It took a while, but the internet has displaced libraries as the center of college scholarship. Reference books are available online, study groups can meet on Skype, and research films can be streamed to your phone.
Still, let's not count out the ol' brick-and-mortar behemoths full of dead trees. Libraries still house millions of volumes the web doesn't have. They serve as a gathering place for late-night, coffee-fueled cram sessions. And they're where students from all over the world come together, speak in whispers, and make sure no one steals their laptops while they run to the bathroom.
Theyâ€™re also architectural marvels, and on many of the finest American college campuses they're the most iconic structure that isn't a football stadium. They include neo-Gothic classics at Michigan and Washington, pillared temples at Columbia and Cal, and glass-paned walls at Ohio State and Fresno (yes, Fresno!). And while many campuses around the country have similarly impressive libraries, for a wide representation of big and small, these are the 15 best.