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

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Focus on Scholarship

An academic library’s focus is scholarly; in other words, it supports academic work. It contains specialized materials and resources, as well as expert staff, relevant to all areas of interest to the University community. Public libraries focus on supporting the needs and interests of the general public.

Being a student at Brown University means becoming an active participant in the scholarly conversation and a creator of new knowledge. That’s quite a responsibility! But you have a strong, steady partner in the Library. We’re here to support you over the course of your growth as a scholar.

Student / Library Partnerships

The Library isn’t just about the materials we have-- it's also about our resources. Our staff is available to answer any questions you may have about using the Library and its vast collections.

For specific research questions, consult with your subject specialist. There is a librarian associated with every area of study at the University, and they’re available to chat, email, phone, or consult with you—wherever you are in the research process, wherever you are in the world.


The Library holds vast collections in several buildings, in a variety of formats, that you just won’t find on Google: print and ebooks, scholarly journals, newspapers, data sets, images, streaming video, special collections like archives and manuscripts, and so much more. All these resources are available to support your work here at Brown.

Use these to access these resources:


This is your Library! Partner with us to discover the resources and expertise available to you. We look forward to working together!

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.


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