Changes are coming to Hayden

Project aims to improve access and examine space use

HaydenThis IAP, the Libraries will be making improvements to user spaces and ease of access to materials in Hayden Library. By rearranging collections within Hayden, we aim to improve wayfinding and try out new spaces for study, collaboration, and relaxation.

“We began exploring a rearrangement of Hayden Library collections based on lots of community feedback,” says Tracy Gabridge, associate director for Academic and Community Engagement. “Our staff worked hard to consider and test different proposals and understand potential impacts for the MIT community.”

The work is scheduled to take place during IAP (January 9–February 3, 2017) to minimize disruption for the MIT community.

What’s changing
The Libraries will consolidate previously fragmented collections with the goal of providing better access and navigation:

  • Popular collections (Browsery, New Books, Audio Books, DVDs, Graphic Novels, and Travel Books) will be relocated to the 1st floor, where they will be more visible.
  • Books will be shelved in A-Z call number order in the basement, providing easier navigation for collections that were previously split between three floors and several mezzanines.
  • Some Humanities and Science collections will be combined, including Reference and theses.  Current unbound journals will all be moved to the first floor and shelved separately initially.
  • Detective Fiction and Women in Science, Technology and Medicine (WSTM) and Grammars will be incorporated into the main collection.  
  • Bound journals and government documents will be located on the 2nd floor along with an additional scanner/copier/printer for ease of use of these collections.

In addition, over the spring semester, Libraries staff will create new community-focused spaces in the cleared mezzanine areas. The community will be invited to try different space and furniture configurations, such as standing desks, comfortable chairs, and other suggestions culled from previous studies. To better accommodate readings and other Libraries-sponsored events, an area on the 2nd floor will feature furniture that can be easily moved. Staff will actively seek feedback and input about how these spaces work.

What’s not changing
Several services and collections will remain the same:

Assessing future needs
These changes come at a particularly opportune time, as a new space planning group, one of the recommendations of the Future of Libraries Task Force, begins its work. Co-led by Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture Meejin Yoon and Chris Bourg, director of the Libraries, the group will develop a vision and set of principles for MIT Libraries spaces that reflects the themes of the task force’s preliminary report. The group will also make preliminary programmatic recommendations for potential renovations to Building 14.

Contact us
If you have any comments, questions, or concerns about these changes, please contact

If you need help finding anything in our collections, please ask at the Hayden Information Desk or contact You can find more information about getting library materials in our Circulation FAQs.