About the Library

Van Wylen Library serves as a vibrant center of intellectual and cultural life at Hope College by assuming a significant educational role in a college community committed to excellence in learning and teaching. The library provides an inviting atmosphere, access to numerous print and digital materials, and innovative technologies and services to deliver information and scholarly resources to patrons.

Group photo of library employees, April 2019

Library Mission & Values

The Hope College Library connects students, faculty and staff to information in all forms and supports teaching, learning, scholarship and creative endeavors in a liberal arts community. Diverse resources, spaces and services are provided for all stages of the scholarly communication process. The library strives to be an engaging center of lifelong learning that inspires students to question, contemplate and create.

Library Values
  • Offering a welcoming and inclusive environment that affirms the dignity of all persons as bearers of God’s image and where the full humanity of all may flourish.
  • Providing varied spaces and services for students to read, research, write, collaborate and create.
  • Educating students, faculty and staff to use and think critically about information, technology and digital citizenship.
  • Providing access to information via quality metadata and systems so users can find the information they need.
  • Preserving intellectual/cultural history and collections that support the undergraduate curriculum.
  • Supporting faculty research throughout the scholarly communication process.
  • Valuing and empowering employees so that they succeed personally and professionally.
  • Practicing good stewardship of college resources.
  • Collaborating with others to achieve the broader college mission, including through campus governance, relationships with faculty and bringing our expertise to bear on campus issues.
  • Championing the professional tenets articulated by the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Society of American Archivists; the Library Bill of Rights and the principles of intellectual freedom.
Contact Us
  • Chat or text: You can Ask a Librarian at any time the library is open.
  • Walk-in assistance: Stop by the Research Help Desk on the first floor of the library.
  • Schedule a research consultation: For in-depth help, we recommend that you schedule an appointment in advance. Individuals and small groups are welcome.
  • Phone: Call 616-395-7904 to speak with a Research Help Desk attendant. Call 616-395-7905 to ask about your library account or to renew materials.
  • Email: Send general questions to askalibrarian@hope.edu. For questions about library accounts, fines or overdues, contact circ@hope.edu.
  • Liaison librarians: Faculty can contact their liaison librarian for research assistance, collection development suggestions and help in identifying resources to support their curriculum.
Staff Listings
Room Finder

To reserve a room, visit events.hope.edu and submit a request.



Group Study Rooms

Group Study Rooms are for the use of Hope College students studying together. Two or more people constitute a group. Groups have priority over individual users. Larger groups may not displace smaller groups. Groups not affiliated with the college may not displace Hope College students.

To reserve a Group Study Room, call 395-7790 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday–Friday, or email Patti Carlson at carlsonp@hope.edu.

Floor Maps

Our materials are arranged by the Library of Congress call number system. Use the floor maps below to orient yourself and find particular subjects.

Directions & Parking

Parking is available along 10th Street and along College Avenue. City parking lots are available along 9th and 7th streets. All parking is free of charge.

Driving directions from east of Holland

  • From I-196, take exit 55
  • Travel west on Business-196 for six miles
  • Continue straight, road changes name to 8th Street
  • Turn left on College Avenue
  • Library is two blocks south on right

Driving directions from south of Holland

  • From I-196, take left exit 44 for US-31
  • In three miles, take left exit 47B (Downtown Holland)
  • Follow Washington/Michigan/River avenues north to 10th Street
  • Turn right on 10th Street
  • Library is two blocks east on right

 Interactive map of Hope College

Policies

Van Wylen Library is guided by the following policies.

Cup & Chaucer

The Cup & Chaucer provides an area to gather and study in a café-like atmosphere. It is located in the lobby of Van Wylen Library and managed by Hope College Dining Services. The Cup & Chaucer offers Simpatico coffee, bottled beverages, snacks and a variety of fresh-baked goods, including Good Earth bagels. Please see Dining Services for more information. You can reserve the room using the Event Management System.

A.J. Muste Alcove

On the second floor of Van Wylen Library, a study alcove has been dedicated to pacifist, labor leader and Hope College alumnus Abraham Johannes Muste (1885–1967). This alcove features a unique sculpture created by John Saurer ’89 called "Stop, Look, and Listen." The sculpture is made of a large cylinder, cube and pyramid that feature a chalkboard surface so that those in the campus community can cover them with their own musings and reflections.

Learn about A.J. Muste and the Muste Lecture Series 

Interesting Facts
  • The library is named for Hope College’s ninth president, Dr. Gordon J. Van Wylen, and his wife, Dr. Margaret D. Van Wylen.
  • Van Wylen Library has five floors (92,000 square feet) and seats 695.
  • The project’s architect was the firm of Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott of Boston, Massachusetts.
  • The building was completed in 1988 and received an Award of Excellence for Library Architecture from the 1989 Library Buildings Award Jury of the American Institute of Architects.
  • The ACRL Excellent Library Award was presented to Hope College in 2004.
  • The staff teaches an average of 185 research education sessions each year.

Hope by the Numbers

  • 2,708Questions Answered Last Year

    Our librarians are prepared to answer any question you can think of. All you need to do is ask.

    Ask a question via email, phone, online chat, text or in person
  • 221Library Class Sessions Taught Last Year

    Librarians teach a wide array of course-embedded library sessions, ranging from general information literacy in FYS and English 113 to subject-specific research tools and techniques in the disciplines.

    Learn more
  • 394,905E-books and E-Media Titles Available

    E-books and electronic media can be downloaded to your computer or accessed through the web, at your convenience.

    Search for e-books
  • 40,000+Full-Text Electronic Journals

    Van Wylen Library offers a wide variety of periodicals whose contents are fully accessible online.

    Browse our e-journals