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.

1. Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, University of Chicago

Michael Barera via Wikimedia Commons

Michael Barera via Wikimedia Commons

Mansueto Library features a naturally-lit study space above ground (“the bubble”) and 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 which are 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. It is affectionately known as the “Harry Potter library” because of its resemblance to some scenes in the movies. Officially an art library, Bapst is 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 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 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 sky-light in the shape of a mandala. The Library opened its doors in 1878, and was renovated in 2005. Donated to Lehigh by Asa Packer, the library is known to students as “Lucy” after the donor’s daughter.

7. George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University

George Peabody Library

Matthew Petroff Wikimedia Commons

The Peabody Library was funded by Baltimore philanthropist George Peabody and was dedicated in 1890. While part of Johns Hopkins’ library system, the Peabody Library is public and 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 book shelves.

9. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Lauren Manning, Flickr

Beincke, opened in 1963, is home to one of the most extensive collections of rare documents in the world. The library 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, the library has been well-utilized by students 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!

Olivia Pittman

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

  1. Avatar Patricia R. says:

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

  2. Avatar Ryan says:

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

    Symphony of Chairs

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