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Neilson Library first floor seating area

As the intellectual heart of the campus, the library celebrates learning and discovery. Renowned architectural designer Maya Lin’s vision has reimagined the building as a place of beauty, harmony, connection and community. Illuminating down through five stories, the atrium’s oculus is a beacon of light, while glass windows throughout bring the natural landscape outside in. Take a virtual video tour and enjoy innovative spaces and awe-inspiring views. See for yourself why Maya Lin describes Neilson as “calmly natural,” and why President McCartney says the library “invites us to explore the world in all its wonder.”

Download a floor-by-floor guide to Neilson Library.

Those visiting the Neilson Library can now see real-time occupancy levels in spaces around the building.

Neilson Library Hours

(7/21) Sunday (7/22) Monday (7/23) Tuesday (7/24) Wednesday (7/25) Thursday (7/26) Friday (7/27) Saturday
Neilson Library 10am - 10pm 8am - 10pm 8am - 10pm 8am - 10pm 8am - 10pm 8am - 6pm 10am - 6pm

Where to Go for Help

Location & Contact

Help Provided

Central Service Point

Ground floor Central Hall

Checking out library materials, technology and media production equipment

Directions to services, staff, and spaces

Course reserves

Research advice and referrals

Technology and software guidance 

Library account & billing

Welcome Station

1st floor Central Hall

Directions to services, staff, and spaces; appointment referrals and general information

Learning Commons

Neilson 108

Student-centered space providing tutoring, workshops, study groups, and other programs.

Jill Ker Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center

Neilson 103

Innovation and financial literacy hub, student ideation space, and venture development assistance, including classes and workshops.

Special Collections Welcome Desk

Neilson 307

Special Collections materials and access.

Collections & Services


General Collections Locations Location
LC Call Numbers A – PT, Burack (new fiction / non fiction) collection, language readers collection, and reference collection Ground floor
LC Call Numbers PT – Q, journals and magazines 1st floor
LC Call Numbers Q – TX 2nd floor
Oversized and oversized reference books 2nd floor mezzanine
LC Call Numbers TX – ZA, bound journals 3rd floor

For an overview of the letters and corresponding subject areas of the Library of Congress Classification system, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline.

If you can’t retrieve the item you are looking for please place a request in the Discover Advanced.

Books shelved in Neilson that were formerly classified under the Dewey Decimal System have been reclassified under the Library of Congress system for ease of use.

Additional library materials are housed in the Five College Annex. These materials can be requested through Discover Advanced.


A number of services are offered in Neilson Library, including:

Special Collections

The materials in our special collections are kept in a secure, climate-controlled area. Please visit or contact the Special Collections Reading Room to ask about accessing these materials.

Neilson Spaces & Technology

To submit an image to be displayed on Neilson Library digital signage, please fill out this form.

  • Connector Tunnel to Alumnae Gymnasium - Lower Level
  • Courtyard - 013. This space is open to anyone who would like to enjoy it.
  • Digital Media Hub and production studios - 012
  • Browsing Room - 102
  • Jill Ker Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center - 103
  • Learning Commons - 108
  • The Compass library café - 110
  • Amphitheater - outside The Compass, near Wright Hall
  • Reflection Room - 208A. This room is available for silent meditation and prayer.
  • Classics Study - 208B
  • Exhibit spaces - 2nd floor and 3rd floor central halls. See Exhibition Program for more information on exhibits and to submit an exhibit proposal.
  • Skyline Reading Room and Terrace - 4th floor. Please note that the terrace closes at 6 p.m. during warm weather. The terrace is closed over the winter.
  • Lockers - Available for OneCard holders to store personal belongings. Tap your OneCard on a locker to open it or lock it. A green light means the locker is available; a red light means the locker is in use. Lockers will be emptied daily at closing. Contact the Central Service Point for assistance. Lockers can be found in the following locations:
    • Ground floor, across from print/copy/scan stations
    • 1st floor café, near the elevator
    • 3rd floor, across the hall from the restrooms
    • 3rd floor, outside the Special Collections Reading Room

  • Soft seating is available on all floors
  • Study Carrels are available on the Ground floor, 2nd floor, and 3rd floor
  • Study tables are available on each floor
  • Group study rooms are available on floors G through 3
  • Study spaces on 2nd and 3rd floor Ruth J. Simmons Wing
  • Reading Room - 302
  • Skyline Reading Room on the 4th floor
  • Phone Rooms - 001E, 010B, 101E, 108K, 208C. Individual rooms for private phone and Zoom conversations.

See also Study Spaces and Reservable Spaces.

The following spaces are designated at "Quiet" study spaces in Neilson Library:

  • ground floor sunken courtyard carrels
  • 2nd floor north wing study area
  • 3rd floor north wing study area
  • 3rd floor collaboration rooms
  • 3rd floor Lane reading room

Neilson Library offers a number of reservable spaces, including small collaboration rooms, seminar rooms, classrooms, and more. Neilson Library spaces have been designed to be flexible and used for different purposes throughout the day. For more information, or to reserve a space, see Reservable Study Spaces.

Contact Neilson Library

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Mailing/delivery address:
Neilson Library c/o Alumnae Gym
83 Green Street
Northampton, MA 01063