As each semester draws to a close, crowds descend on Lamont Library. Students camp out at wooden tables and in armchairs, slowly transforming into the bleary-eyed and smelly beast known as the Lamonster.
Lore about such things is rampant, but how many students actually suffer this terrible fate? Statistics provided by Beth S. Brainard, Harvard College Library spokesperson, hold the answer.
During the fall semester's reading and exam periods—from Dec. 3 to Dec. 21—there were 36,989 unique visits to the library (meaning that students who returned more than once in one day were not counted multiple times). Even accounting for the small number of non-undergraduates included in that total, that still represents roughly 1,800 students per day—about a quarter of the school.
The Thursday at the end of reading period had the most visitors last semester. In that 24-hour window, 2,884 people swiped into Lamont. No wonder you couldn't find a seat!
Plenty of people were doing their studying and writing outside the library as well. At peak, 9,911 books were checked out of Lamont on a single day at the end of last semester.