Harvard’s Lamont Library is Occupied

Dear friends and community members,

Lamont Café is occupied.
We intend for it to remain occupied until Friday at 10p.

At a time when the University is restructuring the library, we are working to change what a library is understood to be. Take a break. Think. The New Harvard Library Working Group of Occupy Harvard has opened a persistent community space for critical thought, engaged learning, and insistent action in the Lamont Library Café.

We invite you to join us as we engage in communal tasks of producing knowledge (skill-shares, tutoring, and, yes, we will read your paper drafts), meet for morning coffee and conversation, and host twice-daily “Think Tanks”—topical discussions in which participants enter as equals and where professors, students, and workers converse as peers. Our current schedule is included below, but check-in frequently as new events and opportunities will be taking shape as the days progress.

Why now? Why Lamont? The Harvard Library transition is a simulacrum of the University’s accession to neoliberal imperatives. Occupy, whether at Harvard or Wall Street, challenges and refuses the devastating willingness of our broken society to view humans as expendable resources and systems as ultimately beholden to profit. A library needs the workers who are its lifeblood, just as a functioning democratic society needs the voices of the 99%. The proposed library transition not only fails to address these systemic problems, it replicates them – both in terms of business practice and the production of scholarship and knowledge.

As members of the Harvard community, we are committed to occupying the spaces of our education with integrity and intentionality. Lamont Library Café is an educational space specifically vested to facilitate the learning ideals of the University. We are doing no more and no less than striving to fulfill the promise of this space.

Thank you for your engagement, your solidarity, and your support as we live into the possibilities of a new Harvard Library together.

Take a break. Think.

New Harvard Library Working Group
Occupy Harvard

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This entry was posted in General.

15 comments on “Harvard’s Lamont Library is Occupied

  1. A frustrated supporter says:

    Please guys, as a supporter I would beg that you make it a lot clearer in this statement what the university is doing that rightfully merits this response. Not all the students who come here looking for an explanation of your presence in Lamont follow the news of Harvard’s worker-related policy. In fact most of them don’t. The undergrad body is much more likely to support you when they hear about the unfair layoffs, cuts to benefits, and lack of job security than when you talk in general terms about production of knowledge and simulacra.

  2. Aryt Alasti says:

    Agreed. Presumably there will be ample opportunities for enlightenment on the scene, but a manifesto needs specifics if it is throwing down the gauntlet to deconstructionist critics.

  3. Clam Chowdah says:

    Munch Munch grapple juice

  4. Library Staffer says:

    Thanks!

  5. Other Library Staffer says:

    No Thanks! Not all of us wanted to be associated with you.

  6. Leo Racicot says:

    Bravo! This is a hopeful sign that the Occupy Movement is alive and well
    and might re-emerge throughout the country…

  7. NR says:

    Truly an inspiration! (lots of love from Occupy Columbia)

  8. ads? says:

    why are you putting ads on this website? aren’t you yourself benefiting off a product of capitalism?

  9. anon says:

    a malapropism of ‘simulacrum’ seems appropriate for the occupation of a cafe.

  10. […] yet, Occupy lives. Just last week, Occupy Harvard supporters occupied the Lamont Library cafe, taking aim at a specific target—the University’s attack on librarians’ jobs—and creating a […]

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