Built in 1976, the library houses over one million volumes and makes available electronically many hundreds of thousands of additional titles. Currently, there are about 24 professional librarians and about 42 library technicians that work in the library. Auraria Library is the busiest academic library in the state of Colorado. Auraria Library is a member of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries. Also, the library is a federal depository library and has a sizeable collection of government documents. The library's collection of Colorado state publications is also comprehensive.
The library building was designed by Helmut Jahn and received a 1978 excellence-in-design award from the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The citation read: "A refreshing and highly-imaginative solution; a straightforward warehouse of books with little pretensions from our industrial society." The building represents the industrial efficiency of International Modernism exemplified by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.