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Food and Beverages

Eating is permitted only in the Lemann Lounge. Any food (including candy) brought into the library for later consumption outside the library must be kept in sealed packages or containers and out of sight in backpacks or non-transparent bags; odoriferous foods are not permitted. Beverages are allowed throughout the library only in cups with attached covers, bottles with screw-on tops or drinking cans. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.

The library has developed this policy because food and drink can directly harm library materials if they are spilled, if grease marks get on books, etc. Spills, crumbs, and garbage also attract rodents and insects that are harmful to library materials. The investment in our valuable collections, facilities, and furnishings is considerable. We want to preserve them and provide a clean, safe environment for our patrons and staff. Consuming food is also discourteous and offensive to fellow library users with eating noises or smells emanating from open food receptacles or from overflowing trash cans.

Patrons with food or beverages in unacceptable containers in library spaces outside of the Lemann Lounge will be asked to put their food away and out of sight as described above. Students who refuse may be asked to provide their Harvard ID number to staff persons who will forward this information to the Dean of Students; other patrons may be asked to leave the library.

Quiet Study

Ear plugs are available at the circulation desks. Please help us to provide a quiet study environment in the Library by keeping conversations brief and quiet. Music players, radios, and the like should be used with headphones set at a volume that does not disturb others. Group study rooms are available for two or more Harvard Law students. You will next be presented with a dialog box querying you for “User ID” (HLS username) and “User PIN” (HLS password).

Lemann Lounge Use

Tables and chairs for eating, socializing, and studying in the Lemann Lounge are available for Law affiliates only. The lounge is next to the Langdell Circulation Desk.

Cell Phones

Cell phone use is allowed in the Lemann Lounge and photocopier rooms only.

No Smoking

Smoking is 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.