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2016-2017 Catalog

Library Resources

Lafayette's libraries provide students with a wide range of information sources and services to support their educational pursuits. The David Bishop Skillman Library is the college's main library, with a collection of more than 500,000 volumes. Kirby Library has an additional 30,000 volumes related to government and law. The two libraries subscribe to thousands of magazines, journals, and newspapers in electronic and paper formats and an extensive array of electronic databases and books, accessible both on and off campus. The libraries' Special Collections and College Archives houses the College's rare books, manuscripts, and institutional records, including a premier collection on the Marquis de Lafayette.

The libraries also provide access to collections beyond those at Lafayette. Students have borrowing privileges at five other colleges in the Lehigh Valley and may use interlibrary loan services to request materials from libraries across the country.

A staff of librarians helps students to use the libraries' resources and obtain the information they need. Librarians and archivists meet with classes in all disciplines and provide group instruction in library research. Reference assistance is available to students on weekdays, most evenings, and Sundays. Students may arrange personalized research assistance sessions with librarians for extended consultations about their research projects.

Lafayette's libraries also provide space for students to study and collaborate with one another. Kirby Library is housed in the Beaux-Arts style Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, which was completed in 1930 and renovated in the late 1990s. The library's classic, oak-paneled reading room is among the most beautiful interior spaces on campus.

A renovated and expanded Skillman Library was dedicated in 2005. The three-year project added more than 28,000 sq. ft. to the library and created an enhanced environment for collaborative learning, information technology, and an expanding book collection. The library’s newly redesigned spaces include a formal reading room, a program room, two instruction rooms, a digital media lab, the largest public computing cluster on campus, and a variety of individual and group study spaces.