A State of the Art Research Facility
The Mission of the Howard University Law Library is to provide a quality, complete collection of legal materials for the Howard University School of Law faculty and students. Recognizing that the legal system extends beyond the Howard University School of Law community, the Law Library also provides access to legal materials for the practicing attorney, as well as people of all races, creeds and colors.
As repositories of knowledge and as places to learn, libraries are central to a university’s mission. In May 2001, Howard University School of Law Library moved into its state-of-the-art facility. The four-story, 76,000 square foot building provides space for a book collection of up to 215,000 volumes; can seat more than 295 students (more than 70 percent of the student population), including 90 open carrels; enlarged microfilm and audio-visual facilities; three distinctive rooms of wood and brick for special collections, newspaper and periodical reading, and a rare book collection.
The library is organized around the second-floor, triple-height Reading Room, which has wireless access to the Internet and faces the new courtyard and Holy Cross Hall to the south. The tall windows of this 4,000-square-foot space give views onto the landscaped courtyard and celebrate the display of readers and books to the campus. Table and lounge seating for 80 students is provided in this great room, as well as the 2,000-volume reference collection.
The book collection and individual student carrels are distributed equally on the second, third, and fourth floors that open directly to the Reading Room. A wood-paneled lobby on the first floor connects the building entrances from the courtyard to the south and the parking areas to the north, and functionally separates the Law Library from the Smart classroom and student computer lab.
Framing the interior entrance to the library are display cases that inform visitors about the law faculty and the library. The west wing of the library provides a total of five private study rooms and six group study rooms that serve from two-to-eight students each and are on the second and third floors. Crowning the west wing and surrounded by a roof terrace is the Special Collections Rare Book Reading Room.