Before anyone approved 24-hour access for Lamont next year, a group of undergrads decided to test the limits on the library’s constraints.
“We had this idea that we could transform the meaning of the library,” says one student participant who asked not to be named. “It could become a less intense and more relaxed, playful environment.”
Lamont Library was never meant as a performance space for a Kiev ballet. But with the right touch, they figured, an improvised modern dance routine can be executed flawlessly on the third floor. The only problem is: security guards. After participating in dance routines, storytelling, and other artistic endeavors, the students were discovered by a library guard at around 4:30 a.m., over five hours after closing time.
Rather than liberation, they had won a free trip to the Ad Board. “We decided to conceal ourselves away during closing time,” the student says, “emerg[ing] to frolic in the dim light of the library and the bright light of the books.”
The recent announcement by Harvard College Libraries (HCL) to open Lamont for 24 hours is thus an unintended victory. As the Crimson reported last week, starting next fall, Lamont will be open continuously from early Sunday morning until Friday evening. Grab the last study carrel, while you still can.
The new schedule may allow for 24-hour access, but will it fulfill the group’s mantra? “People might be more inclined to stretch themselves,” the participant says. “Spend[ing] all night in the library studying to the detriment of their mental health.”
But there are also some perks. “We [will] go down as legends,” the student says. “The Last Students to Almost Sleep in Lamont Past Closing Time.”