About the Library

The Library is a busy place, so view the News and Events to find out what is happening, and look at the Maps to learn where rooms, materials, and services are located.

Remember that the regular hours of operation for the Fall and Spring semesters change during the Winter, Summer, and Inter-sessions, so consult our daily Hours before your visit.

A Message from the Chief Librarian

Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library is a mecca of campus activity and learning, drawing in thousands of students and faculty. Opened in 1988, it is named for the late Queens Congressman, who was a champion of progressive causes. The Library, which houses one million hard copy and electronic books, more than 3,000 media titles, and more than 50,000 online serials, plays an integral role in supporting the information needs of the students and faculty of the College.

The Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner Clock Tower, a pivotal and iconic landmark, houses five Dutch bells which ring in honor of the three civil rights workers who dedicated their lives to social justice and equality during Freedom Summer in 1964.

With six spacious, functional floors, the Library has recently become more aesthetically stimulating and user friendly, due to a $2 million grant from the Borough of Queens. The third (main) floor now has numerous circular couches, study tables, study rooms, two glassed-enclosed “mediascape” rooms, and inviting booths near the large windows. Other floors contain new classrooms, group study rooms, an auditorium, conference rooms; and individual, quiet places for contemplation and thought.

The Art Center, along with the Art Library, is located on the sixth floor of the Rosenthal Library and brings to the College and the community exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. The Music Library (located in the Aaron Copland School of Music) has become a gem of the Queen College Libraries, containing over 33,000 scores, 29,000 books and 11,000 sound recordings. Its collections of complete works of composers and monuments of music are outstanding.

We make available an array of print, media, and electronic resources which may be utilized to satisfy the curricular needs of Queens College students. And we provide computer workstations, printers, and scanners which enable our library users to do word processing, access on-line teaching tools such as BlackBoard, assemble PowerPoint presentations, view videos, check e-mail, and much more.

If we don’t have it, we can obtain it for you through our Inter-Library Loan (ILLiad) service and CLICS, a CUNY-wide inter-campus loan service that makes the holdings of CUNY libraries available to our users in 48 hours. We also provide laptops and calculators for check-out, plus computer support services.

We look forward to serving you on site or through our virtual services. Don’t hesitate to let us know how we are doing and how we might satisfy your information needs.

Library Profile

The Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, which opened in 1988, is the centerpiece of the campus, and contains a carefully selected collection of print and non-print materials, including over 800,000 books. The total count of current print journal subscriptions is 1,020, with on-line access to over 23,000 e-journal titles. The Library includes a growing collection of multimedia in its Media Center. There is also an extensive collection of microform material. In addition, the Rosenthal Library is a depository for many U.S. government publications. The Reference Area contains materials for research on a wide range of social science, humanities, education, and science topics.

The Art Library and the Queens College Art Center are on the sixth floor. The Art Library has over 70,000 books; 5,000 bound periodicals; and 110,000 slides, pictures, and exhibition catalogs and pamphlets. The collection includes resources for the study of all aspects of the visual arts and material culture, including art and architectural history, theory, criticism, materials, techniques, and practice.

Nurtured by both the Aaron Copland School of Music and the Queens College Libraries, the Queens College Music Library has evolved into a first-class research facility and is the largest music collection in the CUNY system. The Music Library is located on two levels in the School of Music building and contains over 35,000 scores, 30,000 books and 20,000 sound recordings, including the David S. Walker Music Education Collection and the Ursula Springer Choral Music Collection.

The Queens College Libraries offer a constantly expanding number of electronic resources and services. Electronic resources include online databases, electronic journals and reference sources, electronic books, and internet resource options available from workstations on all floors of the building. Electronic services include off-campus access to CUNY’s online catalog as well as many electronic resources; online renewal of borrowed books; interlibrary loan service that allows for e-mail requests and document delivery; the option of electronic reserve for required readings; word processing at selected workstations; and printing capabilities from all workstations. CUNY Libraries Inter-Campus Services (CLICS) allows users to request circulating books from any CUNY library to be delivered to any other CUNY library for pick up.

At the same time, the libraries continue to provide traditional in-house services: reference; on-site interlibrary loan; a reserve library for print and media reserves; instructional services; multimedia center; education curriculum center; services for students with disabilities and photocopying capabilities.

The Queens College Archives include a selected group of legislative leader Benjamin S. Rosenthal’s Congressional papers, New York State Assemblyman Saul Weprin’s papers, other special collections, and college records dating from 1935. The Louis Armstrong Archives, also housed in the Rosenthal Library building, are open for scholarly consultation.

Library Mission

The QC Library serves the college community by providing and promoting access to all forms of information to support research, study, teaching and the general pursuit of knowledge through instruction in developing research skills, critical evaluation of sources, and appropriate search and retrieval skills to form the basis of post-graduate careers and education.

Library faculty takes an active role in assisting students and faculty in learning how to use print and electronic information resources to support their educational and career needs. Librarians are active teachers of research skills and also provide instruction in the use of new technologies to access information. Librarians and teaching faculty are partners in the development of an information literate campus community.

The library collects, indexes, preserves, and makes accessible information in a variety of formats in anticipation of user information needs, and provides means of access to information located off-campus and in cyberspace in an on-demand mode. The library preserves College history by professionally managing the College archives.

The library’s online catalog and its homepage serve as the primary pathway to content information in print, electronic, and other formats. Library faculty and staff create and maintain these tools to facilitate physical and online access to research resources within and beyond the library.

Library faculty and staff add value to the collections and physical library space through service policies and standards that ensure efficient access to collections, promote their use, protect the privacy of users, protect intellectual property rights, and preserve materials for future users.

The primary community served by the library is the students, faculty, and staff of Queens College. We also serve the students and faculty of other CUNY colleges along with students and teachers affiliated with Queens College programs. As a Depository of U.S. government publications, the library is also open to the general public for consultation and on-site use of collections. Current members of the Queens College Alumni Association and Friends of the Queens College Libraries may borrow materials from the library.

For more information, please contact:

Kristin Hart on Email
Kristin Hart
Chief Librarian , Queens College Libraries