10 of the Most Amazing College Libraries in the US

Need some inspiration? These incredible libraries will make you want to spend your time studying. Whether you’re into high-tech collaborative study spaces or cathedral-style reading rooms, you’re bound to want to do some learning after looking at this list. Here are 10 of the best college libraries in the US:

1. Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, University of Chicago

The University of Chicago has one of the best college libraries.

Michael Barera via Wikimedia Commons

Mansueto Library features a naturally-lit study space above ground (“the bubble”) and also a 5-story underground book storage facility below ground. Students request books on a computer terminal, and robots retrieve them from the underground stacks. Mansueto Library opened in 2011.

2. James B. Hunt Library, North Carolina State University

High tech and spacious, the James B. Hunt Library opened in 2013. The library contains extensive collections in the engineering and sciences, stored and retrieved by a robotic organization system. It’s also home to plenty of modern study space.

3. Bapst Library, Boston College

Bapst Library

Harvey D. Egan, Wikimedia Commons

Bapst Library opened its doors in 1924. Students affectionately know it as the “Harry Potter library” because of its resemblance to some movie scenes. Officially an art library, Bapst is also open to all BC students and features about 400 individual study spaces.

4. Cook Legal Research Library, University of Michigan

Cook Legal Research Library

Andrew Horne, Wikimedia Commons

Named after famous Michigan benefactor William W. Cook, the Legal Research Library is home to an expansive reading room and an extensive collection of historic legal documents. The library opened in 1931 and was then renovated in 1981 and 1996.

5. Suzzallo Library, University of Washington

Suzzallo Library

Palash Biswas, Flickr

Construction on Suzzallo Library took nearly 27 years. The highly elaborate cathedral-style reading room is a designated silent study area and is also frequently recognized as one of the most beautiful of its kind.

6. Linderman Library, Lehigh University

Linderman Library

Jospeh Gisante, Wikimedia Commons

Linderman is memorable for its central rotunda, lit with a stained-glass skylight in the shape of a mandala. The Library opened its doors in 1878 and was then renovated in 2005. Asa Packer donated the library. Students call the library “Lucy,” named after Packer’s daughter.

7. George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University also has one of the best college libraries.

Matthew Petroff Wikimedia Commons

Dedicated in 1890, Baltimore philanthropist George Peabody funded the Peabody Library. While part of Johns Hopkins’ library system, the Peabody Library is public and also open to the people of Baltimore.

8. Firestone Library, Princeton University

Firestone Library

Kah-Wai Lin, Flickr

Firestone opened in 1948 and has been renovated twice, most recently in 1988. The library is one of the largest open-stack libraries in existence, with more than 70 miles of bookshelves.

9. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Lauren Manning, Flickr

Beinecke, opened in 1963, is home to one of the most extensive collections of rare documents in the world. The library also underwent major renovations in 2015.

10. Powell Library, UCLA

Destitute via Wikimedia Commons

Destitute via Wikimedia Commons

Powell is the main undergraduate library at UCLA. Opened in 1929, students have utilized the library well ever since. Powell is open 24 hours most days during the school year.

Interested in any of these schools? Use College Raptor’s free match tool to discover if they’re a good fit for you!

2 thoughts on “10 of the Most Amazing College Libraries in the US”

  1. Patricia R. says:

    How did you leave off UCSD:
    It’s so beautiful. Full of natural light. A great research library.

  2. Ryan says:

    The best part of the James B. Hunt Library, North Carolina State University are the chairs!

    Symphony of Chairs

Comments are closed.

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