Lamont Clocks Stopped

Time ran out for Lamont Library earlier this month--literally.

Lamont's synchronized clocks stopped working during construction on the library's electrical system. After weeks of stopped clocks, workers said they were getting the clocks back on track yesterday.

"They're real old clocks and they're debating whether to update the whole clock system," said Donald M. Hawes of Hawes Electric Construction, Inc., the contractor performing the on Lamont.

During ongoing construction on Lamont's 50-year-old electrical system, the wall housing the master clock was demolished, creating a complete stoppage of all of the library's clocks.

"[The rewiring] involves a considerable amount of demolition work down in the mechanical room," said Thomas M. Melvin, the project manager for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.


"There was a bit of a delay in getting that work completed and getting the master clock hooked up again," said Heather E. Cole, librarian of Hilles and Lamont libraries.

Melvin said fixing the clocks took a great deal of time because of the complicated system.

"It's not quite as easy as reaching up and flipping a switch--it involved a considerable amount of work," he said.

Signs were hung throughout the building and over each clock to inform students that the clocks were out of order. As of last night, the signs were still covering the clocks throughout the building.

"We did out best to let people know," Cole said. "I'm sure it was a major inconvenience."

"It was [annoying] a couple of times when I've forgotten to wear a watch," said Jen W. Thompson '02. "You tend to lose track of time in a library."

But some students said they did not even notice the problem.

"I usually study in places without clocks anyway," said Tricia E. Fiore '00. "I have a watch."

Elizabeth S. Brainard, communications officer for Harvard libraries, said there were no complaints lodged at the circulation desk.

Melvin and Hawes both expect work on Lamont to be completed by the beginning of February.

Tova A. Serkin contributed to the reporting of this story

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