Olin Main Floor

Olin Ground Floor

About Olin Library

When the campus moved from town to Mayflower Hill, separate collections were maintained within the science departments in Biology, Geology, and one room in Keyes for Chemistry/Physics/Math. In 1978, after the Mudd building was added to the science division, the department collections were merged into the Allyn/Smith Science Library carved out of expanded space in Keyes. The name derived from gifts honoring Bella Keyes Allyn (Keyes Fibre being the previous name of the mill now owned by Huhtamaki), and George Otis Smith (Colby, 1893), longtime Director of the U.S. Geological Survey. Occupying one corner on the second floor of Keyes, with a stairwell leading to the west half of the ground floor, the library quickly outgrew its space. With the advent of computers and the healthy collection growth in the 1980s, as well as a demand for research space in the science division, an urgent need for a fourth science building was identified.

In 1994, after several years of grant applications, Colby was awarded the highly coveted F. W. Olin Foundation grant that provided funds for an entire furnished building. The Science Library moved into the F.W. Olin Science Center in 1996, quadrupling its square footage and providing 110 seats as compared to 25 in the old library. The quality of collection and study space brought the library into the 21st century with network access at every seat in a comfortable and pleasing environment.

The Science Library houses collections supporting biology, chemistry, computer and environmental science, geology, mathematics, physics and astronomy, and science technology studies. A complete collection of U.S. topographic maps is housed on the ground floor. There are individual and group study spaces within the Library, open most days 8 am to midnight. Services offered include reference, individual and group instruction, and science reserve readings. 24-hour study is available in the corridor directly adjacent to the Library.