Library > About Us

About Us

The University of Nebraska Kearney Library was built in 1963 and named after professor of English Calvin T. Ryan. An addition to the library was completed in 1981-82 that doubled its size. Study and classroom seating accommodates over 1,100 library users. Group study rooms, individual study carrels, photocopying and scanning facilities, three instructional computer labs, and a coffee shop and lounge are available. The Calvin T. Ryan Library is centrally located on the south-east end of campus just west of the bell tower.

library interior Library exterior Students in Library library book stacks

In addition to library collections, offices, and services, the Calvin T. Ryan Library currently houses the Mitchell Communications Center and the Learning Commons.

Personnel: 19 (4 faculty, 5 professional staff, 10 support staff)

Library Collections:

  • Books: Over 210,000 print titles and over 250,000 print volumes. More than 130,000 e-book titles.
  • Periodicals:Over 600 print subscriptions, and more than 120,000 periodical volumes. Online access to around 87,000 periodical titles.
  • Online Databases:The library subscribes to more than 250 online databases and e-resources including Academic Search Premier, Academic OneFile, JSTOR, LexisNexis, and Ebooks on EBSCOhost.
  • More about the library: The library has collections in other formats, including: compact discs, DVDs, games, kits, and more.
  • Special Collections:The Library's Special Collection is a collection of about 2,600 published items, concerning the history of Nebraska, the Plains, and the West. Some of the items are rare and many of them are irreplaceable. Items are cataloged and searchable via the library catalog.
  • UNK Archives:UNK Archives collects unique materials related to the past and present of the university; other foci include the history of education and the history of central and western Nebraska. Items date from 1905 to the present and include papers, film, pictures, digital files, and much more.
  • United States Government Depository: The Calvin T. Ryan Library has been a selective U.S. Government Depository since 1962. The collection consists of items in print and micro-formats with access to thousands of government publications in online formats. The online collection grows by about 1000 documents per month.
  • Nebraska State Government Depository: The Library is also a Nebraska State Depository with items in print, micro- and online formats.

Library Publications:


  • Over 100 computers are available to library users, including those in three computer labs and laptops circulated within Calvin T. Ryan Library.
  • Wireless access is available to authenticated users within all UNK buildings including the Calvin T. Ryan Library. Go to This site provides additional instructions and the required software for full access to the wireless network.
  • Visit this page for the Library Computer Software List

Permanent Artworks:

  • Lower Level:
    • Ed Dadey Field Piece, Assemblage
    • Robert C. Therien, Jr. Watergarden I Plus II - Rumors, Oil on Canvas
    • Harold Holoun Platte River Skyscape, Oil on Canvas
  • First Floor:
    • Robert Benzel Passages, Fiber Work
    • George Lundeen The Flatlander, Bronze
    • Dan Howard Summer by the Platte, Oil on Canvas
    • Keith Lowry Northwest of 70th, Oil on Canvas
    • Marilyn Belschner Calvin T. Ryan, Pastel
    • Frederic Remington The Bronco Buster, Bronze Replica
    • Vanacker title unknown, Colored Etching
    • Pierre Les Bicoques, Colored Etching
    • Artist unknown After Van Neste, Colored Etching
    • Artist unknown title unknown, Reproduction of Colored Etching
    • Debra Babbitt Calla Lilies, Watercolor
    • E. Araki Fee, Colored Lithograph
    • Charles Welch Unnatural Wonder, Photo Engraving
  • Second Floor:
    • Raeford Lewis Abstraction #3, Oil on Canvas
    • Kimberly Wills Skating Heritage, Watercolor/Prismacolor
    • Robert Wood Rocky Coast, Reproduction of Oil Painting