Book Return while the library buildings are closed

If you will return to campus in the fall or for the next physical semester, Access Services requests that you keep your books if possible. 

  • Most materials will be auto-renewed and we're working on extension plans.

If you are leaving Harvard, or for other reasons must return materials while the library is closed:


  • Widener onsite returns: guards on duty at Widener Library will accept returns at the Massachusetts Avenue entrance 7 days a week, 9am-5pm EST.


  • Mail: ("Media Mail" is the least expensive way.)
    • Access Services has provided Packing Guidelines for books.
    • You can send Harvard Library books to any of our facilities, but Widener is a good choice.
    • Be sure to put "c/o: Access Services" on the second line so it will reach the appropriate department as smoothly as possible. 

Widener Library
c/o Access Services
1 Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138


  • Please note that (no matter how they are returned) no staff are onsite to check them back in, so they will still appear in your account. They'll be discharged at our earliest opportunity. Until then, you may continue to receive automated notices from the circulation system. 
  • For questions about returning books, or any issues related to your library account, check with Access Services:

Library leaders are actively planning for a safe reopening of library facilities. As soon as we have specific details to share, they'll be available at the COVID-19 updates page on our website.

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