Harvard closes library, citing 'financial considerations'

Harvard University has closed one of its libraries on campus, citing financial issues.

Harvard University has closed one of its libraries on campus, citing financial issues.

According to the Harvard Crimson, the university will close the John G. Wolbach Library on Friday. The Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory collections are housed at the library.

Harvard Center for Astrophysics Director Lisa J. Kewley wrote in an email to the outlet that the decision was driven “primarily by financial considerations.”

Kewley announced the decision in an email to some Harvard staff on Jan, 23, stating that the library was facing financial pressure after the Harvard College Observatory’s budget was reduced, and a decision was made to refocus those funds.

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According to the Harvard Crimson, the “core operations” of the library will be folded into the Harvard Library.

“To minimize the impact on CfA science, technology development, and telescope operations, we need to reduce positions where there can be increased efficiencies or broader institutional support from Harvard or Smithsonian,” Kewley said.

Due to the decision, Kewley said that five library staff members will lose their jobs.

“We want to express our deep gratitude to the library staff for their exemplary support to the CfA community over the years,” wrote Kewley. “SAO and HCO HR staff are providing support to them during this challenging time.”

While it’s unknown what caused the library’s financial issues, the Ivy League institution lost millions in donations after dueling scandals from former Harvard President Claudine Gay.

During a December Congressional hearing, Gay struggled to provide a clear answer when asked by Stefanik if calls for the genocide of Jews would violate the school’s bullying and harassment policies.

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”It can be, depending on the context,” Gay responded.

She later apologized for the remarks, several times, including in a follow-up interview with the Harvard Crimson, saying “I am sorry…Words matter.”

Gay also faced numerous plagiarism allegations before ultimately resigning in early January.