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Non-alcoholic drinks in covered containers are permitted throughout Library spaces, in accordance with public health guidelines, with the exception of:

  • The Caspersen Room
  • The Root Room


Food of any kind is prohibited in the Library.

Waste disposal and cleanup

Please clean up and dispose of all trash, including beverage containers, in a designated waste bin when you leave. Spaces should be left clean. Notify Library staff of any spills.

Providing a clean and pest-free environment is an important part of the Library’s preservation program.

Library approved events

Library administration may approve special events during which exemptions to the food and drink policy may be made. Prior approval from Library administration must be sought for any exemptions to the food and drink policy.


Library users who are not complying with the Library’s food and drink policy will be notified of the policy and asked to abide by it. Users who fail to abide by the policy will be asked to relocate to an appropriate space or leave the Library.

Quiet Study & Collaboration

Ear plugs are available at the circulation desks. Please help us to provide a quiet study environment in the Reading Room by taking your conversation to the 3rd floor of the library where collaboration and conversation is encouraged. Music/video players, should be used with headphones set at a volume that does not disturb others.

There are several study rooms available for use by two or more Harvard Law Students on the 2nd and 3rd floor.  These rooms may be reserved through the law school room reservation system.

Cell Phones

Cell phone use is allowed in our Private Talking Spaces on the 3rd floor.

No Smoking/Vaping

Smoking and vaping are not permitted anywhere in the Library.

Lost & Found

Please do not leave personal belongings in the Library when departing the building for class or meals. All students should have an opportunity to study at an unoccupied seat. Personal property left anywhere in the Library is delivered to the Langdell Circulation desk and then to Facilities Management in Holmes Hall, Room 4, which includes the Law School Lost & Found. We will attempt to notify the owner of a found item to pick it up at Langdell Circulation if we can identify the owner. Found items of significant value, such as wallets, laptops, and jewelry, are delivered immediately to the Law School Lost & Found; the office is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call Facilities Management (617-495-5521) with questions. During nights and weekends or any other time that Holmes Lost and Found is not open, call HUPD (617-495-1215) to have them retrieve items of value.


No pets are allowed in the library. Service animals are welcome.

Bulletin Boards

All bulletin boards and information kiosks are for Library posting only. Please do not post signs or leave fliers or brochures in the Library.

Photographing, Videotaping and Filming

In order to respect the privacy of our students and to maintain the library as a place for quiet study, photography, videotaping and filming within the library is not allowed. On rare occasions, special arrangements can be made, however, permission must be obtained in advance. Please contact Library Administration at 617-495-3170 to request permission.

Use of Library Resources

Every user of the library has a responsibility to safeguard the integrity of library resources; to respect the restrictions placed on access to, and the use of, those resources; to report to library officers the theft, destruction or misuse of those resources by others; and to respect the rights of others to the quiet use of the library. Library staff are authorized to take appropriate action to ensure the safety and security of the library spaces, resources, and patrons.

The Harvard Law School Library is a private research facility that exists primarily to support the educational and research needs of the Harvard Law School faculty, staff and students and, secondarily, the needs of the Harvard University community. Consistent with its primary purpose, Harvard Law School Library attempts to serve the legitimate needs of scholars and researchers requiring access to the Law Library’s unique collections. Except when specific authorization is granted to a commercial user, the systematic exploitation for profit of library resources, including its databases and electronic resources, is prohibited. It is inappropriate for students and others to sell information or to act as agents for those who do or to use their library privileges for reasons other than their personal academic pursuits.

Library users who fail to comply with library rules and regulations may be subject to revocation of library privileges, disciplinary action, and legal prosecution. In particular, the unauthorized removal from a library of any book, manuscript, microform, or other materials or property and the destruction, defacement, or abuse of any library materials or other resources are matters of grave concern. All library users will be subject to the fines and penalties of Harvard Law School and of the University as well as the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts governing crimes against property.

The introduction of data or programs which in some way endangers computing resources (including but not limited to computer worms, viruses, or other destructive programs), or which infringes upon the rights of other library users (again including but not limited to inappropriate, obscene, pornographic, bigoted, or abusive materials) is prohibited. The library will revoke access privileges of any user who violates this policy.