Harvard and MIT Libraries Explore Far-Reaching Alliance

Posted February 4th, 2011 by Heather Denny

Hayden Library, MIT

Widener Library, Harvard University

New agreement reflects physical proximity, cross-registration, joint programs, and research affinities

The Provosts of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have charged their respective library systems to explore expanded collaborations for sharing library materials, advancing digital preservation and collection, and developing future off-site storage facilities.

Both institutions have identified increased collaboration between and among their complementary libraries as an essential element in developing the research library of the 21st century. While an ambitious level of collaboration is anticipated, each library system will remain engaged with and guided by the respective missions and priorities of each university. While enhanced collaboration may serve to reduce prospective costs, the focus of the collaboration is on the future of 21st-century library services, technologies, and collections.

“No single library system can expect to meet the full intellectual needs of the academic and research communities of MIT and Harvard,” stated Harvard Provost Steven E. Hyman. “A wide-ranging exploration of all opportunities for collaboration is of great interest to both institutions.”

Both formal and informal relationships already exist between the MIT and Harvard libraries. MIT has shared in the use of the Harvard Depository since its inception in 1985. A 1995 agreement between Harvard College Library (HCL) and MIT brought reciprocal borrowing privileges to faculty, researchers, and graduate students in both institutions. An April 2010 pilot program extended those privileges to undergraduate students.

While traditional library materials have been the focus of prior agreements, digital materials are at the forefront of the new alliance.

“The increasing primacy of digital materials brings its own urgency to our collaboration, ” observed MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif.  “As new models of online information delivery emerge, Harvard and MIT can support joint programs for open-access as well as joint acquisition and licensing approaches that are appropriate for education and academic research.”

Under the agreement, the two libraries will develop a four-tiered action plan by the end of 2011.  The four tiers are:

Reciprocal access to circulating collections

By developing linked access between Harvard and MIT library catalogs and implementing reciprocal privileges that extend to Harvard’s graduate and professional school libraries, library patrons can anticipate full access to 20 million volumes that users will experience as a single collection.

Enhancing digital preservation and collection practices

MIT and Harvard have earned leadership roles through their open access programs and repositories and through their respective approaches to digital preservation. High priority areas for collaborative growth include digital archives of faculty papers and web-based publications.

Developing wider access to electronic information

Questions of electronic serials pricing, and the costs of building digital information management and delivery systems, point to opportunities for Harvard and MIT to investigate new models for licensing agreements, as well as alternative, open access forms of publication that reflect each institution’s commitment to the dissemination of new knowledge.

Envisioning joint off-site storage facilities for the future

Harvard and MIT have shared the Harvard Depository for high-density, non-browsable, off-site storage since 1985. Together, the two universities could effectively anticipate both a new service model and an additional facility for off-site storage.

“We’ve enjoyed a collaborative working relationship with Harvard’s libraries for many years,” said Ann Wolpert, Director of the MIT Libraries.  “This new agreement builds on our successes and underscores the commitment we share to provide our communities with the best and broadest range of resources possible, and to be at the forefront of advancing the digital preservation of scholarly work.”

“In several ways, the libraries of Harvard and MIT are already united by proximity and affinity,” said Helen Shenton, Executive Director of the Harvard Library. “Our new agreement supports the distinct priorities of two very singular universities. At the same time, it challenges us to collaborate on a sustainable information ecosystem for the 21st century.”

Changing Access to JSTOR

Posted January 10th, 2011 by Ellen Duranceau

Because JSTOR has recently reported excessive, systematic downloading of articles at MIT, we need to add a new layer of access control. This is the only way to prevent recurrence of the abuse and therefore the only way to ensure ongoing access to this valuable resource for the MIT Community.

How this affects your access:

  • Whether you are on- or off-campus, you must use either the shortcut URL for JSTOR ( or use the JSTOR link in Vera in order to be recognized as a subscriber.
  • Your current MIT status will be verified as you are passed through to the JSTOR site.
  • This change will take effect by Wednesday, January 12, and as early as Monday, January 10.

If you find you have any problem with access, please email

The incidents that prompted this change involved the use of a robot, which is prohibited by JSTOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use . Additionally, these incidents violated MITnet Rules of Use. Continued access to JSTOR and other resources is dependent on the MIT Community complying with these policies.

Thank you,
Steve Gass
Associate Director for Research & Instructional Services
MIT Libraries

MIT Undergraduate student wins Knovel University Challenge

Posted December 8th, 2010 by Heather McCann

Monica Isava, an MIT undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering, recently won an iPod nano in Knovel’s University Challenge! More than 10,000 students from 40 countries entered the contest. Pictured above are: Monica Isava and Angie Locknar (Mechanical Engineering Librarian).

Although the contest is over, you can still use Knovel in your own research! Knovel offers fulltext access to many leading science and engineering reference works. Try it for yourself!

Library Locations Closed Over Christmas & New Year's Holiday Week

Posted December 2nd, 2010 by Melissa Feiden
MIT winter scene

photo by: Tom Pixton

All MIT Libraries locations, with the exception of the 24-hour study facilities in Hayden and Dewey libraries, will be closed Thursday, December 23, 2010 through Sunday, January 2, 2011, as a cost saving measure to meet Institute budget reductions.

During the closure, the Libraries’ website, Barton, Vera and access to electronic licensed resources will be available.  However, most library staff will be on furlough and will not be available to offer assistance. A small number of staff will be on-call to address any reported system outages; reasonable attempts will be made to bring systems back online as soon as possible.

While it will continue to be possible to make online requests for some MIT Libraries’ services or materials, these requests will not be acted upon until the Libraries reopen.  Due dates for materials on loan have been adjusted to reflect the closure – no items will be due during this period and fines will not accrue.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Visit our library hours page for a complete list of individual library hours.

Please send questions, comments or concerns to

Join us for a discussion about libraries in the digital age Wed., 11/3

Posted November 1st, 2010 by Heather Denny

Date: Wednesday, November 03 2010, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Location: Killian Hall MIT Room 14W-111


Physical/Virtual:  MIT Libraries in the Digital Age, a program sponsored by the MIT Alumni Club of Boston, will feature a panel discussion moderated by Ann Wolpert, Director of Libraries.   This discussion will explore the diverse ways the Libraries support teaching and research at MIT today. The panel will include Tom Rosko, Head of the Institute Archives and Special Collections; Ellen Duranceau, Program Manager of Scholarly Publishing and Licensing; and Angie Locknar, a librarian who will discuss innovative instructional programs (including collaboration with Don Sadoway’s famous Introduction to Solid State Chemistry).

A reception with members of the panel will follow in the Institute Archives and Special Collections, including a special opportunity to visit the Libraries’ fall exhibition “Tell her to go to it:  Women’s Experiences at MIT” with the exhibition curators.  Refreshments will be served.
The event is open to everyone.  Tickets are $15 for alumni club members and guests, $25 for non-members, $5 for students.  Register online before 8pm Tues. 11/2.  For more information, contact Steven Horsch at, or 617-452-2123.

Learn Stata, SAS, and R in Upcoming Workshops on Statistical Software

Posted September 27th, 2010 by Katherine McNeill

Looking to gain skills in working with statistical analysis software packages?  The following classes will be taught by the Harvard-MIT Data Center (HMDC) Statistical Trainer starting this week.  Note: pre-registration required; also, there will be time at the end of each session for individual assistance, so feel free to bring your research questions.

Where: All workshops held in 1-115.

Stata logo

1. Introduction to Stata

This workshop is designed for individuals who have little or no experience using Stata software. You will learn how to navigate Stata’s graphical user interface, create log files, and import data from a variety of software packages. We will also share tips for getting started with Stata including the creation and organization of do-files, examining descriptive statistics, and managing data and value labels.

When: Thursday, September 30th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

2. Data Management in Stata

Topics covered include basic data manipulation commands such as: recoding variables, creating new variables, working with missing data, and generating variables based on complex selection criteria. Participants will be introduced to strategies for merging datasets (adding both variables and observations), and collapsing datasets. Prerequisite: a general familiarity with Stata (such as taking the Intro. workshop).

When: Thursday, October 14th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

3. Regression Using Stata

This hands-on class will provide a comprehensive introduction to estimating the linear regression model using ordinary least squares in Stata. Topics covered include: univariate and multiple regression, dummy variables, interaction effects, hypothesis tests, assumption testing, and strategies for organizing model testing. Prerequisites: General familiarity with Stata, including importing and managing datasets and data exploration (such as taking the Intro. workshop); knowledge of the linear regression model and ordinary least squares estimation.

When: Monday, October 25th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

4. Graphics in Stata

Graphs are a powerful and memorable means of communicating quantitative information. This hands-on class will provide a comprehensive introduction to graphics in Stata. Topics for the class include graphing principles, descriptive graphs, and post-estimation graphs. Prerequisite: a general familiarity with Stata (such as taking the Intro. workshop).

When: Thursday, November 4th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

5. Introduction to SAS

This course is intended for individuals with little to no experience using SAS, a powerful statistical software package available on Athena.  With hands-on exercises, explore SAS’s many features and learn how to import and manage your data in SAS. Novices welcome!

When: Monday, November 15th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

6. Introduction to R

Get an introduction to R, the open-source system for statistical computation and graphics available on Athena. With hands-on exercises, learn how to import and manage datasets, create R objects, and generate figures. Novices welcome!

When: Monday, December 6th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

Can’t make these times? MIT affiliates can alternatively attend these workshops at Harvard.

Questions? Contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services and Economics Librarian,

Discussion and Q&A with Gioia De Cari from "Truth Values"

Posted September 20th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Monday, Sept.20 at 3pm in Killian Hall (14W-111)

Join us for a lively discussion and Q&A with Gioia De Cari from “Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp though MIT’s Male Math Maze,” an autobiographical solo show in which she reflects with wit and wisdom on her experience at MIT, the world of elite mathematics and the role of women in science.  The discussion will be followed by refreshments and a chance to win tickets to “Truth Values!”

This event is sponsored by the MIT Libraries in conjunction with “Tell her to go to it” an exhibit on women’s experiences at MIT. For more information about the exhibit see the gallery website, or contact

Citation software classes offered in October

Posted September 14th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Learn how to manage your articles and cite your references more effectively in these hands-on workshops.  Register now for October.

All workshops will take place in the Digital Instruction Resource Center (DIRC), 14N-132.

Managing Your References:   Overview of EndNote, RefWorks, and Zotero

WHEN:   Wednesday, October 6, 5 – 6pm

Citation management software is an important tool in today’s academic world.   These software packages allow users to search databases, retrieve relevant citations, and build a bibliography, to be added to a paper or thesis or stored for future reference.  But which software product should you use, and how do you get started?

This session will focus on Endnote, RefWorks, and Zotero, the three major options for citation software at MIT.  We will compare the three and introduce some of the basic concepts and functionality of each program.

Please pre-register for this session.   Contact Mat Willmott with questions.

EndNote Basics

WHEN:   Wednesday, October 13, 5 – 6pm

EndNote is a “personal bibliographic software” package that allows you to create and manage a database of bibliographic references.  Come to this hands-on workshop to learn how to use Endnote to manage your citations, create bibliographies and more.

Please pre-register for this session.   Contact Peter Cohn with any questions.

RefWorks Basics

WHEN:  Wednesday, October 20, 5 – 6pm

RefWorks is a web-based resource to help you organize references, create a bibliography, and easily cite references as you write your paper.  It allows you to create individual or group accounts.

Please pre-register for this session.  Contact Anita Perkins with any questions.

Zotero Basics

WHEN:  Wednesday, October 27, 5 – 6pm

Zotero is a free, open-source program for Firefox that helps you collect, manage, cite, and share your citations and files.  With one click, you can save PDFs and citations for most articles, then cite them in Word or OpenOffice.  Make a searchable PDF library and find out how to publish dynamic bibliographies and collaborate by using group collections.  In this hands-on session, learn tips and tricks on how to use Zotero more efficiently to save you time and energy.  Bring a laptop or use one of our computers.

Please pre-register for this session.  Contact Remlee Green with any questions.

Barker Library closes early on Wednesday, Sept.1

Posted August 30th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Barker Library will close at 4pm on Wednesday, September 1 due to previously-scheduled special event.

Reference services will be available in the Hayden Library (14S-100) or online through AskUs!.

Barker will re-open for normal business hours on Thursday, September 2nd.

Welcome students! Check out the Libraries' Orientation events.

Posted August 24th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Welcome to the MIT Libraries!  We look forward to meeting you.  Join us for an event and learn what the Libraries have to offer.

Orientation: Fall 2010

Undergraduate Students || Graduate Students || All Students


Academic Expo
What: An expo of MIT’s academic departments and programs. The Libraries will be ready to answer your questions and offer information about our resources and services. Pick up handouts and goodies.
When: Wednesday, September  1, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Where: Johnson Athletics Center (W34). Look for the Libraries’ banner.

Freshmen Explorations: Ice Cream Social
What: Build your own ice cream sundae!
When: Thursday, September 2, 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Where: Lipchitz Courtyard (Building 14); rain location: hallway in front of Hayden Library (Building 14)

Hitchhiker’s Guide Library Tours
What: A walking tour of all the MIT Libraries, with special gifts for the first 10 attendees at each tour.
When: Saturday, August 28, 1:30 p.m, Thursday, September 2, 11 am and *Thursday, September 2, 2 pm
*this tour also stops for ice cream outside the Hayden Library, courtesy of the MIT Libraries
Where: Meet in Lobby 7


Graduate Student Orientation: Grad School 102
What: An introduction to the MIT Libraries services and resources.
When: Tuesday, August 31, 3:30 – 3:50 pm
Where: 34-101

11th Annual New Graduate Student Reception
A reception for new graduate students, with beverages and light
refreshments provided.
NOTE: Tickets may be purchased for $5 at the Graduate Student Council Information Booth.
When: Wednesday, September 1, 5 – 7 pm
Where: Barker Library Dome (Building 10-500)


Health & Wellness Fair
What: Libraries’ staff will be ready to answer your questions and offer
information about our resources and services. Pick up handouts and goodies.
When: Friday, September 3, 1:30 – 4:30 pm
Where: Kresge Oval, outside the Student Center

Hayden Reading Room Improvements

Posted July 15th, 2010 by mit-admin

The Hayden Reading Room is undergoing renovation work this summer. Construction began after closing on Friday, May 21, at 7pm.

The construction work will  continue through August.

In the current stage of the project (effective date: July 16), the collections on the first floor are closed for browsing or retrieval. Use Barton’s Request button to have materials retrieved for you. We will also retrieve materials on-demand if you’re already in the library.

Benefits to the Hayden Library include:

  • New Energy Efficient Lighting
  • Improved safety with sprinkler system upgrade
  • New Carpet, Acoustical Ceiling Tiles, and Paint

During the project portions of the collections on the first floor will not be browsable. Use Barton’s Request button to have them retrieved for you. We will also retrieve materials on-demand if you’re already in the library.

If you have further questions regarding access to materials, do so online or see the Hayden desk staff.

IEEE e-books Now Available

Posted June 28th, 2010 by mit-admin

IEEE e-books logo
We are pleased to announce that we have just added access to all available IEEE e-books for the MIT Community. More than 300 book titles with links have been added to Barton, our library catalog, and all of the e-books are also accessible through IEEE Xplore. 70% of IEEE books published since 2000 are included in the package, with a few titles going back to 1974.

The eBooks collection spans numerous content areas, including Bioengineering, Power & Energy and Communication technologies, among other growing areas of research.

Library locations closed over the July 4th holiday and remaining week (Fri., July 2nd-Sat., July 10th)

Posted June 14th, 2010 by Heather Denny

24/7 study rooms in Hayden and Dewey libraries will remain open

All MIT Libraries’ locations, with the exception of the 24-hour study facilities in Hayden and Dewey Libraries, will be closed Friday, July 2 through Saturday, July 10, as a cost saving measure to meet Institute budget reductions.

During this period the Libraries’ website, Barton, Vera, and access to electronic licensed resources will be available. However, most library staff will be on furlough and will not be available to offer assistance. A small number of staff will be on-call to address any reported system outages; reasonable attempts will be made to bring systems back online as soon as possible.

While it will continue to be possible to make online requests for some MIT Libraries’ services or materials, these requests will not be acted upon until the Libraries reopen.  Due dates for materials on loan have been adjusted to reflect this closure – no items will be due during this period and fines will not accrue.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

See: for a complete list of individual library hours.  Please send questions, comments or concerns to

Energy announcement made at Hayden Library

Posted May 26th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Solar panels on top of the Hayden Memorial Library soak up the afternoon sun. Photo by Donna Coveney

On Wednesday May 26th an event was held in the courtyard of Hayden Library to announce the launch of a three year collaboration between MIT and NSTAR Electric aimed at reducing electric energy consumption on campus by 34 million KWHs, which amounts to 15% of the Institute’s annual total electric use.  Remarks were given by Joseph Nolan, NSTAR Senior Vice President of Customer & Corporate Relations; Terry Stone, MIT Executive Vice President and Treasurer; Vladimir Bulovic, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and Jason Jay, doctoral candidate, Sloan School of Management.

Hayden Library was chosen as an ideal location to showcase MIT’s energy efficiency efforts—in 2004 one of the largest solar photovoltaic power installations on campus was mounted on the library’s roof, now additional energy conservation measures are planned for the interior of the library.  Measures include energy efficient lighting retrofits in a number of locations and daylighting controls in the 2nd floor reading room.  Advanced air handling controls will also be installed to accurately measure CO2 and humidity and control outside air intake to optimize energy and comfort, and adjustable speed drives on fan motors will be added to reduce airflow during hours when the library is closed. In a parallel project this summer, the first floor reading room sprinkler, electrical and lighting will be upgraded.

Following the event, small groups were led on tours to Hayden’s 2nd floor reading room and the penthouse mechanical room to view the proposed energy conservation measures.

For more information see MIT News: MIT, NSTAR team up on energy-efficiency program

Historic Rare Book Collection "UnVailed"

Posted May 25th, 2010 by Heather Denny

A bookplate featuring the portrait of Theodore N. Vail, who donated the collection to MIT in 1912.

Records for the Vail Collection – one of the world’s foremost rare book collections on electricity, electrical engineering, magnetism, and lighter-than-air travel – are beginning to appear in Barton, the Libraries’ online catalog.  This historic collection comprises some 25,000 volumes and includes materials dating as far back as the mid-16th century, but it’s been hidden for decades because electronic catalog records hadn’t been created.

A generous gift from Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. (Class of 1957) has made it possible to fully catalog the Vail Collection, and perform essential conservation work.

As these materials are cataloged they can be explored via the Vail RSS page which has a listing of Vail titles (with links to Barton catalog records), or by subscribing to the Vail Collection RSS feed.  Due to the delicate nature of these materials they cannot be checked out, but are available for room use in the Institute Archives.

Food For Thought! Take a Much-needed Study Break, May 17 & 18

Posted May 17th, 2010 by mit-admin

Food For Thought

Need a break from your studies?

Enjoy free drinks & snacks at our two Food for Thought events this week:

Hayden Library (14S-100) lobby, Monday, May 17, 2:30 – 4pm

Barker Library (10-500) lobby, Tuesday, May 18, 2 – 3:30pm

Hayden Open Until 2am, May 13 – 21 for Finals

Posted May 13th, 2010 by mit-admin

Hayden Library — home to the HumanitiesScience Libraries — is open till 2am daily during Finals

from Thursday, May 13 to Friday, May 21:

weekdays, 8am-2pm and Saturday & Sunday, May 15 & 16, 10am-2pm.

Hayden open till 2am daily

Extended hours are for the MIT community only.

Hayden will close Friday, May 21 at 7pm.  Summer hours begin May 22.

Read ACS Publications on iPhone & iPod Touch

Posted May 7th, 2010 by Remlee Green

The American Chemical Society has released an app for iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad users.  ACS Mobile provides readers with a live stream of peer-reviewed research content published in ACS journals and “Latest News” from Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN).

MIT users can access content from an on campus network connection.  Articles may only be read from on campus, but you can read and save abstracts from anywhere.

ACS Mobile allows you to:

  • Filter journals to see your favorite ACS publications quickly.
  • Save favorite abstracts in a folder for offline reading.
  • Search for articles published by ACS and read them on your iPhone.
  • Share links and via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.

Video demo and more info

Buy for $2.99 in the Apple App Store.

For comments or more information, contact Erja Kajosalo, Chemistry Librarian.

Libraries' Summer Hours Begin May 22

Posted May 4th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Photo by Christopher Harting

The MIT Libraries’ Summer Hours will begin on Saturday, May 22, 2010.

Barker, Dewey, and Hayden (Humanities & Science) Libraries:
Monday-Friday 10am – 6pm,
Saturday closed, Sunday 1 – 6pm

Rotch Library:
Same hours as above except Sunday closed

Lewis Music Library:
Monday-Friday 11am – 5pm,
Saturday-Sunday closed

For a complete list of locations and hours see the Libraries’ website.

Please note all libraries will be closed Memorial Day weekend (May 29-31) and for a week during the Independence Day holiday (July 2-9).

ASME Conference Proceedings Now Available Online

Posted April 27th, 2010 by mit-admin

The MIT Libraries are pleased to announce access to the ASME Digital Library. This package includes all 24 of ASME’s Transactions Journals plus Applied Mechanics Reviews, and more than 100 ASME annual conference proceedings. Conference papers are available from 2008-present.

If you have already been accessing the ASME journals, you should not notice a change. These titles are accessible by title in Vera or Barton or through the ASME Digital Library.

Contact Angie Locknar with questions.