Library Mission Statement

The Olin College Library enables discovery, connection, and inclusion for all members of our community. We aim to enrich the educational experience for our students through free access to information and equipment. As the cultural heart of campus, we offer space, learning, and leisure opportunities for the continuous development of social consciousness and self-awareness. Through our unique resources and programming, we offer a gateway to explorations of engineering and a wider world.

Circulation Policies

Standard Loan Periods

  • Books + DVDS: 28 days
  • Course Reserves: 3 hours
  • Board Games: 14 days
  • Library of Things Equipment (cameras, tools, etc.): 7 days
    Use for longer than one week requires approval from library staff (we almost always say yes). Email to request and confirm.


Power Drills and Tools

Power drills and hand tools in the lower-level workshop space can be used in the library for small, short projects that will not be disruptive to other students. They are meant to supplement what is available to you in the Shops, but the safety rules and practices used in the shops apply in the library, too. That means you are required to take, and wear, safety goggles in accordance with general campus safety policies and best practices. The library’s drills and hand tools on the lower level are intended for in-library use. If you need to borrow hand tools or drills, we circulate several toolkits and drill kits, available on the main floor near the elevator.


Overdue & Replacement Fees

Overdue and replacement fees are not charged to Olin students.



The library is one of the most creative and student-driven spaces on campus. We depend on every Oliner’s help to keep it as accessible and useful as possible. As a part of being a good Olin citizen, you are expected to leave every space at least as clean as you found it (bonus points if cleaner!). Project storage space is available in the lower-level workshop area, as well as in the workroom for larger projects. We require you to label your stored projects with your name and a date indicating how long you will be keeping it in the library. If you are planning to use any part of the library for large-scale projects that may make it difficult for other community members to use a given space, please contact the library staff (


Our library is a flexible space available for faculty, staff and students to study, to work together, to create, and to relax. We ask for advanced notice for organized events, especially those bringing in food or rearranging furniture, purely to avoid scheduling conflicts and to ensure an enjoyable library experience for all. The library works best as a space for events where the entire community is invited, and we ask that more private gatherings occur on the lower level of the library, or in team rooms.

Patron Privacy

The right to privacy and freedom of intellectual pursuit are core values of the Olin College Library and the library profession as a whole. We maintain the privacy of patron circulation records as recommended by the American Library Association and will not disclose these records, either casually or upon request. Requests for research or reference consultation will also remain confidential. Records containing information about patrons are kept to the bare minimum needed to maintain library workflows.


A Note on Our Collection

Because of the size of the college and ever-changing curriculum at Olin, we've chosen to pursue a "just in time" strategy for acquiring and retaining content instead of building collections "just in case" they're needed. This approach leverages our network borrowing powers, interlibrary loan processes, and the model of patron-driven acquisition. The Olin College Library is a member of the Minuteman Library Network and has reciprocal borrowing arrangements with Babson and Wellesley. We will consider adding many types of items to our circulating collection, from Wacom tablets to binoculars.