Mission & Facts
It is the mission of the Butler University Libraries to actively
support the educational goals of Butler University by providing
facilities, services, resources, technology, and educational
opportunities that facilitate access to information. Central to
this mission are the needs of undergraduate students.
The libraries also have a responsibility to support teaching and
scholarship and to help preserve the intellectual heritage which is
at the core of the university's overall mission.
Strategic Plan 2013-2016
In the fall of 2012, the Butler University Libraries met to
develop a new strategic plan and accompanying initiatives. The
results of those discussions is available as a PDF.
Following the adoption of the 2013-16 Strategic Plan, library
faculty and staff worked to develop a new Collection Policy based
on the plan and its initiatives. The new policy document was
finalized and adopted in August of 2013, and is available here as a
For information about the Shared Print Initiative, see the Redefining Collections
and Spaces FAQ.
Facts about the BU Libraries
The Butler University Libraries make available the materials
needed to support study, teaching, and research in all areas of
intellectual endeavor pursued at Butler. There are two libraries on
campus. The Irwin Library includes the business; education and
curriculum resources; liberal arts; and performing and fine arts
collections. The Ruth Lilly Science Library houses materials
supporting studies in the fields of computer, mathematics,
pharmaceutical, physical, biological and behavioral sciences. The
combined holdings of the Butler Libraries include approximately
100,000 e-books, 200 databases, 35,000 electronic journal
subscriptions, 335,000 print materials, 16,000 audiovisual
materials, and more than 17,000 musical scores.
Library faculty are available to offer individual research
assistance through walk-up assistance at the libraries' information
desks, instant messaging: libguides.butler.edu/ask
, phone: 940-9235, and by appointment. Librarians also collaborate
with assigned colleges and departments to provide
discipline-specific, classroom instruction on library research
skills. In addition, students can obtain basic research and
technology support for their classes by visiting or contacting the
This is a student-staffed, class support service where students can
receive basic research help or technology training related to their
classes. The Information Commons service includes a walk-up desk in
Irwin Library; numerous online communication options: texting, IM,
email, and phone; and prearranged appointments.
The libraries' web site: http://www.butler.edu/library
serves as a portal to the libraries' online and print collections
and provides details about services, staff, policies and hours. A
great place to start ones research is at the subject LibGuides directory.
Created by library faculty, LibGuides are available based on
subject areas, Butler majors, and specific Butler classes. Butler
Libraries supports the statements and values articled in the
American Libraries Association's Library
Bill of Rights.
The Irwin Library opened for service on Sept. 9, 1963. It was
dedicated in memory of William G. Irwin, a longtime benefactor of
Butler University and member of the Board of Trustees. The building
was designed by world-famous architect Minoru Yamasaki in a unique
blending of Middle Eastern, Classical Greek, Italian Gothic and
Japanese influences. Slender columns of pre-cast concrete, an
expanse of arched windows, an atrium open to all three stories set
off by cylindrical chandeliers and a skylight above, and a fountain
and pool on the main level create a unique study environment.
The Irwin Library provides seating for about 400 students at study
tables, individual study carrels, and group/individual study rooms.
Collaborative learning spaces are available where students can move
soft seating to facilitate group work. Irwin Library provides
access to desktop PCs and Macs, maintains a computer lab in the
Information Commons area, offers laptops for checkout, and supports
wireless access throughout the building.
The lower level of Irwin Library houses the Education Commons
which serves as a centralized library resource location for College
of Education students and faculty. In addition to scholarly books
and periodicals covering education-related topics, the Education
Commons collections include children's and young adult literature
and related reference books, K-12 textbooks, and elementary and
secondary curriculum resource materials. A Rich Media area, where
students can record and edit audio and video presentations, is
available to support students working on multimedia projects. The
Education Commons also includes group workstations, the Phi Delta
Kappa Reavis Reading Area, and a classroom where several College of
Education courses are held.
Music, art, and dance materials are located together in specially
designated areas of Irwin Library. Reference materials and the
Music and Fine Arts Librarian's office are located on the main
floor in the northeast corner of the building. Circulating
materials in these disciplines are housed on the second floor. CD,
DVD, and videocassettes can be obtained at the Information Commons
The Hugh Thomas Miller Rare Books and Special Collections Room
is located on Irwin Library's third floor. Early or rare books,
prints, manuscripts, scores, maps, newspapers, and memorabilia can
be found here. Special collections include the largest English
language collection about the Pacific Islands in the mainland
United States; the most important Sibelius collection outside of
Finland; and other smaller specialized collections. This department
also administers the University Archives and the Eliza Blaker
The Ruth Lilly Science Library is located in the heart of the
Butler University science complex, on the second and third floors
of the Holcomb Building. Comfortable furnishings and a skylight on
the third floor create a pleasant and quiet atmosphere for research
and study. The Science Library can seat approximately 100 users,
provides access to desktop PCs, offers laptops for checkout, and
supports wireless access.
In addition to printed materials, the library maintains
extensive DVD/videocassette collections and provides online access
to numerous science and technology databases. The library and its
services are available to the entire Butler community. A Science
Librarian is available weekdays for assistance.
Last updated October 6, 2014.