Magdaia Latham

Written by Magdaia Latham

Published: 23 Sep 2023

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Pattee and Paterno Libraries, located at the heart of Pennsylvania State University’s main campus in State College, Pennsylvania, are not your ordinary libraries. These architectural wonders are not only home to a vast collection of books, research materials, and digital resources, but they also boast fascinating features and intriguing facts that make them stand out from other libraries.

In this article, we will explore 19 astonishing facts about the Pattee and Paterno Libraries that will give you a deeper appreciation for these iconic landmarks. From their stunning architecture to their impressive collections, innovative technologies, and rich history, there is much to discover about these libraries and the role they play in academic life.

So, buckle up and prepare to be amazed as we take a virtual tour of the Pattee and Paterno Libraries and uncover the hidden wonders that lie within their walls.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover a world of wonder at Pattee and Paterno Libraries, where history, technology, and student engagement come together in a vibrant and innovative space. From rare collections to nap pods, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy!
  • Step into a hub of knowledge and creativity at Pattee and Paterno Libraries, where diversity, innovation, and 24/7 access create an inspiring environment for students and researchers. With interactive exhibits, cozy cafes, and vast collections, there’s always something new to discover!
Table of Contents

A Historical Landmark

The Pattee and Paterno Libraries, located at Pennsylvania State University, are not just ordinary libraries. They are recognized as historical landmarks, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the university.

Known for Its Vast Collection

The libraries boast an impressive collection of over 4.7 million books, making it one of the largest academic library systems in the United States. From textbooks to rare manuscripts, there’s something for every curious mind.

Home to the Tombros McWhirter Knowledge Commons

The Pattee Library houses the Tombros McWhirter Knowledge Commons, a state-of-the-art learning space designed to encourage collaboration and innovation among students. It offers access to cutting-edge technology and resources.

The Dreamery: A Unique Concept

Within the Pattee Library, you’ll find The Dreamery, a one-of-a-kind concept that allows students to take short naps in specially designed sleep pods. It provides a rejuvenating and refreshing oasis for those in need of a quick break.

Home to the Special Collections Library

The Special Collections Library, located within the Paterno Library, houses rare and unique materials, including historical manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other artifacts. It’s a treasure trove for researchers and history enthusiasts.

The “Knowledge Commons” Concept

Both libraries embrace the “Knowledge Commons” concept, which integrates technology, information resources, and collaborative spaces for enhanced learning and research experiences.

Student Engagement is a Priority

Pattee and Paterno Libraries go beyond traditional library services by offering various programs and events that foster student engagement. From workshops to guest lectures, there’s always something exciting happening on the premises.

Knowledgeable Librarians

The libraries are staffed with a team of experienced and knowledgeable librarians who are readily available to assist students and researchers in their information-seeking endeavors.

Technology-Rich Environment

With over 2,000 computers and access to numerous online databases and resources, both libraries provide an immersive and technology-rich environment to facilitate research and learning.

24/7 Access

For the convenience of students, Pattee and Paterno Libraries offer 24/7 access during certain times throughout the academic year, providing a quiet and productive space for late-night studying.

An Architectural Marvel

The architectural design of the libraries is a sight to behold. The modern and innovative structures seamlessly blend with the surrounding historical buildings, creating a visually stunning campus landscape.

The HUB-Robeson Center Connection

A tunnel system connects the libraries to the nearby HUB-Robeson Center, allowing for easy access and promoting a seamless flow of knowledge and resources between the two spaces.

The Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla Spiritual Center

Adjacent to the libraries is the Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, a peaceful place for reflection, meditation, and connecting with one’s spiritual beliefs.

Interactive Exhibits

Pattee and Paterno Libraries offer interactive exhibits that showcase various themes and topics. From art displays to historical exhibits, these installations encourage exploration and learning beyond the traditional library experience.

Home to the Eberly Family Special Collections Library

Within the Paterno Library, you’ll find the Eberly Family Special Collections Library, known for its extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, and archives that offer a glimpse into the university’s history and beyond.

The Knowledge Commons Café

The Pattee Library is home to the Knowledge Commons Café, a cozy spot where students can grab a coffee, relax, and recharge between study sessions.

Collaborative Learning Spaces

Both libraries feature numerous collaborative learning spaces equipped with multimedia tools, making them ideal for group study sessions, project work, and brainstorming sessions.

Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion

Pattee and Paterno Libraries prioritize diversity and inclusion in their collections, events, and programming, ensuring that all students and researchers feel welcome and represented.

A Hub for Innovation

With its focus on technology, research support, and creative collaboration, the Pattee and Paterno Libraries aim to foster innovation and empower students to become lifelong learners and critical thinkers.

These 19 astonishing facts about Pattee and Paterno Libraries highlight the richness and significance of these institutions in promoting knowledge, research, and student engagement. Whether you’re a student seeking resources, a researcher delving into historical archives, or simply a visitor admiring the architectural marvel, the libraries offer an enriching experience for all. Make sure to pay a visit and explore the wonders that await at Pattee and Paterno Libraries!


In conclusion, Pattee and Paterno Libraries are not just ordinary libraries. They hold a rich history, offer exceptional resources, and provide a unique experience for students, faculty, and visitors alike. From their impressive architecture to their extensive collections, these libraries have become iconic landmarks on the Penn State University campus.

Whether you are looking for a quiet study space, access to rare manuscripts, or the latest research materials, Pattee and Paterno Libraries have got you covered. So next time you find yourself at Penn State, be sure to visit these astonishing libraries and discover all they have to offer.


1. What are the operating hours of Pattee and Paterno Libraries?

Pattee and Paterno Libraries are typically open from Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM, and have reduced hours on weekends. However, it is always a good idea to check their website for the most up-to-date operating hours.

2. Can non-students visit Pattee and Paterno Libraries?

Yes, both libraries are open to the public. Anyone can visit and utilize the resources available, although some services may be limited to Penn State students and faculty.

3. Are there study spaces available in the libraries?

Absolutely! Pattee and Paterno Libraries offer various study spaces, including designated quiet zones, collaborative areas, and individual study carrels. There are also group study rooms available for reservation.

4. Can I borrow books or materials from the libraries?

Yes, students and faculty with a valid Penn State ID can borrow books and materials from both libraries. There are also interlibrary loan services available for requesting items from other libraries.

5. Are there any special collections housed in Pattee and Paterno Libraries?

Yes, both libraries boast a wide range of special collections, including rare books, manuscripts, archives, and unique materials. These collections provide valuable resources for research and academic pursuits.

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