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Guiding principles

MIT’s Library Space Planning Group identified four primary functions of space in a research library — holding, learning, community, and creating.

Holding

Person in library stacksSpace to keep and make accessible physical collections to support research, teaching, and learning

Vision: While there are no plans to remove book collections from Hayden, we do think they can be showcased more effectively and used more actively. Book collections should not simply be a passive presence in the library; they should engage, challenge, and inspire, inviting users to make connections to other books, datasets, and other media and technology.

Learning

Two people seated at library tableSpace for individual study and group work as well as a classroom

Vision: MIT students consistently ask for a greater number and variety of study spaces. We can reconfigure space to accommodate a range of needs — from silent zones to rooms for group work to spaces to conduct an interview or practice a presentation — as well as the nearly 200 classes offered by the Libraries each year.

Community

Community gathering at HaydenSpace for both scheduled events and informal gatherings

Vision: Hayden could be used more effectively to host events that bring together people from across departments and schools: hackathons, author readings, art installations, and more. It’s also important to the community to have safe, accessible places for informal gathering like coffee breaks and impromptu meetings.

Creating

Two people using a printing pressSpace to get your hands dirty with information, such as making data visualizations, hand-printed books, or virtual reality projects

Vision: MIT students are more than just information consumers — they are individual creators of knowledge. Hayden Library should be reimagined with this in mind, providing access to experts and spaces that inspire and enable creative work.

Throughout our spaces…

We want to increase the visibility of the Libraries’ distinctive collections, our staff’s expertise, and the groundbreaking work produced by the MIT community.