Hayden Library and Courtyard Reopen

The MIT Libraries welcomed the community back into the renovated Hayden Library and Building 14 courtyard on August 23. MIT’s robust COVID-19 safety protocols allowed the Libraries to safely welcome more than 10,000 students, faculty, and staff in the first three weeks, while 24/7 access to the courtyard provides the community with accessible and inviting outdoor space to enjoy.

“These beautiful new spaces really came alive as we opened up to the community,” says Chris Bourg, MIT Libraries director. “Seeing students, faculty, and staff using the spaces, interacting with our collections, and making connections with each other in new ways confirms all our hopes for this renovation.”

To celebrate the reopening, community members were welcomed with special giveaways at the start of the semester, enjoyed a free coffee or tea offer from the Courtyard Cafe, and wrote picture postcards of the new spaces to a loved one, with postage provided by the Libraries.

Watch a video about the library and courtyard redesigns.

Second floor reading room with people seated at long work tables and in upholstered chairs in light-filled window bays

Quiet Reading Room. Photo: John Horner


A room with a wall of windows overlooks a light-filled courtyard; there are tables and chairs, a perforated wood ceiling, and geometric shadows cast on the floor

Courtyard porch. Photo: John Horner