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Learn about what happens in an academic library and how to access Library materials and services.

What to know

Adapted from the University of Chicago Library

The Libraries

When someone says “the library” at Brown, they might be referring to a few different places (and virtual spaces) to know about.

Rockefeller Library (The Rock)
Science Library (SciLi) pronounced: sigh-lie
John Hay Library (The Hay)
Orwig Music Library (Orwig)
The Library Annex (The Annex)

Each of these buildings serves a unique subset of the Brown University community. For more information about what is available in each location head over to the library website: Library Locations

There are also several highly specialized libraries that may interest you - including the John Carter Brown Library and the Library @ Sarah Doyle.

BUL: Your Libraries

At the most basic level a library provides information resources for a given community. Traditionally, resources looked like books, magazines, journals, musical and sound recordings, maps, and computer files - today we still collect and make all of these types of information available in addition to other emerging information sources like software, data, digital imaging and other special collections.

The libraries at Brown are academic research libraries - our collections and services support the mission of the University-College.

You can borrow books and other resources for free.
You can access textbooks and course readings for free.
You can book an appointment with a research specialist for free.
You can meet in study spaces for free.
You can use physical computing resources and software for free.
You can record your podcast for free.
You can digitize images for free.

The library is also an access point for printing on campus. See the CIS Knowledge Base for more info on printing.


The Library website provides you a central point to search for and find information. We call this central search BruKnow.

From our site you can search for books, browse online journal collections, try to databases and access digital collections.

Off-Campus Access

Most of Brown's electronic resources are accessible from off campus by using the VPN or accessing resources by using the links on the library's website.

Borrow, Request, Renew

The Library can help you find materials from our own Library and from other libraries.