Students & Campus
28 April 2022

Ask a Librarian

With 4,500 m2 of space available to the public, not to mention its vast array of books, documents, periodicals and archives, and films (3,558 at last count), the Library is central to research and academics at the Geneva Graduate Institute.

To shed some light on what might be overlooked as an important factor in academic life, Pierre-André Fink, Deputy Head of the Library, explains what makes our Library unique and how it provides a key element to students' success. 

What sets the Institute's Library apart from those at other universities?

The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library is a modern library with a unique and elegant architecture specialised in international and development studies. Located in the heart of International Geneva, it is close to major international organisations and, in particular, to the UN library, which is a key partner.

Why are libraries like ours so important for students?

The Library is a place of knowledge and exchange. Its thoughtful and comfortable design makes it a calm and pleasant place that favours concentration and study. In addition to a rich and varied collection, we offer face-to-face or online learning workshops (Zotero, open access, research data) to help develop the students' information literacy.

We have also co/designed, with the University of Geneva, a specific programme for PhD students to strengthen their digital skills. This gives them the opportunity to learn about tools such as nodegoat, NVivo, Python, or be introduced to network analysis with Gephi.

Since the Library collaborates directly with our professors, research centres and student initiatives, it offers collections and services that respond to their specific needs. This not only reflects the mission of the Institute, but it also supports students’ intellectual, critical and analytical development to help them succeed. 

What resources can students hope to find?

The Library offers valuable collections that reflect the disciplines taught (Anthropology and Sociology, International Economics, International History and Politics, International Law, International Relations and Political Science) and the research subjects (economics, history, law, political science, social sciences, etc.) at the Graduate Institute.

In 2020, our Library joined the Swiss Library Platform (SLSP), including 490 other Swiss academic libraries. Thanks to this important network and its swisscovery catalogue, users have access to over 40 million books, periodicals, journals and non-book materials, as well as millions of electronic articles. 

We also offer a varied collection of films, graphic novels and board games, and lend recording equipment to make podcasts, for example.

What is an interesting fact about our Library?

Both the Library and the Institute are the result of a 2008 merger of the previously separate Graduate Institute of International Studies (HEI) and Graduate Institute of Development Studies (IUED).

The fusing of the two institutions’ libraries has yielded an impressive reference collection in Europe in the fields of international relations and development studies.

Learn more about the Geneva Graduate Institute's Library and resources