Burling Library on a sunny day

About Us

Welcome to the Grinnell College Libraries, winner of the 2011 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries and the American Library Association.

The 11 faculty librarians and 19 staff of the Grinnell College Libraries — Burling Library, the Kistle Science Library, and the Curriculum Library — are dedicated to helping Grinnell students, faculty, and staff succeed in learning, teaching, and research. Our 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, through individualized research appointments, classroom instruction, and drop-in research assistance. Each academic department and concentration has a professional librarian assigned as its liaison, and we work closely with our campus colleagues to integrate writing, reading, data analysis, academic advising, and other services. The Libraries’ book, journal, data, and media collections — in analog and digital formats — are wide-ranging and intellectually challenging, representing multiple viewpoints, languages, and cultures, and we are part of a worldwide network of libraries that can bring you information from all parts of the globe. We offer a variety of spaces for quiet and collaborative study, practicing presentations, and relaxing, and we sponsor readings, lectures, and musical performances throughout the year. We’re also part of the Grinnell town community; residents are welcome to borrow from our collection, use our facilities, and enjoy our events.

As the world of information grows more complex — available in more formats, from more sources, with confusing questions about copyright and reliability — libraries are more central to learning than ever before. We look forward to working with you!

Mission Statement

The Grinnell College Libraries — Burling Library, the Curriculum Library, and the Kistle Science Library — serve the instructional, research, and general information needs of the campus community. The libraries fulfill their mission through (1) on-site provision of books, periodicals, microforms, sound recordings, electronic resources, and other library materials; (2) mediated access to off-campus information sources; and (3) active programs of information literacy: teaching the concepts needed to navigate the profusion of available sources and to evaluate critically the information, texts, and images discovered therein. As depositories for federal and state government publications, the libraries make such documents available to residents of Iowa and promote the use of these resources. The libraries serve as the archives for the official and unofficial records of Grinnell College; through the Department of Special Collections and Archives they seek to collect, preserve, and make available for research, sources that document the history of Grinnell College and its cultural and natural surroundings in Iowa, including the prairie setting of which it is a part.

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