Robinson Library Restricts Entrance to Grad Students

The library in the History Department’s Robinson Hall was recently closed off to undergraduate students, when a sign reading “this lounge is reserved for graduate students only” was placed in the library entrance Tuesday.

“My sense is that undergraduates didn’t really use the space much,” said Cristina V. Groeger, a representative of the Henry Adams Society, the History Department’s graduate student organization. “Undergrads can still use the non-circulating books in the Lounge, but the understanding is that the space is for grad students primarily.”

The Henry Adams Society has recently sought to make the space more appealing to graduate students, added Groeger.

“We added coffee and a foosball table which were funded out of the graduate students organization budget,” she said.

According to graduate students who use the space, the Robinson Hall Library is seldomly frequented.

“Sometimes there are ten [students] and its already crowded, [but] usually [there are] two to three people,” said Daria Kovaleva, a first-year graduate student in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies.

Those who do visit enjoy the calm and private environment the library provides, Kovaleva added.

“When you’re alone it is inspiring because it is kind of like a home library but in this conservative and classical traditional style,” Kovaleva said.

She also noted that it is convenient that most of the students who study in the library are at a graduate level, making it easier to meet classmates and friends.

Groeger noted that the space was converted from a full library into a study space and seminar room in 2011.

“At the same time, graduate students who didn’t have any space...asked to use this space as a graduate student lounge,” said Groeger.

—Staff writer Carolina I. Portela-Blanco can be reached at cportelablanco@college.harvard.edu.

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