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Exploring Libraries

In Focus


A library’s purpose is as varied as the collections within it. From championing curiosity to preserving history, these institutions are vital to so many communities.

Archive advocates

Members of the Harvard community are exploring the hidden past, volatile present, and equitable future of libraries.

Lesliediana Jones on Banned Books
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The right to read

What happens when we quash freedom of expression in the form of reading? Harvard Library’s Lesliediana Jones discusses the recent U.S. trend of book banning.

Advancing the mission of libraries

Libraries and archives are far from static collections—they must constantly evolve to keep up with changing times.

Students working in the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center

Expanding access

HBCU Library Alliance and Harvard are teaming up to digitize and preserve African American history collections.

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Prized manuscript

In 1989, archivist Irina Klyagin made a remarkable discovery that changed Russian ballet scholarship.

A smiling woman leans against a tree outside
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Preservation priorities

Preservation Services staff work to maintain, protect, and repair library collections.

Conservation work on a book
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Journalism and libraries

Librarians are teaming up with journalists to promote media literacy, spur civic engagement, and take on reporting projects.

Dictionary and newspaper
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Content accessibility

Harvard Libraries are reimagining access for their vast array of digitized articles, books, and multimedia to ensure they are accessible to users of different abilities.

A person using assistive technology on a computer
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The future of libraries

Through progress, libraries have an opportunity to reach more people and tell more inclusive stories.

Explore all that the Library Innovation Lab does

Why libraries matter more than ever in an age of Google
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An accessible future

Harvard staff, faculty, and alumni are reimagining what libraries can look like, how libraries can merge physical and digital assets, how online lending can best serve everyone, and many more considerations for the future of these community cornerstones.

Design Now Podcast, Episode 5: The future of library design

In this episode of the Graduate School of Design podcast, experts discuss designing libraries for a world in which books are often accessed remotely and knowledge sought via search engines rather than librarians.

Police pushing an African American man

An equitable future