Skip to Main Content

Service and the library: Collections


Reykjavik University Library specializes in the subject fields taught at the university; social science and technology. All printed material and most electronic resources are discoverable in, the library catalogue.

The library has approximately 24.000 printed books, 200.000 e-books, and subscriptions to over 20.000 academic e-journals and numerous databases. Reykjavik University partakes in the Iceland Consortium for Electronic Subscriptions project, which the National and University Library of Iceland oversees.

The library‘s collection has particularly been focused on undergraduate and graduate studies. However, the library aims to expand the collection to meet the growing number of researchers and doctoral students.
Since its foundation in 1999, the library has bought the majority of Icelandic material within the subject areas taught at Reykjavik University. Additionally, earlier key material within Law is purchased, as are all the Icelandic law journals. Patrons seeking older material not available at the RU library are advised to use the services at the National and University Library of Iceland. According to The Legal Deposits Act no. 20/2002, the National and University Library of Iceland is obliged to collect and preserve all Icelandic publications and make them accessible for education and research purposes.

Although the library’s collection policy aims to build an extensive collection, it also recognizes the importance of good cooperation with other Icelandic libraries and the value of inter-library loan services.

Classification system

The library classifies all printed material and arranges it in the shelves according to the Dewey system (Dewey Decimal Classification system [DDC]). To view locations & requests find the classification number (call number or shelf mark) in the library catalogue -

The main classes in RU are:

004 Computer science 150 Psychology 330 Economics
340 Law 370 Education 500 Natural sciences
600 Technology 620 Engineering 650  Management
690 Construction of buildings 790 Sport science 800 Literature

Purchasing policy

The library strives to provide students and staff with extensive access to the electronic library collection.

Main criteria of the library collection policy:

  • RU users needs
  • Access to quality information
  • Emphasis on electronic access
  • When books are only available in print, just one copy is purchased due to limited shelf space
  • All new Icelandic material in the school's academic fields is purchased
  • Books are only purchased in Icelandic, English and Danish


The library accepts all donations that strengthen the collection and comply with its developmental plan.

The library reserves the right to dispose of donations at will, e.g. give to others or discard if they do not add value to the collection. The donor may always wish to have the donation returned to them.

The same rules apply to weeding book donations and other library material, e.g. in terms of condition and outdated material. The library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification system to shelve book donations as other library material.

The library director reviews all donations and decides whether they are accepted into the collection.

Evaluation Criteria:
1.    Does the donation strengthen the library‘s collection regarding academic learning and research?
2.    Does the donation comply with the library's resource policy?
3.    What are the costs of accepting the donation and making it visible/accessible?
4.    In what condition is the donation? Are the books worn or dirty? Are they older editions?