Watson Library

Watson Library with Tulips

Built in 1924, Watson Library is the oldest and largest of KU’s libraries and is named after university librarian Carrie Watson. The library houses collections in the social sciences, humanities, education, journalism, and social welfare. The majority of KU's film and DVD collection can also be found in Watson.

Watson offers both group and quiet study areas, as well as computer workstations, bookeye scanners, and printers. Laptops and calculators can be checked out at the service desk.

1425 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045

Information: 785-864-8983
Research Help: 785-864-3347

Student studying on laptop in library

Reserve a Study Room

Study rooms are available to support academic study and research.

Reserve a study room
Student using in-person Ask A Librarian service

Ask A Librarian

We can help with your research questions — contact us by chat, phone, email, text or at a Research Help desk.

Chat with a librarian now!

Study Spaces

Watson Library, Third Floor

Third Floor

The third floor of Watson boasts group study spaces, computer workstations, FitDesks, study carrels, and Studio K.
Watson Library, Fourth Floor

Fourth Floor

Quiet individual and group study spaces and the graduate study lounge are located on the fourth floor.
Watson Library, Fifth Floor

Fifth Floor

The fifth floor is home to quiet study with breathtaking views of the Gothic windows, International Collections, a reflection room, and the libraries administrative office.

Located in Watson Library

  • Ask A Librarian

    Expert library faculty and staff can help you find the best resources for your research topic, discuss strategies and develop skills for searching article databases and the library catalog, identify and locate primary source materials, and search the web efficiently for credible information.

  • Book Return

    Easily return your checked-out materials back to the library.

  • Common Access Card Reader

    Military-affiliated KU Students can checkout a Common Access Card Reader from the Watson service desk. The Common Access Card (aka CAC) Reader can be used at the CAC designated computer in Watson Library.

  • FitDesks

    Bike Desks (aka FitDesks) are located east of the lobby, near the DVD collection and group study room.

  • Graduate Student Study

    The Graduate Student Study lounge offers graduate students of all disciplines a quiet place to write, research, and study.

  • GIS & Data Lab

    The GIS & Data Lab facilitates the KU community’s use of digital data, such as geospatial, quantitative, tabular, and textual data.

  • Haricombe Gallery

    Each semester, the Haricombe Gallery hosts exhibitions with interdisciplinary work by the KU community.

  • Honors Student Study Lounge

    A space for Honors Students to focus on their work.

  • IDRH

    The Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities (IDRH) is an intellectual hub for digital humanities inquiry and practice that reaches across and beyond the KU campus. We welcome everyone, from the curious to the novice to the expert.

  • Interlibrary Loan

    Request articles, books, and more!

  • International Collections

    KU librarians and staff have partnered with KU language departments and area studies programs to assemble diverse and unique materials from all over the world in support of research and learning at KU.

  • Lactation Room

    The lactation room is available to all members of the campus community. All of the clean and private rooms offer an electrical outlet, a locking door, as well as a chair and table.

  • Reflection Room

    The use of these spaces requires tolerance of all faiths, spiritual beliefs, and practices. So that all enter these spaces with common expectations, here are guidelines to help ensure a peaceful and safe experience for all.

  • Reserve a Group Study Room

    Have a class project and need a place to bring your group together? Watson Library has reservable study rooms.

  • Studio K

    Studio K is a quick-record studio, designed so that any user can walk in and start recording a speech, demonstration or presentation within moments of arrival.