About the Library

Waidner-Spahr Library Main Level East Asian Room Lower Level

The Waidner-Spahr Library catalog provides access to over 1 million titles, including books, e-books, music, and video recordings. Our Journal Locator provides access to over 76,000 periodicals.

In addition to the above collections, the library is also home to several computer labs, classrooms, and individual study rooms.

Library Tour:

  • Upper Level
  • Main Level
  • Lower Level

Map of All Floors

East Asian Studies Reading Room

This room houses most of the library's East Asian language collection, which consists of monographs, journals and DVDs in Chinese and Japanese, as well as a small collection of Korean titles. With its beautiful design, this room is one of the best places on campus to read, made possible by a generous donation from Hesung Koh.

East Asian Studies Reading Room

The Nest

Equipped with a fireplace, the nest is a comfortable spot to curl up with some school work, chat with friends or even to take a nap.

Government Documents

The library is a federal depository and has a small collection of government documents, including resources related to agriculture, geology, the environment and elections.

Govenrment Publication

Stacks (Upper Level)

The library's book collection contains more than 510,000 print volumes. In addition to the items located in the Waidner-Spahr Library, there is a small science library in Tome, a map library in Kaufman and a nearby storage site.

Map of All Floors

Dickinson Mermaid

When Benjamin Latrobe designed Old West, he wanted a weathervane in the likeness of a triton to be placed on top of the building's cupola. But the local coppersmith didn't know what a triton was and fashioned a mermaid instead. The mermaid has been a beloved Dickinson symbol ever since. The subject of pranks throughout the years, the mermaid has ridden a bicycle atop Old West and, in a separate incident, was nearly lost to auction after being stolen. Today, the original mermaid resides safely in the library, and a replica adorns Old West.


Faculty Publications

This display provides a glimpse into the recent work of the accomplished Dickinson faculty.

Biblio Café in the Blumberg Reading Area

This is the site of many of the library's events. Meet with friends for morning coffee or a late night snack.


The library has a robust and ever-expanding DVD collection, which includes documentaries and other films for academic use, as well as feature films for general viewing.

Dickinson Reads

A departure from the research-centered library collection, this shelf highlights recent literature and nonfiction titles for leisure reading.

Stafford Reading Area

The year-round light from floor-to-ceiling windows makes the Stafford Reading Area a great place to grab a seat in a comfortable leather chair, sip some coffee and read your favorite newspapers or magazine.

Reference Collection

The library retains core reference materials in print and also provides access to current electronic resources.

Stafford Reading Area

Circulation Desk

This desk is a one-stop shop for accessing all of the library's services, including borrowing items like books, DVDs and laptops, getting course-reserve and interlibrary-loan materials, and seeking reference assistance from the college's librarians.

Student Artwork

The recent works of Dickinson's talented student photography club are on display near the circulation desk. Additional student photos and works by recipients of the college's Weiss Prize are hanging throughout the library.

Student Artwork

Writing Center

Students struggling to write a paper or who don't understand a writing assignment can make an appointment with the Writing Center. Trained student tutors offer helpful advice at any stage of the writing process.

Writing Center

Liaison Librarian Offices

Anyone requiring research assistance - from using the library databases to citing resources in a paper - can stop by the circulation desk for a referral to a librarian. Librarians meet face-to-face with library users, and they won't even make you use your quiet voice. Librarians also can be contacted by e-mail, phone and live chat.

Stacks (Main Level)

The library's book collection contains more than 510,000 print volumes. In addition to the items located in the Waidner-Spahr Library, there is a small science library in Tome, a map library in Kaufman and a nearby storage site.

Map of All Floors

Friends of the Library Reading Area

Named in honor of the Friends of the Library - an organization dedicated to supporting the library's ongoing development - this reading area features several college publications including the Microcosm yearbook and The Dickinsonian newspaper.

Archives & Special Collections

Part library and part museum, this section of the library houses Dickinson College records and artifacts, rare books and various sources of information related to the college's history. Highlights include the Norris book collection and Joseph Priestley's scientific instruments.

The Archives & Special Collections staff also maintains several digital collections including the James Buchanan Resource Center, which explores the life and times of the U.S. president and 1809 Dickinson graduate.


Sharp Media Room

This room can be used for watching movies, so pull up a couch and push "play."

Smart Classrooms

Several "smart" classrooms are available for information literacy and other instruction.

Information Commons

Information Commons

Equipped with 32 computers with scanners, the Information Commons serves as a vital center for student and faculty technology use.



In addition to a small collection of print journals, the library provides access to hundreds of online databases, which link to thousands of full-text journals.

Multilingual Writing Center

The MWC assists writers of all levels and abilities who are working on essays written in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish.