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1. Hours

1.1.Service Desk and Building Hours:

The Countway Library is open the following hours:

Monday-Thursday                   8:00 AM - ­11:00 PM
Friday                                      8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday                                 12:00 noon -7:00 PM 
Sunday                                   12:00 noon - 11:00 PM

All circulation functions are available during library hours.  Privileges and financial functions are available until 30 minutes prior to close.

1.2.Reference Department On-Call Hours:

Monday-Thursday                   noon-5:30 PM
Saturday-Sunday                     Closed
By Appointment                      617-432-2134

Walk-in hours                          Monday-Friday 9:00AM-5:30PM

1.3.Center for the History of Medicine Hours:

Monday-Friday                        9:00am-5:00pm
Saturday-Sunday                     Closed

By Appointment                      617-432-2170

2. Countway Library Patron Conduct Policy

General Conduct: Countway Library is committed to providing a safe, comfortable, and clean environment to its users. Library users are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with these goals, as well as all University policies and applicable laws. Disruptive or illegal behavior may result in temporary suspension or permanent revocation of library privileges, referral to appropriate academic or administrative authorities, or prosecution. Prohibited activities include (but are not limited to):

    • Loud or disruptive behavior
    • Harassment, threatening, or dangerous behavior
    • Destruction or defacement of library materials, equipment or facilities
    • Theft of library materials
    • Limiting or preventing access to resources by means of theft, vandalism, or misplacement of library materials

Food and drink: Beverages in covered or closed containers are permitted throughout most of the library. Food may be eaten in the user lounge on L2, where a vending machine is located. There is no food or drink permitted in the Center for the History of Medicine.

Cell phones: Talking on cell phones is permitted in the 1st Floor lobby, the internal stairwells, and in closed study rooms. Cell phone use is not permitted in the Russell Reading Room, the 2nd Floor Reference area, or the open stacks/study areas on L1, L2, and the 3rd Floor.

Fliers and signs: May be posted in the copy areas on each floor as well as in the vending and patron lounge on Level L2. All postings must be dated. Any fliers or signs more than a month old or without a date are subject to removal.

Enforcement Procedure

  1. Upon learning of a violation of the Countway Library Conduct Policy, staff should approach the person who is acting in violation of the policy respectfully, explain that their actions may be disturbing to others or may pose a threat to library materials.
  2. If the behavior persists, staff may issue a warning that further behavior that is in violation of the Countway Library Conduct Policy may result in removal from the building or in the revocation of library privileges, including access to the building.
  3. If the person continues to behave disruptively after a warning has been issued, staff may ask that the person leave the building. HMS Security staff or HU Police may be asked to assist, depending on the situation.
  4. Violent, threatening, or other serious violations of the policy may result in removal without a prior warning.
  5. If responding to serious or repeated infraction based on a report by a user, staff should record the name and contact information of the person reporting the incident.
  6. All warnings issued, removals of disruptive users by staff or security, and revocations of privileges based on the expectations set forth in the Countway Library Conduct Policy should be documented in a memo describing the incident and explaining the action taken. This memo should be written immediately after the incident by the staff member who issued the warning. A copy of the memo should be given to the Access Services Librarian who will keep it on file.
  7. Library privileges may, in some cases be restored, at the sole discretion of the Library Director.

3. Patron Privacy, Government or Law Enforcement Information Requests, and Media Inquiries

3.1.Patron Confidentiality

All patron circulation records are confidential.  Do not give any patron record or circulation information to any person other than the patron.  The only time circulation records can be released to anyone other than the patron is by order of subpoena.

This policy is in accordance with the American Library Association’s Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records and the American Library Association Code of Ethics.

3.2.In-Person Requests by Law Enforcement Personnel

If an investigator comes to the Library in person and requests information about users or employee records (e.g., circulation records, reference inquiries, interlibrary loan requests, etc.) or presents a search warrant:

The staff member should respond by saying: “I am not the person who can provide you with this information. You need to speak with one of the following people:

    • David Osterbur                          (617) 432-2636
    • Ashley Sway                              (617) 432-1206

The administrative offices are located on the fourth floor.”

The staff person then immediately calls David Osterbur and Ashley Sway to inform them that an investigator is in the Library.

If this inquiry occurs during evening or weekend hours, Ashley Sway may be reached at (937) 232-4347.   If no one is available, contact Harvard University Police Department at 432-1212 (Medical Area).

David or Ashley should immediately call the HUPD at 432-1212 and the Office of General Counsel at 495-1280.

If the investigator has a warrant and wants to take immediate action HUPD needs to be contacted immediately and must attend the search.  The HUPD will coordinate the follow up with the Directors’ Office.  

If the investigator is there to serve a subpoena, employees should NOT accept a subpoena on another person’s behalf.  The staff person who receives the subpoena should contact David Osterbur and Ashley Sway. They will contact HUPD and OGC.

3.3.Telephone Requests by Law Enforcement Personnel

If an investigator calls and asks for information, the employee who answers the telephone   should respond by saying: “I am not the person who can provide you with this information, Please contact David Osterbur at (617) 432-2636 or Ashley Sway at (617) 432-1206.”

The employee should immediately contact David Osterbur or Ashley Sway  to inform them that an investigator has telephoned asking for information.

David Osterbur or Ashley Sway should immediately contact the HUPD at (617) 432-1212 and the OGC at (617) 495-1280.

The HUPD will notify the Directors’ Office to coordinate the follow up with the appropriate offices.

3.4.Requests for Information by News Media

If a member of the news media calls and asks for information:

The employee who answers the telephone should respond by saying, “I am not the person who can provide you with this information. Please contact HMS Public Affairs at (617) 432-0442 and  library administration at (617) 432-2144.”

Any member of the media who enters the Countway in search of information or requests permission for to take photographs should contact HMS Public Affairs at (617) 432-0442 first.  If they are allowed into the library, they must be accompanied by a representative of HMS.

4. Countway Lost & Found Policy

Upon taking possession of a lost/found item, please follow these procedures:

4.1. Valuable Items

  1. Items deemed valuable include, but are not limited to: Laptops, phones, jewelry, government issued IDs, credit cards, etc.
  2. Obtain and record the name and contact information of the person who found and turned in the item (if applicable).
  3. Immediately contact the Access Services Manager and the other employees in Countway Access Services to report that you have received and are in possession of a lost/found item.
  4. If a name is clearly marked on the item, attempt to find contact information for that person through the Harvard Phonebook ( or Midas and contact the patron.
  5. For phones, laptops, and other devices: Do not attempt to search the device for information about its owner.
  6. All valuable items should be placed in the circulating computer cabinet behind the circulation desk. This cabinet must be locked at the end of the day.
  7. When the patron comes to claim the item, please ask them describe the item in question. E.g. What kind of phone? Can you tell me your address (I.D.)? Can you please log in to your computer or phone for me so that I can see that you are the owner? Etc.
  8. The item should be held at the Circulation desk for a reasonable amount of time (24 hours-1 week, depending on the item), after which staff should contact HUPD at 2-1212 or the HMS Security Control Center at 2-1397 requesting that an available HUPD officer be dispatched to pick-up the item before the library closes.
  9. If further discussion is needed with HUPD about the item, please contact Property and Evidence: Laureen Donahue (617-496-0701

4.2. Items Determined to Not be of Value

  1. Items that are determined to be “not of value” such as gloves, scarves, sweaters, books, etc. may be left in either the large or small lost and found areas- in hopes that they will be retrieved- for up to 6 months. 
  2. Every 6 months we will go through the lost and found to determine what should be discarded or donated.

4.3. Items That We Do Not Have

  1. If a patron comes in looking for a lost item, and we do not have it in our lost and found, encourage them to contact HUPD (2-1212), Longwood security (2-1379), or stop by 180 Longwood Ave. 
  2. Also, advise them to come back and ask us again in a few days in case someone does turn it in at a later date.






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