Collection Development

The Gould Library collection supports the college’s diverse programs of learning and teaching. Collection scope and depth reflect the curriculum of the college, directly supporting the teaching programs of each department, and enabling students to conduct comps research. Our collections include print materials as well as digital collections. As a small liberal arts library, we cannot own everything that is needed, but we have partnerships that allow us to expand access to resources through Interlibrary Loan as well as our membership in HathiTrust and the Center for Research Libraries. Carleton faculty members play a key role in building the library collection and are encouraged to submit requests for materials and resources that support the curriculum. To cultivate new tenure-track faculty member’s participation, $1,000 is set aside for each new tenure-track faculty member’s suggestions for acquisitions in their first academic year at Carleton. Please contact Lisa Pillow, Collections Strategy and Development Librarian, with inquiries and issues about collection development.

Reference & Instruction

Staff at the Laurence McKinley Gould Library are committed to building collaborative partnerships to support faculty in their research and their courses. Reference and instruction librarians help students develop a deeper understanding of disciplinary research in preparation for specific assignments, for their courses and major, for comps, and for lifelong learning. Librarians offer research help at the reference desk, through tailored library instruction, and during individual student consultations. Each academic department or program has its own reference and instruction liaison librarian. (see Reference Librarians by Department). Please get in touch with your librarian to discuss the many possibilities of working together.

Special Collections

Gould Library Special Collections is curated to support the curriculum, holding historical publications, rare books, and contemporary artists’ books in a wide variety of subjects. Faculty interested in learning about the possibilities for using Special Collections in class sessions, student projects, or their own research may contact Special Collections or Rebecca Bramlett, Special Collections Librarian. Inquiries regarding potential Special Collections acquisitions to support the curriculum may also be directed to Rebecca Bramlett, Special Collections Librarian.


As the designated repository of materials related to the work, history, and development of Carleton College, the College Archives provides an array of primary and secondary source materials that reflect and comment upon our country’s changing educational, social, and cultural landscape over the past 150 years. Faculty interested in curricular use of the Archives should contact Archives or Tom Lamb, College Archivist.


The Athenaeum is an intimate lecture and presentation event space located on the 4th floor of Gould Library. Events must be reserved in advance and be open to the entire Carleton community. To submit an event inquiry, email us at


Through the Robert C. Larson ’56 Art in the Library program, the library hosts and supports curricular-related exhibits. Often these exhibits are co-curated by students (individually or in groups), library staff, and faculty. Faculty may contact Zoe Adler, Curator of Library Art and Exhibitions, if they have an exhibit idea or are interested in designing class assignments based on student-curated exhibits.

Archiving Comps

The procedure for archiving of comps and honors papers with the college is described at Archiving of Comps, Honors Papers & Other Significant Student Work. Contact with questions on how the library, ITS and/or PEPS can help your department archive most of your department/program comps. 

Finally, to ensure quality information services and support, please consult with the library when considering new programmatic/curricular directions for the department.