As a center of intellectual inquiry, the Berntsen Library serves the Northwestern community through information resources and expertise in order to advance the university’s educational mission. 


Understanding our profession and community, we will anticipate information needs; cultivate responsive services; purposefully integrate information skills within the teaching, learning, and scholarship processes of the university; and equip students for a life of learning.  


The library staff strives to carry out our work within our stated values: collegiality, excellence, intellectual inquiry, respect for people at all levels of educational pursuit and from all disciplines, and stewardship.


The Berntsen Library is named in honor of former University of Northwestern president and chancellor, William B. Berntsen. The three-level, 37,800 square-foot facility opened to the Northwestern community in January 1993.

The Berntsen Library provides access to more than 260,000 titles and 118 online collections.  Additionally, the Berntsen Library is a member of CLIC (Cooperating Libraries in Consortium), which provides for and promotes resource-sharing with the libraries of six other private colleges in the Twin Cities. Through CLIC, the UNW community gains access to a combined collection of 2.2 million titles.