The Libraries

The St. Olaf Libraries provide a variety of carefully selected resources that mirror the breadth and depth of the undergraduate curriculum. These resources are housed in two branches: Rølvaag Library (the "main" library) and Halvorson Music Library. The libraries subscribe to thousands of print and electronic periodicals, core disciplinary journals, and hundreds of scholarly online databases and archival collections to support academic and curricular research.

The strength of the St. Olaf collection is magnified through our partnership with the Carleton College Library via the Bridge consortium which offers a joint catalog of over 1.3 million items, including physical and online video and audio recordings and digital resources. In addition, both schools have implemented Bridge², a web discovery tool that provides access to over a billion regional, national, and international academic resources. Strong relationships with national library consortia provide extensive delivery of items via interlibrary-loan.

While the Bridge consortium provides the fundamental resources for undergraduate research, it also has a number of unusual strengths. St. Olaf College has especially strong holdings in the fields of music, Nordic history and literature, and Norwegian-American culture and church life. The St. Olaf Libraries digitize, and make freely available, unique local publications such as the Olaf Messenger, the Viking Yearbook, and other works of historical significance to St. Olaf College.

The St. Olaf Libraries offer a course-integrated instruction program that teaches students to conduct research in a wide range of disciplines. In a typical academic week, the libraries provide 60 hours of research assistance via course instruction and individual consultations. The libraries are open 110 hours per week when class is in session, with extended hours late in the semester and during exams. Twenty-six staff and more than 100 students purchase, organize, and provide access to a rich blend of materials and service points.