Featured Image

Colleges and Universities With the Best On-Campus Libraries

List produced by the Users more info

Top Recommendations

  • Bergen Community College (Paramus, NJ):
    Libraries on campus: The Sidney Silverman Library recognizes plays an integral role in supporting the college’s mission and curriculum. They provide informational resources and dynamic services to a diverse community of learners in a welcoming environment that promotes academic excellence. The Library's online services are also vast, including subject, research, and course guides for 47 subjects that are offered through campus programs.
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY):
    Libraries on campus: The University library system is at the center of the campus's vibrant intellectual life. Expert librarians help navigate world-class collections and assist with assignments in individual unit libraries covering a broad range of subjects such as engineering, law, mathematics, fine arts, and more.

    What students say!
    "It is composed of 21 different libraries, stacked with books to find any resource on any topic you need."
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA):
    Libraries on campus: The Harvard Library is the oldest library system in the United States and consists of 28 libraries that are managed by 700 expert staff. In total across all libraries, the University is home to six million digitized and publically available items, 20 million books, one million maps and spatial data sets, and 400 rare items including letters, photos, and manuscripts.
  • Princeton University (Princeton, NJ):
    Libraries on campus: Princeton's campus library system consists of ten individual libraries, including for architecture, East Asian studies, engineering, science, and more. Through active and creative partnerships on campus and across the global community, the Library advances world-class research, enriches learning, and preserves knowledge by providing dynamic services and diverse resources.

    What students say!
    "Princeton University Library holds more than seven million books, research resources, Rosetta Stone, and browsers."

    "Firestone Memorial Library [has] autographed manuscripts, study rooms, lockers, video services, and a tea room"
  • Southern Connecticut State University (New Haven, CT):
    Libraries on campus: The Hilton C. Buley Library is a five-floor facility for the academic and research needs of the Southern student body and surrounding community. There are quiet rooms available for individual or group study and more than a dozen Reference Librarians who specialize in one or more areas of study and are available by appointment for class instruction or private consultations.

    What students say!
    "SCSU has Buley Library, which is super big and has many library resources and librarians to help people. There are lots of books and study spaces for any type of need."
  • The University of Chicago (Chicago, IL):
    Libraries on campus: The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library opened on campus in 2011. It features an elliptical glass dome over a 180-seat Grand Reading Room, state-of-the-art conservation and digitization laboratories, and an underground high-density automated storage and retrieval system. Designed by renowned architect Helmut Jahn, the Mansueto Library has been recognized with a Distinguished Building Citation of Merit by the American Institute of Architects’ Chicago chapter.

    What students say!
    "[At the] Joe and Rika Mansueto Library—robots retrieve books!"

    "[It] offers a variety of books to check, and also a five-story underground book storage facility. Students request books on a computer terminal, and robots retrieve them from the underground stacks."
  • The University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, TX):
    Libraries on campus: The University Libraries is a comprehensive academic library that includes a mechanical engineering lab, a fabrication lab, and a gaming area as well as independent departments for access & discovery, assessment, community engagement, creative spaces & services, experiential learning, research services, organizational excellence, special collections & archives, and more.

    What students say!
    "UTA's Central Library is my favorite, though I know there are three in total on campus—one of my favorite places to be. There are floors for different things, like group work, independent study, hands-on learning like the FabLab, and silent study. Their book collection is huge, and it's all around one of my favorite things about the campus."
  • University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA):
    Libraries on campus: UC Berkeley's library system provides access to more than 13 million books and materials written in over 400 languages across 20 subject libraries—including environmental design, art history and classics, heart sciences, social welfare, and more—and seven affiliate libraries.

    What students say!
    "The library is very beautiful at UC Berkeley."

    "Berkeley has many libraries; Moffit or Bancroft are probably the most well-known...It provides all the excellent support of any library, while housing particularly special resources—things like Shakespeare’s first folio, for instance."

    "It’s huge and has everything you’d ever need!"
  • University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA):
    Libraries on campus: The UCSD Library ranks among the top 25 public academic libraries in the country and advances the university community research, teaching, patient care, and public service mission. The University library provides access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to students, scholars, and members of the public alike.

    What students say!
    "Geisel has it all baby!"

    "Geisel library is physically and visibly quite amazing, from its architecture to its access to literature."
  • University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder, CO):
    Libraries on campus: The University Libraries' collections are the largest in the Rocky Mountain region with more than 15 million volumes across five locations and access to thousands of specialized databases. The University also holds affiliations and memberships with HathiTrust, the Academic Preservation Trust, FOLIO, the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, the Greater Western Library Alliance, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Center for Research Libraries.

    What students say!
    "Norlin Library and others [are] exactly what you'd expect of a good library."
  • University of Oxford (Oxford, Eng):
    Libraries on campus: The Bodleian Libraries is the largest university library system in the United Kingdom. It includes the 400-year-old principal University library—the Bodleian—as well as 30 libraries across Oxford including major research libraries and department libraries. Together, the library system holds more than 12 million printed items, over 80,000 e-journalsm, and special collections including rare books and manuscripts, classical papyri, music, and more.

    What students say!
    "The Bodleian Library: Not only is it beautiful, it is literally the Hogwarts library from the Harry Potter films."
  • University of Wisconsin—Madison (Madison, WI):
    Libraries on campus: The UW System is a consortium consisting of 13 libraries and an expansive digitized collection. Across the whole system, there are eight million unique print books as well as over nine million print and electronic resources. This curated vast collection of materials supports the University's mission for access to quality research and teaching resources.
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT):
    Libraries on campus: The Yale University Library system is comprised of 15 libraries: Arts Library, Bass Library, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Classics Library, Divinity School Library, East Asia Library within the Sterling Memorial Library, Lewis Walpole Library, Library Shelving Facility, Mathematics Library, Marx Library, Medical Library, Music Library, and Oral History of American Music Library.

    What students say!
    "Their library is legendary with thousands of copies of ancient books."

    "The amount of rare publications they have...such as [the] Dead Sea Scrolls, like seriously? One of the most important pieces of literature ever made."

Hit the Books at Community and Technical Colleges

  • Des Moines Area Community College (Ankeny, IA):
    Libraries on campus: The mission of the DMACC Library is to provide access to curriculum-related and professional development materials to meet diverse information needs as well as contribute to the lifelong learning goals of students, faculty, and staff. The Library actively promotes the development of information literacy through formal instruction, class presentations, and interaction with library users. Its collections include books, periodicals, videos, and other non-print media as well as an extensive online database of resources.

    What students say!
    "[The] DMACC library Ankeny [campus has] online library, resources like hotspot rentals calculators, computers, and many other things like printers and even the books required for all of the classes that the campus hosts.
  • Eastern Maine Community College (Bangor, ME):
    Libraries on campus: Located on the second floor of Katahdin Hall, the Library at EMCC offers research guidance, group study options, and a plethora of books (of course!) and features its own art gallery. The facility is an excellent and well-used resource for students and faculty alike.

    What students say!
    "Eastern Maine Community College Library offers tutors and a variety of resources from books to peri articles."
  • New England Institute of Technology (East Greenwich, RI):
    Libraries on campus: The NEIT Library is where students go to study independently, work on group projects in private study rooms, and jump on computers in between classes. In addition to an extensive book and resource collection, students can access full-text periodical databases, research tools, publications, videos, and tutorials anytime on their online library website.

    What students say!
    "[It's a] large Library filled with technology and books, and includes comfortable spaces and a study area."
  • The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park (Hyde Park, NY):
    Libraries on campus: Each of CIA's four campuses is home to its own branch of the Conrad N. Hilton Library. The Institute's multi-level facilities offer a comprehensive wealth of resources for the culinary arts, food sciences, and other related subjects. In addition to books and ebooks, the library offers articles, databases, streaming videos and DVDs, a digital menu collection, archives and special collections, study rooms, and more.

Shhh! Study Hard at Private Colleges

  • Augustana College (Rock Island, IL):
    Libraries on campus: The Thomas Tredway Library serves Augustana College by ensuring learning remains the touchstone of all library activities and decisions. The four-floor building covers all the needs of the student body, including quiet study areas and rooms, social and collaborative spaces, a coffee shop, the Office of Student Inclusion & Diversity, and the Office of International Student & Scholar Services, The Learning Commons, and the Office of Student Life and Leadership.

    What students say!
    "It has many private study rooms, multiple floors for any environment, and staff who are extremely educated and kind."
  • Calvin University (Grand Rapids, MI):
    Libraries on campus: The Hekman Library supports the curricular needs and scholarship of the Calvin community by maintaining a relevant and expansive collection of easily accessible resources and offering knowledgeable assistance in a hospitable environment. The Library is also home to the Heritage Hall, which acts as the official archive for not only the Universit but also Calvin Theological Seminary and the Christian Reformed Church. It also contains 600+ collections of personal papers and records of other organizations and offers rich material on topics in social, cultural, and political history with a focus on Dutch North American history, Reformed Christianity, and genealogical research.

    What students say!
    "Calvin's Hekman Library just offers a quiet space and good coffee."
  • Columbia University (New York, NY):
    Libraries on campus: Columbia University Libraries is a globally recognized academic library and center for research. The Libraries connect students, faculty, scholars, and other patrons with rich and distinctive collections; foster meaningful learning experiences; and provide innovative learning support. The University's collections of over 15 million volumes, seven million online titles, maps, manuscripts, and more include resources in more than 450 languages and primary source materials that span over 4,000 years of human history. Through an extensive network of partnerships, certain Columbia Libraries collections are available at academic, research, and public libraries globally.
  • ERAU—Daytona Beach (Daytona Beach, FL):
    Libraries on campus: The Hunt Library takes up the third and fourth floors of the Student Union, providing a variety of study and learning resources such as group study rooms, individual study carrels, collaborative tables and pods, and leisure reading areas. Hunt Library's contains electronic collections of 130+ electronic research databases, e-journals, ebooks, newsletters, technical reports, documents, streaming videos, and more as well a physical collection of materials that includes journals, technical reports, books, microfiche, historical documents, and DVDs. The Library employs 21 professional librarians and 12 support staff with around 20 student assistants during the academic year.
  • Elmira College (Elmira, NY):
    Libraries on campus: The Gannett-Tripp Library is a great place to read, research, learn, collaborate, and study alongside library staff who help students find information and learn to navigate the millions of resources available at the Library and beyond. The College's resources are comprised of 100,000 print volumes, 250,000+ eBooks, 40,000+ print and e-journals, 106,000+ DVDs and streaming videos, 100 databases, and more. It's also home to the Student Learning Commons which includes library, career, and student support services; the tutoring, writing, and computer centers; and the College and Mark Twain Archives and Study.
  • Hendrix College (Conway, AR):
    Libraries on campus: The Bailey Library contains more than 200,000 books as well as an entire second floor dedicated to the Arkansas United Methodist Archives and the Hendrix College Archives. The Library is also adjacent to the Snoddy Academic Resource Center, which houses a 24/7 computer lab, study carrels, the Writing Center, and a seminar room.

    What students say!
    "The Olin C. Bailey Library is full of many different kinds of books. They also offer a children's reading service."
  • High Point University (High Point, NC):
    Libraries on campus: HPU has several library spaces on campus: the Herman H. and Louise M. Smith Library is the main library holding the majority of the book collection; the Martha Luck Comer Learning Commons inside the R. G. Wanek Center hosts both quiet study space and the young adult and popular fiction collection; and the School of Education Curriculum Center in the Stout School of Education contains the juvenile collection and other educational resources.

    What students say!
    "The library at High Point Univeristy is like a country club. It is a very quiet and welcoming environment."
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD):
    Libraries on campus: The Brody Learning Commons is a campus focal point of academic and social activity with 16 group study rooms, a 75-seat café, a 100-seat quiet reading room, and lots of welcoming natural light. Students have access 24/7 because as the nation's first research university, Johns Hopkins takes its access to support services and resources seriously. The George Peabody is known as the "Cathedral of Books" due to it holding 300,000+ volumes—that mostly date back to the 18th and 19th centuries—and regularly ranking as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

    What students say!
    "The Peabody Library is a gigantic library that contains a variety of resources."
  • Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX):
    Libraries on campus: The A. Frank Smith Jr. is open to students 24 hours a day most days of the academic year and has roughly 390,000 volumes for the research needs and academic support of the community. Southwestern's library is also home to a phenomenal archive of historical records, documents, rare books, manuscripts, and other fascinating materials.

Get Lost in the Stacks at Public Colleges

  • Arizona State University—Tempe (Tempe, AZ):
    Libraries on campus: ASU's mission is to build a new library for the 21st century that is as inspiring as it is welcoming, as much an incubator of creativity and as a monument to human complexity. The University Library system comprises seven facilities—including music and art & design libraries—across four ASU campuses, providing students and faculty access to millions of informational resources, world-class collections, outstanding study spaces and research centers, and a suite of maker services.
  • Black Hills State University (Spearfish, SD):
    Libraries on campus: The E.Y. Berry Library-Learning Center offers more than just a depository of knowledge—it offers a space for learning and growth. Through the Library, students have access to study rooms, multimedia classrooms, computers and printers, the Student Success Center, the IT Help Desk, Einstein Bagels, and thousands of books, media, digital resources, and more.
  • California State University, Fullerton (Fullerton, CA):
    Libraries on campus: The Pollak Library empowers and nurtures our academic community in the pursuit, discovery, and creation of knowledge. The Library offers The Exhibit Program as a creative way to engage the interest of the campus and community and to publicize services, programs, and collections by students and guest curators. The Library Exhibition Committee's goal is to reflect the activities, scholarship, ideas, and culture of the campus and the extended community.

    What students say!
    "Cal State has the best [library] because it is big and comfortable."
  • California State University, San Bernardino (San Bernardino, CA):
    Libraries on campus: The John M. Pfau Library provides access to a wide range of knowledge, information services, and learning spaces that enrich the student experience while supporting life-long information literacy, critical thinking, and societal engagement. The Library is dedicated to being a dynamic physical and online space for open learning, instruction, and studying. Even the staff hold themselves as advocates and specialists for information literacy and knowledge preservation and conservation on campus as well as providers of swift access to acquired and requested materials.

    What students say!
    "The name of the School's library is the PFAU library, and [it] offers specific resources and services like study rooms, special appointments, ebooks, or just an area to study silently."
  • Indiana University Bloomington (Bloomington, IN):
    Libraries on campus: The Herman B. Wells Library is the visual center of the University's multi-library campus system. Primarily hosting resources for humanities and social science fields, the Wells Library houses more than 4.6 million physical books and volumes. For instance, IU’s International & Area Studies program makes use of the interdisciplinary research collections developed in the areas of African Studies, Russian and East European Studies, Uralic and Altaic Studies, East Asian Studies, and West European Studies. The Library also houses Library Administration, Business Affairs & Facilities, Digital Collections Services, Research & Learning Services, Moving Image Collections and Archives, research spaces, and more.

    What students say!
    "The Wells Library is five stories tall in the West Tower, and the East Tower is ten stories tall."
  • Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, TN):
    Libraries on campus: The James E. Walker Library, one of the most beautiful buildings on campus, has a lot of services and a collection of well over a million volumes on the shelves and much more online. Students can grab a coffee before settling into a quiet or collaborative space or visiting any of several help desks. Get research help at the Reference Desk, tutoring at the Tutoring Spot, and additional help at the Writing Center, Technology Services, and more.

    What students say!
    "Lots of resources and different books for students. Free snacks too!"
  • Montana State University—Billings (Billings, MT):
    Libraries on campus: The MSU Billings Library supports the University in building a meaningful education for students from diverse backgrounds. The Library is home to nearly 140,000 print volumes and almost 560,000 ebooks and offers additional resources such as research guides, library instruction sessions, serial collections, and more. It's through these offerings that the Library encourages and supports intellectual inquiry from the campus community and beyond.

    What students say!
    "The MSUB library has all sorts of books to study with and nice staff when you need help."
  • Murray State University (Murray, KY):
    Libraries on campus: The University Libraries system consists of the Harry Lee Waterfield Library, the Forrest C. Pogue Special Collections Library and University Archives, and the Wrather West Kentucky Museum. The main Waterfield Library is an active study and learning space dedicated to all disciplines with quiet and collaborative work zones complete with computer and printing services. The Racer Writing Center, the Racer Oral Communication Center, and Einstein Bagels are also all housed in this library.
  • The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL):
    Libraries on campus: The University Libraries system consists of the main Gorgas Library and specialty libraries for business, science & engineering, music, archives, and special collections. All libraries are committed to advancing the educational mission of the University through innovative and student-centered instruction, resources, research assistance, and other services to help students thrive.
  • The University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT):
    Libraries on campus: The Marriott Library inspires the creation, discovery, and use of knowledge for Utah and the world. Marriott offers world-class resources, user-focused services, expert and responsive staff, and top-notch technology. The five-level academic space also includes accessibility labs, music studios, exhibition spaces, study rooms, lecture halls, and more.

    What students say!
    "Marriott Library has tons of books and places to hang out and read."
  • University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA):
    Libraries on campus: The Powell Library offers students opportunities to discover their intellectual and creative talents while engaging in the campus community. Services include research and instructional consultations, workshops, instructional technology support, and writing assistance with the Undergraduate Writing Center. In addition to the obvious research and librarian assistance resources, Powell also offers a wide variety of arts programming, including exhibits, concerts, dances, readings, and more

    What students say!
    "Powell Library offers many resources, and it's open 24 hours."
  • University of Central Arkansas (Conway, AR):
    Libraries on campus: The Torreyson Library is central in supporting the University by providing resources, services, and information literacy instruction to ensure student success. In addition to the hundreds upon hundreds of book volumes, the Library also offers a collection containing information published by the US federal agencies and Arkansas state government offices; newspapers for many current and historical organizations in various formats including online, microforms, and print; and a music collection of books, scores, and musical recordings and videos.
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL):
    Libraries on campus: The UCF Libraries consist of the John C. Hitt Library located at the heart of the main Orlando campus, as well as three branch libraries: the Curriculum Materials Center in the Education complex; the Addition Financial Downtown Campus Library at the Downtown campus; and the Universal Orlando Foundation Library (the Rosen Library) at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

    What students say!
    "Hitt Library offers a variety of space options for UCF students, such as individual student study, a presentation practice room, two library classrooms, and a quiet room."
  • University of Georgia (Athens, GA):
    Libraries on campus: The UGA campus library system consists of the Main Library (which contains materials for humanities, social sciences, and arts), Zell B. Miller Learning Center, McBay Science Library, Russell Special Collections Building, and Health Sciences Carnegie Library. Between all the locations and centers, there is 3D printing equipment, art exhibits, unlimited research resources, quiet/private study rooms, 24-hour access, and much more.
  • University of Maine (Orono, ME):
    Libraries on campus: Founded over 150 years ago, The Raymond H. Fogler Library at UMaine is the largest research library in the state offering support to the faculty, students, and staff of the University as well as residents of Maine. The Library consists of more than three million print and digital volumes and one million physical and digital media titles, including microforms, streaming video and music, maps, CDs, and DVDs. Students also have access to more than 155,000 online serials and over 300 online databases.

    What students say!
    "The Raymond H. Fogler Library [has] specific librarians assigned to different majors to make it as easy as possible for students to find what they need."
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, MA):
    Libraries on campus: The UMass Amherst Libraries is the largest state-supported academic library system in New England. The libraries offer 8 million distinct print and digital media resources between the Science & Engineering Library, the W.E.B. Du Bois Library & Learning Commons, and the Wadsworth Library at Mount Ida Campus.

    What students say!
    "The W.E.B. Dubois Library offers newspapers, and it's the tallest public research institution library in the world."
  • University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA):
    Libraries on campus: The Rod Library offers a large variety of collections beyond their general volumes to meet students informational needs, including a fine & performing arts collection, newspapers, microform, government documents & maps, and more. The Library also employs 50 faculty and staff and 60+ student employees and graduate assistants who dedicate their time to serving the UNI community.

    What students say!
    "The Rod library has a tutoring program and student success series."
  • University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC):
    Libraries on campus: The USC University Libraries offer extensive specialty collections, study rooms, skilled professionals who provide expert research support, and so much more. The academic system consists of the primary Thomas Cooper Library, which is seven floors tall; the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library; the Moving Image Research Collections; the Music Library; the South Caroliniana Library research archives; and the USC Library Annex.
  • University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario):
    Libraries on campus: The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is the largest repository of rare books and manuscripts available for public access in Canada. As one of the leading research libraries in North America, the Library fosters the search for knowledge by supporting research and learning across all disciplines at the University through the preservation of accessible and comprehensive research collections of national and international significance.

    What students say!
    "Thomas Fischer Rare Book Library has religious manuscripts, scientific documents, original Shakespeare folios, a proof copy of Darin's Origin of Species, and more."

Source: CX Student Users

Want more information on how this list was compiled? Find out more about where our Lists & Rankings come from.

About This List

Mark Twain once said, “In a good bookroom, you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” And where do you find the best of the best bookrooms? College and university campus libraries! Students go to the library to study, work on group projects, get help at the tutoring center, and so much more.

Starting your college search via the library is unconventional—but if you're looking to get the absolute most from your education and be supported along the way, it's a smart search tactic. Libraries are important sources of academic empowerment for students throughout their higher education, and according to our student community—who recognize the importance of access to abundant support—these schools are sure to give you that indescribable feeling of being surrounded by knowledge with a wealth of resources at your fingertips.

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress