Library Tours

The Library has approximately 30 subject libraries, area studies centers, and special collections across campus. Some libraries are in the Main Library building and others are located near the department or college they serve. We also have virtual libraries for some of our subject areas. Each library offers a full range of reference services geared toward assisting library users.
You have several Library tour options:
  • New student tours
  • Arrange for a group tour
  • Self-guided and video tours
  • Search for the Library’s geocache

Uncover and Discover: New Student Library Orientation

Get to know the University Library system and services at the University of Illinois. We’ll take you on a tour of the Main and Undergraduate Libraries, stopping to see all major service points. Next, we’ll provide you with an introduction to the Library’s website and answer your questions about using the Library.
Contact the Information Desk for more information: or call 217-333-2290. Meet in the Marshall Gallery on the first floor of the Main Library near the Social Sciences, Health and Education Library (SSHEL).

Arrange for a Group Tour

To arrange a group tour (please allow two weeks planning time for any requested tour):
  • If you would like to request a subject specific tour, please contact your departmental library.
  • For faculty and teaching assistants who would like to request a tour of the Main Library for their class, please contact Sarah Christensen, Visual Resources and Outreach Specialist:, 217-333-3292.
  • To request tours of the Main Stacks, please contact Central Access Services.
  • Tours of the Library for community or alumni groups may be arranged by contacting Heather Murphy, Associate Director of Advancement for Publications and Public Affairs:, 217-333-3758.
  • To request tours of the Undergraduate Library, please contact Kirsten Feist, Instructional Services Specialist in the Undergraduate Library:, 217-300-2272.
  • If your request falls outside the tours listed above, please contact Lisa Hinchliffe, Coordinator of Information Literacy Services and Instruction:, 217-333-1323.

Self-Guided and Video Tours

a.   Audio tours of the Main and Undergraduate Libraries are available at the Information Desk on the second floor of the Main Library or at the Undergraduate Library Information Services Desk. The mp3 players may be charged out with a University ID. If you don’t have a University ID you must leave a driver’s license or other form of identification. The tour takes approximately one hour to complete, or half an hour for either the Undergraduate or Main Library.

The tour takes approximately one hour to complete. You can tour either the Undergraduate or Main Library alone in a bit less than half an hour.

b.  Watch a video tour of the library


If you don’t have time for a tour, searching for the Library’s geocache is a fun way to explore the Library!

Geocaching is a treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices (including cell phones). Players go to specific coordinates where geocaches (containers) are hidden to try to find them, sometimes solving puzzles on the way. At Illinois, there is a Library-themed prize included in the cache.