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Who We Are

For over 160 years, The Cooper Union Library has served the creative, intellectual, scientific and technical work of The Cooper Union community and beyond. Our collections and services are designed to inform and enrich the college’s teaching, learning, research and professional practice. 

Whether you are a new student writing your first research paper, a team of graduate students exploring sustainable technologies, a faculty member in search of a film to share in class, or a visiting scholar drawn here by the extraordinary Cooper Union archives and Special Collections, our knowledgeable librarians and staff members are ready to connect you to the information resources you need. You can chat with a librarian in real-time, e-mail, phone, or visit us in person.

We invite you to find inspiration, discover new ideas, challenge underlying assumptions, engage with different perspectives, and make something awesome.

Our Vision

We envision the world inspired by Peter Cooper’s vision—where access to information, like education, is equitable and enduring and serves to advance knowledge by enriching the intellect, inspiring creativity, and instilling a sense of social justice that translates into action.

Our Mission

The Cooper Union Library nurtures learning and furthers civic discourse. We curate impactful collections, provide reflective information access, and steward the institution’s past, all in dialog with today’s critical challenges and opportunities. 

Our Goals

Space & Community

  • Provide a social, intellectual, and compassionate environment. Create a space that welcomes and supports the research and practices of students, faculty, and alumni. 

Resources & Collections

  • Meet and expand upon the resource needs of the college’s intellectual practices.  Curate diverse and inspiring collections both physically and online. 

Information Literacy

  • Promote critical and ethical use of information within our community. Provide a framework for information literacy that is thoughtful, engaged, and collaborative. 

Archives & Institutional History

  • Encourage engagement with institutional history to understand the present and envision possible futures. Preserve historical collections with intentionality and purpose. 


  • Provide an intimate forum for free exchanging ideas across the community. Curate and host thoughtful events, exhibits, and activities. 

Back to Free

  • Identify cost-effective strategies to provide the Cooper Union community with the substantial breadth of services and resources needed while supporting the College’s foundational commitment to free tuition. Invest in consistent purchasing and resource-sharing programs to expand resources while maintaining targeted budget limits.

Statement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Cooper Union Library, including Archives and Special Collections, recognizes that our community is enriched and enhanced when diverse perspectives are recognized, respected, and represented, and when we create an environment that is open, equitable and inclusive. To that end, we seek to:

  • Collect and provide access to resources that represent diverse voices, promote equity and inclusion, and champion social justice.
  • Seek out and preserve archives and special collections from historically underrepresented portions of The Cooper Union community.
  • Design, maintain, and advocate for systems and structures that eliminate bias and racism.
  • Provide spaces that are safe, accessible, and inclusive.
  • Offer services, exhibits, and programs that educate, stimulate, and inspire.
  • Further the well-being of all our community members — especially students — by acting with patience, understanding and compassion.
  • Use our purchasing power to support BIPOC-owned businesses whenever possible.
  • Cultivate self-awareness and empathy and provide ongoing training and support for all library staff in developing cultural competencies.
  • Create an open and welcoming work environment that will enable us to attract and retain a diverse staff in what has historically not been a diverse field.
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