Welcome to Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas! The library is open to everyone: visitors to our North Gallery and Exhibit Space; University of Kansas students, faculty, staff, and alumni; visiting researchers; and members of the community.
Facade of Spencer Research Libray.

The library entrance from the terrace that connects Spencer Research Library to Strong Hall.

Large glass doors with the library's name in large black letters to the left on a white wall.

The library's ground-level entrance.


Spencer Research Library is located at 1450 Poplar Lane, behind Strong Hall, on the University of Kansas main campus in Lawrence. The easiest way to reach the Library is from Jayhawk Boulevard. Visitors should walk through the rotunda of Strong Hall and cross the terrace connected to the library. Please note that snow and ice may close the terrace during the winter months.

A second entrance is located on Spencer's ground floor, beneath the terrace to Strong Hall and adjacent to the covered parking area off Poplar Lane.

There is no entrance to Spencer Research Library on the north side of the building, along Memorial Drive.


By Car

The easiest way to reach campus by car is by taking I-70 to Exit 202 in Lawrence. You will need to pay a toll; more information about rates and methods of payment is available from the Kansas Turnpike Authority. From the toll booth, drive south on McDonald Drive. Stay in the left lane to merge onto Iowa Street. In about one mile, turn left onto 15th Street/Bob Billings Parkway.

By Public Transit

Spencer Research Library is accessible via the Lawrence Transit system. You can find bus routes and other information on the Lawrence Transit website. All buses are free.


Library Parking Space

Spencer Research Library has one reserved parking space for researchers, visitors, and donors. The space is free and located on Poplar Lane near the library building. To request the parking space, please complete and submit our parking request form.

  • We must receive the form before 9 a.m. one business day (Monday through Friday) in advance of your visit. Library staff needs to forward your information to KU Parking, as traffic in the central campus area is usually restricted and only authorized vehicles may enter.
  • Reservations for the space are handled on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend that you submit your request as early as possible.
  • You will need to complete and submit a new/separate parking request form for each library visit.
  • Spencer Research Library's parking space is not available to visitors with a KU parking permit.

A Spencer staff member will follow up with you after receiving the completed form, providing directions for finding the space or notification that the space is unavailable. Please do not consider the space reserved until you have received verification.

Contact Administrative Associate Tiffany McIntosh at or 785-864-5482 if you have any questions.

Other Campus Parking

Besides Spencer's reserved parking space (described above), there is no other visitor parking adjacent to Spencer Research Library.

During the week when KU classes are in session, on-campus parking is restricted to KU faculty, staff, and students. Most parking spaces are open on the weekend, except for Saturdays in the fall when there is a home KU football game. Be sure to check all signage before parking on campus.

The garage on Mississippi Street – adjacent to the Memorial Union – is the visitor parking option closest to Spencer. Parking in the garage is $1.75 for the first hour or any portion of an hour, and $1.50 per hour for all subsequent hours.

Spencer visitors can alternatively purchase half-day ($7.50), one-day ($15), or one-week ($58) passes at the KU Parking office. These will allow you to park in Blue, Red, or Yellow lots. There are Blue and Red lots directly behind Spencer, along Memorial Drive, although they tend to be full by 8:00am if not earlier. There are also Red and Yellow lots by Memorial Stadium, which usually still has available spots at 9:00am.

Pick-up/Drop-off Information


Library visitors (including researchers and donors) who will be dropped off at and/or picked up from the library are strongly encouraged to contact Administrative Associate Tiffany McIntosh in advance. Library staff needs to forward your information to KU Parking, as traffic in the central campus area is usually restricted and only authorized vehicles may enter.


Donors dropping off collection materials at the library must first stop at a campus traffic booth. Let the attendant know the purpose and destination of your visit; they will issue you a free short-term parking permit. You can pull up to Spencer under the terrace, across from the parking spaces. Please bring donations to the third-floor reception desk. Be sure that someone is with your vehicle at all times.


The ground floor door (in the covered parking area off Poplar Lane) of Spencer Research Library is approached by sidewalks with curb cuts and has powered doors activated by clearly marked buttons. These are particularly useful for visitors using wheelchairs or carrying awkward packages.

All public areas of the library are wheelchair accessible and have braille signage.

All floors of the library are served by an elevator located just inside the entrance doors.

Accessible, gender neutral restrooms equipped with changing stations are located on the ground floor.

Spencer Research Library has a wheelchair available for researchers, visitors, and donors. Ask at the Spencer reception desk about using the wheelchair during your library visit, or contact Caitlin Donnelly Klepper, Head of Public Services, at or 785-864-4456.

Summer Campus Construction

Streets on and around campus are frequently closed each summer due to construction projects. Check the KU Facilities Planning and Development construction closures page for more information.