The George C. Gordon Library welcomes 300,000 visitors each year, and provides resources and innovative services that support teaching, learning, scholarship, and community at WPI. Gordon Library Information Services, the ITS Service Desk, and the Technology for Teaching and Learning (TTL) group of the Academic Technology Center (ATC) are conveniently co-located near the library’s main entrance on the second floor. The adjacent Class of 1970 Library Café offers food and beverages. During the academic year, students may access the library from 8am to 1am Monday-Thursday, until 9pm on Friday and Saturday, and until 1am on Sunday.
The library’s four floors offer a wide variety of individual and group study spaces, including modern private carrels and team study areas on the upper level, and a floor dedicated to quiet study (1st floor/lower level). The library’s eleven Tech Suites are private reservable collaborative rooms, seating up to six people and equipped with large monitors and wireless screen-sharing technology. Additional group study spaces and several individual study or interview rooms are located throughout the building.
The library offers both wireless and wired computer network access throughout the library’s open study areas, with over 50 computers that offer free access to dozens of high quality software packages. The Multimedia Lab on the first floor offers specialized multimedia software and hardware.The library offers several tools to support accessibility and convenience on the second floor, including printers, a KIC book scanner, and an accessibility station that includes Kurzweil 3000 text-to-speech software.
The staff of Gordon Library provides many services to support student learning. Our research and instruction librarians help students with their research questions and course assignments, offer library instruction and orientation sessions, and provide research consultations to individuals and project groups.
The information resources of the library are selected to support WPI courses, projects, research, scholarship, and community interests. In addition to print books, the library offers an extensive collection of over 1 million electronic books and thousands of electronic journals, as well as more than 250 research databases. The library's special book collections include books by WPI faculty authors, recreational reading, music, videos, video games, and board games.
The library catalog, electronic journal and book collections, specialized research databases, course-specific information, and many other resources are available from the library’s web site (wpi.edu/library) which features powerful search options and links to research guides, journals, articles, databases, and other digital resources and services. Off-campus access to the library's electronic resources is available with a WPI login or VPN.
Through the Digital WPI platform (digital.wpi.edu), the library collects and offers global digital access to WPI student work including posters created by first year students in the Great Problems Seminar program, IQP and MQP reports, graduate theses and dissertations, as well as selected WPI faculty research.
All students can request materials not held in Gordon Library through a free interlibrary loan service. WPI students also have access to the collections of other academic libraries within Central Massachusetts through the library’s membership in the Academic and Research Collaborative (ARC). Students can obtain an ARC cross-borrowing card which allows direct borrowing at many regional academic libraries.
The Archives and Special Collections, located on the ground floor, serves as the institutional memory of WPI and curates the university’s collection of manuscripts, rare books, photographs, art, and objects. Our archivists work with the campus community to provide access to historical resources related to WPI, the social and technical stories of the Industrial Revolutions, and regional history. Highlights from the collection include a world-class collection of material related to the life, world, and works of Charles Dickens; selected fine art including prints, paintings, and sculptures; records and publications documenting the history of the university; documentation of the foundations of Fire Protection Engineering; and records of the Morgan Construction Company. These items can be explored through ArchivesSpace (archives.wpi.edu), and are available to researchers by visiting the Fellman Dickens Reading Room, with select digitized and digital-born material hosted at Digital WPI (digital.wpi.edu).
Special exhibits including works by guest and student artists are offered in the library’s galleries. WPI authors are regularly invited to talk about their work in the library’s Meet the Author series, and other programming occurs regularly to serve the WPI community.
For more information, please visit the library website at wpi.edu/library.