Each of the libraries has distinctive collections, most of which are broadly accessible for use by students and faculty members. Extensive and long-standing cooperation among the libraries also gives researchers access to their combined strength, which currently totals some eight million volumes. In addition to open borrowing privileges, members of the Five College community may search the collections and even place a borrowing request online.

The Five College Library Depository (FCLD) is a high density storage facility for lesser-used materials from the libraries at the campuses. All materials located there are cataloged in the Five College library system. Monographs circulate in accordance with established lending rules. Articles from journals are accessed via document delivery.