About the library


The Van Pelt and Opie Library is a popular and central resource for students, faculty, and staff. Open an extended number of hours per week and with overnight access, the library offers over 750 seats in a wide array of arrangements to support group work and collaboration, individual, silent study and 23 group study rooms. Over 280 Windows, Linux and Macintosh high-performance computer workstations are situated in various configurations throughout. A café, three-season garden/patio and a service center that lends laptops, scientific calculators, cameras and other convenience equipment also contributes to making the library the busiest building on campus with over 650,000 visits per year.

A computer-based classroom and a flexible, laptop-supported instructional space enhance the library’s nationally recognized information literacy education program.


The library’s journal collection is 98% digital with a deep collection of printed historical engineering journals. As of January, 2017, students and faculty have access to 32,000 direct subscriptions (mainly in STEM disciplines) and additional access to 121,000 other serial titles.

The University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections focuses on the history, culture and peoples of the region with a special emphasis on mining history and commerce as well as the University’s history. Over 13,000 images are openly available through the Copper Country Historical Images website.

Access and Discovery:

The library has collaborated with six other libraries in Michigan to acquire a next generation integrated library system in order to improve services including the catalog, discovery layer and internal management of digital resources more cost-effectively.

Additional Service Highlights:

The library supports the second oldest Federal Government Depository in Michigan. A number of historic materials are held uniquely and, in recent years, the depository is designed as digital only. In 2013 the library was designated by the Department of Commerce as a Patent and Trademark Resource Center, one of the few located in a rural area. Workshops and events are held to heighten awareness among students and faculty of specialized databases and search strategies available only to communities with such centers.