Hope College Libraries: A few facts

The Van Wylen Library was completed in 1988 and named for Hope's 9th president and his wife, Dr. Gordon J. and Dr. Margaret D. Van Wylen. The project's architect was the firm of Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott of Boston, Mass. It received an Award of Excellence for Library Architecture from the 1989 Library Buildings Award Jury of the American Institute of Architects. The building is five floors (92,000 square feet) and seats 695.

The libraries are staffed by nine full-time librarians, 12 full and part-time support staff, and approximately 90 student assistants. The library is a member of the Michigan Library Consortium and MeL (Michigan Electronic Library) offering patron initiated borrowing, database licensing, and courier services. The library has an annual budget of $2.5 million.

The staff teaches an average of 185 research education sessions each year. The comprehensive instruction program begins with the First Year Seminar and the freshman Expository Writing course and includes numerous discipline specific, upper level classes. Instruction about the use of the library is a collaborative effort by library and classroom faculty. The effectiveness of the close relationship between the classroom faculty and the library is reflected in the ACRL Excellent Library Award presented to Hope College in 2004.

2012-2013 Statistics


  • Volumes: 387,823
  • Electronic databases: 164
  • Unique electronic journals: 37,888
  • E-books purchased: 19106
  • Books purchased: 4,330
  • ILL and MEL items borrowed for Hope: 5,671
  • Items circulated: 47,832


  • Reference questions answered: 4,217
  • Courses taught sessions: 215
  • Individual research appointments: 262