How To Unlock the Academic Library in Cities: Skylines

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The Academic Library is a Level 5 unique building in Cities: Skylines. To unlock this building you’ll need to do three things:

  1. Have 25% of your population be highly educated
  2. Build 5 public libraries
  3. Have 300 public library users

You’ll need to hit the Big Town milestone in order to open the Level 5 tab of the unique buildings menu. The population required for this varies from map to map, and can be anywhere between 1,800 and 7,800 people.

Once you hit Big Town, you should be able to see the silhouette of the Academic Library in the tab.

 
Mouse over the silhouette to see your progress towards unlocking it. / Cities: Skylines
Mouse over the silhouette to see your progress towards unlocking it.
 

However, since only a small fraction of your population will use the library, this is easier to unlock with a much larger population size.

Let’s go through the requirements one by one.

Requirement #1: 25% of Your Population Must Be Highly Educated

Cities: Skylines has 4 education levels, which correspond to your citizens having received education from particular buildings:

Education Level Required Educational Building DLC Required Build Cost (₡)
Uneducated none none none
Educated Elementary school none 10,000
Educated Community School Green Cities 12,000
Well Educated High School none 24,000
Well Educated Institute of Creative Arts Green Cities 30,000
Highly Educated University none 75,000
Highly Educated Modern Technological Institute Green Cities 90,000
Highly Educated Faculty High Tech 24,000

This means to fulfill the first requirement, 25% of your citizens must have gone to university (or its equivalent buildings).

If you don’t have universities yet, build one from the Education menu. After you’ve built this, your citizens will need time to get their education so you’ll have to wait a while.

 
Build a University from the education menu. / Cities: Skylines
Build a University from the education menu.
 

Bear in mind that in order to be eligible for a university education, your citizens will need to have gone to elementary and high school (or their equivalent buildings) first. So make sure you have sufficient capacity for those educational levels across your city.

Requirement #2: Build 5 Public Libraries

The second requirement is the most straightforward of the three: build 5 instances of the public library.

You’ll find the public library in the same tab as the other non-DLC education buildings.

 
The Public Library in the build menu. Each one costs 22,000. / Cities: Skylines
The Public Library in the build menu. Each one costs 22,000.
 

Each public library boosts education in nearby areas. To make the most of this, distribute the 5 libraries across your city, and place them near residential zoning.

Requirement #3: Have 300 Library Users in the City

With your 5 libraries in place, you’ll need to wait until you have 300 citizens using the library.

This is the requirement that will take the longest to unlock, since only a small portion of your population will be visiting the libraries.

It’s much easier to accomplish with a larger population, so for the most part it will just be a matter of continuing to grow your city, and providing more public libraries to accommodate your new residential zones.

Once you reach 300 library users, you can build the Academic Library from the Level 5 unique buildings tab. It costs ₡80,000 and provides 150 points of entertainment.

 
Building the Academic Library. / Cities: Skylines
Building the Academic Library.
 
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Liz Villegas

Liz is a writer and photographer with a love for building and strategy games. Her spare time is often split between lifting, reading, drawing, annoying her dog Mr. Porky Butt, and squinting at stat tables on the wiki pages of whatever game she's currently playing.