility to:

  • safeguard the integrity of library resources;
  • respect the policies regarding access to and the use of library resources;
  • report to library employees the theft, destruction, or misuse of library resources by others;
  • use their library privileges only for their own research needs (library privileges are non-transferable, do not share library card or login password);
  • respect the rights of other library users;
  • show their library card when entering libraries and when requested by library employees;
  • inform library employees immediately if your card is lost or stolen, or your contact details change; and
  • respect and follow the instructions of library employees.

Actions that are prohibited include, but are not limited to:

  • illegal copying, systematic downloading, or other for-profit exploitation of library resources or materials;
  • systematic use of library resources or materials which conflicts with the Library's copyright or licensing agreements;
  • unauthorized removal of materials or property from the library;
  • destruction, defacement, or abuse of library materials or property;
  • possession of alcohol or other controlled substances;
  • possession of weapons of any kind including but not limited to firearms, knives, razor blades, mace, or pepper spray; and
  • bringing animals into the library, except identified service animals.

Library users who fail to comply with this Patron Agreement are subject to fines and penalties of Harvard University and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including revocation of library privileges, disciplinary action, and legal prosecution. 

Please Note: For the safety of Harvard's whole community, including visitors, all Harvard Library patrons will receive MessageMe alerts via the contact information (both phone and email) they provided in their application for library privileges.