Burling Library, designed by Walter A. Netsch, Jr., of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, was built in 1959. Named for Mrs. Lucy Burnham Burling of Eldora, Iowa, the new building replaced Carnegie Hall as the college's main library. The renovation and expansion of Burling Library to 60, 739 square feet took place in 1982-1983 under the direction of Ben Weese, of Weese Seegers Hickey Weese, Ltd. of Chicago, whose design doubled the study and shelf space available in the original building. Dennis Langley was the project manager for Weese Seegers Hickey Weese, and Donald O. Rod served as the librarian-consultant. Burling Library is nationally recognized for its creative and comfortable study areas. There are attractive reading areas on the first and second floors, as well as study carrels throughout the building.
The library holds ca. 775,000 volumes, 33,000 audio and video recordings, 25,000 microforms, and have active subscriptions to 2,600 serial titles in paper and microform and almost 20,000 electronic journal titles. Library services emphasize working closely with students to develop fluency in the use and evaluation of information sources as they conduct research and other intellectual investigations, and include individualized research assistance (library labs), classroom instruction, and drop-in reference assistance. The library provides more than 470 individual student study spaces; access to networked computers (both PC and Mac); a media room for music and video recordings; specialized collections in African American, East Asian, and Latino history and culture, and in prairie studies; and the College Archives. Books and journal articles not held by the libraries may be acquired through interlibrary services. The libraries' website provides information about the libraries and access (both on and off campus) to electronic and print resources (journals, databases, books, websites, and more).