Located at the center of the campus, the Charles E. Shain Library offers a collection of some 445,000 print books, 1.2 million electronic books, the complete content of more than 82,000 electronic journals, more than 200 databases, some 100,000 government documents, more than 9,000 DVDs, more than 23,000 music scores and nearly 24,000 sound recordings.

The library augments its local holdings with a membership in the Boston Library Consortium (BLC), which offers rapid resource sharing with more than 20 of the most notable research and academic libraries in New England, along with physical access to libraries and an array of cooperative collection development programs. Connecticut College shares a library catalog with three BLC institutions: Middlebury College, the University of Vermont and Wesleyan University.

Other key consortial memberships include the Eastern Academic Scholars Trust (EAST), a print retention initiative involving more than 100 libraries and some 10 million holdings; the Oberlin Group of liberal arts college libraries; and the HathiTrust Digital Library, a collaborative effort among academic and research libraries that preserves more than 17 million digitized items.

The library’s features include:

  • The Technology Commons, which includes two gifts from Diane Y. Williams ’59: A Christie MicroTile Visualization Wall and a bank of high-performance workstations. The Visualization Wall is the first of its kind among New England liberal arts colleges and allows students and faculty to view projects on a large, high-quality “digital canvas.” Nearby, an area with high-performance, dual-monitor workstations are able to run the most demanding software applications.
  • The Digital Scholarship and Curriculum Center, which uses advanced instructional technology tools to help faculty develop innovative teaching methodologies and help students produce quality multimedia projects.
  • The Academic Resource Center (ARC), which offers programming that supports academic excellence to help all students reach their highest scholastic potential. ARC also houses Student Accessibility Services and provides space for tutors and the career services program to work with students.
  • Ten reservable collaboration rooms, each outfitted with whiteboard walls and LCD panels on which students can share laptop displays.
  • Two reading rooms on the second and third floors, which each hold 32 individual study spaces.
  • The Blue Camel Café, a popular coffee and snack shop, which is located in a prominent first-floor spot and doubles as a 24-hour study space.
  • A robust wireless network infrastructure to handle the ever-increasing digital load.
  • Electrical outlets near every seat in the building to keep laptops, phones and other devices charged.
  • A living room-style area just inside the front doors that is ideal for receptions and other events tied to the Chu Room and serves as casual study space at other times.
  • An expansive plaza in front of the building with tables and chairs, ideal for studying and socializing.