Hayden Library to undergo renovations in 2020

Renovations to include a café and greater variety of study spaces

Hayden Library is set to undergo renovations, with construction expected to begin in January 2020. The library will close at the end of the fall 2019 semester and reopen in fall 2020.

The renovations include a café, significant expansion of the 24/7 study space, greater variety of study spaces (for both individual and group work, with both quiet and conversation zones), and flexible teaching and event space, according to Brigham Fay, director of communications of MIT Libraries, in an email to The Tech.

“The world has changed substantially since Hayden was first built, along with the ways that people discover, consume, create, and share information. [MIT] Libraries wants to be responsive to these changes and incorporate these new realities into physical library space,” Fay wrote.

MIT Libraries staff and the Office of Campus Planning have recently completed pre-design activities with Kennedy Violich Architects.

At 70 years old, Hayden is a prime candidate for renewal, and its architecture offers opportunities to reconfigure space without requiring a full renovation of Building 14,” Fay continued. “Hayden also plays a key role on campus because of its prime physical location and size. It has potential to bring together members of the MIT community across departments and schools, in ways both formal and informal to support research and learning.”  

Ideas about renovations first began with the October 2016 report by the Task Force on the Future of Libraries, which led to the creation of the MIT Libraries Space Planning Group in December 2016. The group presented a report to Provost Martin A. Schmidt PhD ’88 in April 2017 containing an overall vision for MIT’s library spaces and specific recommendations for renovations, Fay wrote.

According to the group’s website, it identified four primary functions of library space: holding (showcasing book collections more effectively); learning (having a variety of different spaces to accommodate the wide range of student needs); community (using the spaces to host community events) and creating (making sure that the spaces inspire creative work).

MIT Libraries is also currently exploring an active learning classroom for Barker Library that is flexible and can double as additional study space, according to Fay.