Gutman Library 2nd Floor Renovation FAQs*

*These FAQs will be updated throughout the project to reflect changes in services, access to collections, and more. Please contact the Library with any questions or concerns.*

May Term 2023 Hours & Services

Hours and services are set for the semester. There may be times during week days from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm when renovation noise may affect the entire 2nd floor or adjoining spaces. If any service or collection access changes are required, they will be announced here and through signage in Gutman Library. 

Services Available:

  • Research Services: research appointment (virtual) and 2nd floor drop-in questions (Monday - Friday, 10 - noon and 1 - 4 pm EDT)
    • For drop-in visits, go to the 2nd floor Library Services Desk, and one of the Desk team members will help you connect with Gutman's research librarians.
  • Circulation and Access Services (i.e., go to the Library Services Desk for help with Gutman book collections, Borrow Direct or ILL materials, etc.)
  • Public desktop computers, printers, photocopying, and scanners
  • Quiet study space (but with some construction noise before 3:00pm on weekdays): please see the "Where can I find study areas?" section below.
  • Restrooms: 2nd floor restrooms and two gender inclusive single, lockable restrooms are available.

Why is Gutman Library's 2nd floor being renovated?

The project is bringing together many of HGSE's student-facing services so there is a "one-stop shop" on Gutman Library's 2nd floor. This project brings the Library together with the Office of Student Affairs, Career Services, and the Office of Academic Affairs (master's and doctoral programs) so students will be able to access research assistance, writing, communication, academic coaching, career support, international student services, and academic program services all on one floor.

When the 2nd floor renovations are complete, the Library will have all new updated furniture, three reading rooms (for silent study, quiet study, and special collections), two gender inclusive restrooms, ten collaboration rooms (with hybrid meeting capabilities), and new innovative spaces to support advancing the community's digital needs, data visualization abilities, and presentation skills. The new 2nd floor will have some fixed computer work stations, and the Circulation Desk will check out Chromebooks and other technologies (TBA).

What is the timeline of the renovation project?

  • Phase 1 of the construction project ran from April 2022 to January 2023 (one half of the 2nd floor).
  • CURRENT: Phase 2 takes place from January 2023 to August 2023 (other half of the 2nd floor).
  • Phase 3 will renovate the part of Gutman's 1st floor that currently houses the Office of Student Affairs.

How do I get to the 2nd floor?

Pathways to the 2nd floor will change periodically throughout the project:

  • Available during all phases: main elevators
  • Available periodically: side stairwells (There will be signage when side stairwells are closed for construction use only.)
  • Not available during Phase 2: central stairwell

Where can I find study areas?

  • Gutman's 2nd floor has two reading rooms for quiet study. Find a spot that's right for you. We plan for one reading room to be silent study only in time for spring finals. The other reading room will be zoned for quiet study (hushed, brief chatter is ok). Stay tuned for reading room policy updates that are imminent as we get used to the new spaces during the ongoing construction.
  • Open study spaces are available on the 1st, 3rd, and 4th floors of the Gutman Library building. Each floor has varying degrees of activity.
  • The 1st floor is the most active and chatty, whereas the 3rd and 4th floors are comparatively less active and somewhat quiet, but not silent.
  • When the ground level Gutman Conference Center is not in use for events or classes, this space can also be used for non-quiet study.
  • The Gutman Café seating is always available when the building is open. It's very active through 3pm. Afterward, it's a great space for small group convenings or individual study (headphones or ear buds are recommended for zoning out others nearby).

You can also study at many other Harvard libraries or cafés all across campus. Use the Harvard Library Find a Space tool to consider your options. Always have your Harvard ID with you when you are at HGSE and any other parts of the university.

Where can I find group study rooms?  

Please use EMS, HGSE's Reservation System to find available rooms across the HGSE campus. EMS is only available to current HGSE students, staff, or faculty.  

Gutman Library's 2nd floor has two group study rooms available during Phase 2 of the renovation. They are currently available on a first-come, first-served basis. Rm. 269 is near the open computer area. Rm. 226 is on the northwest side of the 2nd floor, facing toward Larsen Hall.

Rm. 212 is a library space that is reserved for Gutman Library's team needs and for librarians' meetings with students. When it is not in use, HGSE students are welcome to use it on a first-come, first-served basis. A daily calendar of scheduled events will be posted at the door. Sometimes impromptu librarian-student consultations will need the space, and this use supercedes anyone else using the space. Thank you for your understanding!

Why am I not seeing request links on all Gutman Library books in HOLLIS?

Many Gutman collections materials have been moved our off-site library facilities and are still being processed to be shelved in their storage locations. These materials will not be available for requesting. Please Ask Us if you have questions or concerns about any collections materials you want to borrow or use. 

Can I still request books from other libraries and pick them up at Gutman Library? 

Yes, you can request books from other Harvard libraries through HOLLIS, Borrow Direct, or Interlibrary Loan for pickup at the 2nd floor circulation desk. Review the HOLLIS User Guide for more information on accessing collections materials through the Harvard Library system.

I need research assistance. Where are HGSE's librarians? 

HGSE's librarians offer drop-in support and virtual appointments. 

If dropping by in-person, ask for help first at the circulation desk. The staff at the circulation desk can direct you to a research librarian. Please check Gutman Library's hours page for service modes and times.

You can also use our Ask Us online form to ask your question, and we will email you back. Or you can also make an appointment with us.

Will there still be books on the 2nd floor after the renovation?

Yes! Gutman's librarians carefully curated which books have remained on-site. Any books moved to off-site storage (once processed there) can be requested through HOLLIS. Gutman Library has retained about 55,000 print volumes within the renovated Gutman Library. Our overall collection of print books continues to be more than 200,000 items, and we are committed to growing our e-book collections for easy online access. Remember, as members of the Harvard Library system, HGSE community members have access to over 20 million print and digital volumes, which all constitute the world's largest academic library.