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The library is a central part of intellectual and cultural life at Reed. Its mission is to provide collections and services that support the educational goals of the college. An expansion and renovation of the building completed in 2002 provides additional computer workstations and study spaces with wired and wireless network connections, high-density shelving for print collections, and a computer classroom for library instruction.

The library houses a collection of over half a million volumes and subscribes to more than 10,000 journals, many of which are available electronically. The library is a depository for U.S. government publications and maintains special collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archival materials. The Instructional Media Center (IMC) houses the library's collection of audio visual materials, the language lab, and music listening facilities.

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