Irwin Library

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.


Most of the physical collection is located in the lower level and on the second floor. The Irwin Library provides seating at study tables, soft spaces, and group/individual study rooms. Study rooms must be reserved in advance and are only available to students. Irwin Library also hosts two privacy booths for those needing to make private phone calls. One is located just inside the front entrance and the other is located on the third floor right outside of Academic Partnerships. Collaborative learning spaces are available to facilitate group work.  There are three classrooms within Irwin Library:

  • Great Books Room (GBR) & IL007: Available for classes, seminars, or academic meetings. Butler faculty who wish to use these spaces for classes should contact Registration and Records. For use other than classes, please request the space via the Calendar and Event Scheduling area of My.Butler. The Great Books Room is located on the first floor and IL007 is on the lower level.
  • Library Instruction Lab: A room reserved for library instruction sessions. Butler faculty should contact their subject liaison librarian to arrange research visits for their classes.

Additional spaces on the first floor may also be available for events. Butler faculty can request the Collaborative Learning Space via the Calendar and Event Scheduling area of My.Butler. Please contact the Administrative Specialist for the Libraries with any questions.

Services to Patrons with Disabilities

Butler University Libraries are committed to providing equal access for patrons with disabilities. Our services include:

  • Designated parking spaces for patrons with mobility impairment
  • Accessible entrance and restrooms
  • Elevator access to all levels
  • Library orientation (for a scheduled appointment, contact Information Commons)
  • Student Disability Services room (Room 217) is available to Butler students who are registered with Student Disability Services.
  • Renewals via email, telephone, or via the My Library Card

Technology and Equipment

Irwin Library provides access to desktop PCs and Macs in the lab on the first floor and throughout the building. Wireless access is available throughout the building. Print, copy, scan, and fax services are also available.

A turntable is available on a first come, first serve basis. It is located in the basement of Irwin (head down the main stairwell into the basement and it will be off to your left near a pillar).

The Rich Media Area located in the lab on the first floor of the library houses several specialized pieces of technology:

  • Microfilm machine
  • Wacom tablet
  • VHS-to-DVD converter
  • Blu-ray Player

Several of these workstations include larger or multiple computer screens and additional software. The microfilm machine can be used by all patrons, though guests will need to visit the Information Commons desk to gain access. The other equipment is reserved for Butler students, faculty, and staff. Priority will be given to those utilizing the technology for academic purposes.

Butler students are able to check out several pieces of technology equipment from the Information Commons desk. Faculty and staff should refer to IT’s technology equipment page.