The University Library was created on October 1, 1968 together with the establishing of the Branch of the University of Warsaw in Białystok. Initially (in the years 1968-1988) it was situated in the Law Department building at 1 Mickiewicza St. It had rooms with the area of 475 m2 and a 20-place reading room. The topic of the building of a library was raised for the first time in the early 1980s, but in 1982 the then Minister of Science, Higher Education and Technology issued a decision of transferring for the purposes of the library rooms of the Electronic Calculation Technology Institute which was being built at that time, thus the said plans were abandoned.

In 1988 the library moved to the ZETO building at 9 Skorupska St. Its collections were divided into two parts: the Journals Cataloguing Department together with a reading room remained in the old building (1 Mickiewicza St.), whereas the rest of the departments were moved to the new rooms with the area of approx. 2.048 m2. The change of the location did not improve the functionality of the library. The lending library was situated on the ground floor and the catalogues department was, due to lack of room, situated on the second floor. The location of the building, distant from most of the university departments, was a large drawback; hence, the topic of building a new edifice was revived soon after the move. The High Schools Design Office BEPRON prepared the technical-economical assumptions of the FUW Main Library. This conception planned the erection of a single-storey building connected to the library rooms in the ZETO buildings by means of a link (catwalk). The project assumed the construction of traditional and compact warehouses with the capacity of over 800,000 volumes with the possibility of further extension, 226 places in 5 reading rooms, rich technical and recreational infrastructure. As the creation of the University of Podlasie failed to be completed in due time, the plans of the erection of a new library building were also not realized. In 1998 the lodging conditions worsened further. The Periodicals Department was forced to leave its rooms hitherto with the area of 390 m2 and move to 14 M. Sklodowska-Curie St., to a room of 115 m2. The following lost their rooms for the benefit of ZETO: Interlibrary Lending Library, the Departments of Alphabetical Cataloguing and Subject Cataloguing of Collections, which were moved to the library warehouse. The area of the library at that time was approx. 1.830 m2 in two buildings, and the users could use 84 places in 3 reading rooms. The building of a new edifice became a necessity. At the moment of the establishment of the University of Bialystok in 1997, the building of a new library edifice became the priority matter for the authorities of the university. Local authorities made it possible for the university to purchase a plot near the main university building in the centre of the city for a preferential price. The Ministry of Education also took a favourable attitude towards the initiative of building the library. In June 1998, at the proposal of the Rector, prof, zwycz. Adam Jamroz, an architectural-urbanistic competition for the University of Białystok Main Library was organized. A project by Witold Benedek, Stanislaw Niewiadomski, Krystyna Szypulska and Bożena Staniszewska from the BNS S.C. Architectural Workshop, Warsaw, whose creations are, among others, Mikołaj Kopernik's University Main Library, Music Academy in Warsaw and the edifice of the University of Gdańsk, was awarded the first prize and accepted for the realization. The ceremony of laying the cornerstone took place on October 13, 1999. After nearly 6 years of construction works, on March 8, 2005 the move of the library to the new building at 14A M. Sklodowska-Curie St. commenced.

The Library in its new building
The formal opening of the new building of the University Library in Bialystok took place on June 24, 2005, in the presence of the invited guests, university and library staff and Białystok inhabitants. The tour around the edifice was preceded by the speeches of the Rector of the University of Białystok, Professor Marek Gębczynski, Bishop Wojciech Zięba, Orthodox Bishop of Białystok and Gdańsk, Jakub, as well as the Governor of Podlasie, Marek Strzaliński, the President of Bialystok, Ryszard Tur and the Director of the Library, dr Jerzy Halicki. The exhibition "Jerzy Giedroyc's University Library in the years 1968-2005" was opened to celebrate this event. 

The new Library building had seven floors including the underground one. The cubature of the building was 34.802 m3, including 8.324 m2 of the usable area. The warehouses were bound to hold 860,000 volumes and provide 327 seats for the readers in the reading rooms and the indvidual work rooms. 

The ground floor housed the entrance hall with a cloakroom and reception, the directorial staff unit, the exhibition hall, the Gathering of Collections Department, the Interlibrary Lending Library and the bookshop.The catalogues, the Lending Library, the Periodicals Reading Room, the Scientific Information Department and its reading room, the Section of Computerization and Automation, the Cataloguing Department, the Circulation Department, the Permanent Publications Department and the Laboratory of Reprographics were placed on the 1st floor. For readers, this was the sphere of information, receiving access to collections and ordering books.

The 2nd floor housed the unit of the reading rooms: the General Reading Room, the reading room for research workers and the Special Collections reading room. An open warehouse (later transformed into a reading room with free access) and ten individual work cabins for professorial staff were situated on the 3rd floor, while the Humanitites Collection warehouse was placed on the 4th floor. 

The 5th floor was a closed warehouse which held the basic collection of periodicals and books. The 6th floor housed the cafe, the auditory room – the scene of future cultural events, scientific meetings and conferences organized by the Library, and the computer laboratory. This floor was conveniently connected with the neighbouring Rectorat building. 

The building was also adapted to the needs of the disabled. There were wheelchair driveways near the entrance and each reading room was equipped with mobile tables on wheels. Other facilities included a lift with a voice system, AutoLectors (devices translating written texts into spoken ones) or a computer set with a Braille keyboard. 

The new building and available spaces provided the Library with new prospects. Not only did they enable the development of traditional activities but also the realisation of other projects and providing users with other services. All that accounted for the fact that merely a year after opening, the then Prorector for Science and Foreign Relations, professor Halina Parafianowicz, stated in the interview for the 'Our University' magazine: ' The Library is the pride of our University and certainly not only that. It is one of the most modern facilites of this kind in our country. Its basic function of gathering and sharing collections has been enriched with additional, attractive and important activities, like exhibitions and lectures. Therefore, the Library serves the academic community, as well as the community of the region and the city, extremely well'. 

That opinion proved to be valid during the next decade of the Library's functioning in the new building. Among all the initiatives started in that period, such as various exhibitions, meetings and lectures, it is worth mentioning the series of meetings titled 'the Librarians' Forum of Podlasie', initiated in February, 2006, and aiming at integrating Białystok librarian community. The meetings, organized in a form of an open discussion forum, are held about once a month. They are attended by scientific, public and school libraries' employees, as well as library science students who want to listen to the lectures of guest speakers and to take part in the discussion on professional subjects. 

Another important series initiated in 2008 is 'Podlasie in scientific research' initiative aiming at popularizing research connected with our region conducted by the University of Białystok employees among the society. It also allows secondary school students to meet the scientists of Białystok and to learn about their research interests. The first librarian conference devoted to the issue of organizational culture in the library was organized in June, 2007. The importance and the up-to-date character of that subject were proven by the fact that over 100 librarians and academic employees took part in the conference. Its great success contributed to organizing many other devoted to internal marketing (2009), embedded librarianship (2011), deregulation of the profession (2013) or the decrease of the number of users (2015). 

Since 2007 the University Library has been a coordinator of the Podlaska Digital Library project realized by the Consortium of Scientific Libraries of Białystok. The aim of Podlaska Digital Library platform, which was started in October, 2006, is giving access to collections connected to the region and constituting Polish cultural heritage to the wide circle of users. The collections contain books, periodicals, research and teaching materials (including scientific papers of Białystok universities employees), archival materials, cartography or documents concerning music. The choice of materials is conducted on basis of merit in particular Institutions taking copyrights into consideration. Since 2009 PDL collections are available through European which is a fine publicity for the region. 

Apart from scientific and cultural activities, the Library started providing a variety of new services and facilities for the users. In 2009 the European Documentation Centre started functioning within the Library structure, taking place of the Scientific Information Reading Room. Its founder was the Law Department of the University in Białystok, which funds and supervises CDE's activity. The Centre supplies documents pertaining the EU, mostly those in Polish and English language, and its collection comprises about 6,000 books and over 90 mastheads. 

In May, 2010, after 2 years of preparations, the reading room with free access to collections was opened on the 3rd floor. It provided 88 seats for users and about 50,000 selected volumes arranged according to the Universal Decimal Classification. In September, 2011, also the Humanities Reading Room with free access to the shelves was opened on the 4th floor. Both floors with free access, connected with an indoor staircase, housed about 100,000 books. The same year saw the launch of the central catalogue comprising all department libraries which greatly facilitated access to the Library and Information System collections. Three years later, eReading Room containing digital copies of course books and other frequently requested titles available for use on the spot, was launched. 

The University of Białystok Repository started functioning in 2013, which was an important factor supporting science development in the academic community. At the beginning, it launched as a trial version, while it was made available online in 2014. Its basic function is to gather, archive and popularize the scientific and didactic achievements of the University of Białystok employees, graduate students and students. 

In 2011 the University Library received a part of legacy of Ryszard Kaczorowski, the Last President of RP in Exile. This comprised not only President's books (over 700 items from the President's archive were transferred to the Library in 2009), but also his Warsaw cabinet and various memorabilia. In November, 2011 the Cabinet of President Ryszard Kaczorowski, located in the General Reading Room on the 2nd floor, was ceremonially opened with the participation of the First Lady, Karolina Kaczorowska. The arranged Cabinet housed not only a desk and a carved armchair, but also paintings, photographs and everyday objects. Making the exposition available to the visitors was also accompanied by the lauch of a special virtual presentation on the Library's website. 

In November, 2014, the rector, professor Leonard Etel and the Regional Marshall, Jarosław Dworzański signed the preliminary agreement for the sale of the Library building and the neighbouring building of the Rectorat. It was connected with the completion of the construction of a part of university campus at 1 Ciołkowskiego St. and the relocation of three departments. The appropriate notorial deed was signed on December, 29th, 2014. After ten years of use the University Library left the building, which was taken over in October, 2015 by the Łukasz Górnicki Library of the Podlasie Region in Białystok.