University Libraries at Bowling Green State University

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The University Libraries is the main library located on the campus of Bowling Green State University, in Bowling Green, Ohio.

The University Libraries supports the Bowling Green State University mission by: advancing scholarship, critical thinking, and creativity for a diverse community of users; building, organizing and maintaining focused collections for academic, creative and research interests; and teaching users to identify, locate, assess, and effectively use a full range of information resources.[1]

Jerome Library[edit]

Jerome Library on BGSU's main Campus

The building[edit]

Created to support the University’s expanding educational role, construction of the Bowling Green State University Library began in 1965. In 1982, the building was named in honor of William Travers Jerome III, who served as the sixth president of Bowling Green State University.[2]

The building, which was designed by state architect Carl E. Bentz, features unique non-objective murals on the east and west facades of the library designed by Don Drumm. Drumm, an artist in residence during the 1960s, actively participated in the conceptualization and construction of the murals. Wearing a hard-hat and overalls, Drumm outlined contemporary designs onto the concrete. Construction crews then sandblasted the designs into the concrete. Drumm added shadow pins to the west mural to capture light and create shadows to complete the mural.

The nine-level, 156,895 sq. ft. structure, which is located between Memorial and East Halls, offers an attractive learning environment for students and faculty. The William T. Jerome Library is also open to the community.


The library hours can be found at


The Library Staff Directory is located at

Virtual Tour[edit]

A virtual tour of the library is available at


Directions to the library are available at

Services and programs[edit]

Circulation Desk[edit]

For information about borrowing materials, paying fines, and keeping your library account in good standing, visit the Circulation Desk or refer to the Circulation Survival Guides ( A faculty guide is available at A guide for graduate student is available at


Faculty and teaching assistants sometimes designate specific materials for use in courses which are then placed on reserve in the library. Paper or Print items may be borrowed only for short time periods: 2 hours, 1 day, or 3 days. They are found at the circulation desk at Jerome Library or Firelands Library or electronically through E-Reserves.

Research and Information Desk[edit]

Reference librarians and student employees staff this first-floor desk during most of the library’s open hours. For questions on conducting a research strategy, selecting resources ( both print and electronic) navigating the BGSU Libraries Catalog, directional questions, and much more, visit this desk. You may also call the Research and Information Desk at 419-372-6943, or find ways to contact the library through email, instant messaging, and texting on the Ask Us! page.

Research Guides[edit]

The library’s website provides a number of research guides and resources prepared by library staff to aid your research. These guides offer assistance with navigating various research databases, how to best use specific research tools, style guides for MLA and APA citations, and more.

The Learning Commons[edit]

The Learning Commons – which includes Math & Statistics Tutoring, Study Skills, Writing, and new this fall, a Tutorial Center for any subject area – is a great resource for students. The William T. Jerome Library is the new home of the Learning Commons, making the one-stop shop for tutoring assistance more accessible and more central to campus. The Learning Commons includes:

  • 13,565 square feet of study space
  • 38 desktop computers
  • 22 laptop computers for student use within our space
  • 1 Smart Board
  • 1 60 inch monitor for presentations and collaboration

Thinkers Cafe[edit]

A new addition to the library is Thinker’s Cafe. Located in the former library reserve room, this space was transformed with new carpet, comfortable furniture and café style tables and chairs. Thinker’s Cafe, which is part of the Chartwells Outtakes brand, features grab and go salads and sandwiches, candies, frozen entrees, coffee, cold beverages and more. Adjacent to the café is the newly refurbished media room which offers additional booth style seating, tables and viewing stations.

Specialized Collections and Branches[edit]

Government Documents (1st floor)[edit]

Bowling Green State University, which serves Ohio's 5th Congressional district, became a federal depository in 1933. Librarians select 57% of the offered items, receiving approximately 400 documents each month. This collection of 700,000 publications is rich in historical and current material including the following materials:

  • Census of Population reports from 1790 to present,
  • Foreign Relations of the United States,
  • U.S. Treaties and International Agreements,
  • U.S. Congressional Serial Set, and
  • Many other important historical primary research sets.

The collection ( emphasizes materials in business, civil rights, economics, education, environment, foreign relations, health, housing, justice, labor, presidential materials, small business, and social welfare. Additionally librarians select all congressional materials including hearings, reports, documents, floor debates, bills and public laws, and studies.

The department became an Ohio depository in 1953 and receives all agency publications distributed through the state depository program. Our state collection numbers about 20,000. The collection includes agency publications such as reports, directories, pamphlets, leaflets, posters, newsletters, and journals; Judicial Branch materials including administrative opinions and the Supreme Court of Ohio opinions and decisions; and Ohio General Assembly materials, including the Laws of Ohio and the House and Senate Journals.

In the early 1980s selected material from the city of Bowling Green was added to the collection including City Council Minutes, Mayor’s Reports, the Bowling Green City Code of Ordinances, and the Annual Report of the Bowling Green Police Division.

BGSU became a Canadian Government Documents Depository in October, 1999. This collection focuses on business, environment, Great Lakes, Native Peoples, and social issues. It includes journals, reports, and cd-roms. The library also collects some of the important statistical reports produced by Statistics Canada.[3]

Curriculum Resource Center[edit]

The Curriculum Resource Center (CRC) supports the undergraduate and graduate teaching programs in the College of Education and Human Development and other BGSU education-related areas by maintaining a collection of high quality preschool through grade twelve materials reflecting innovation in teaching practices and standards-based instruction. Materials held by the CRC comprise the Frances F. Povsic Collection, so named on March 30, 2001, in honor of Professor Povsic's significant, enduring and distinctive contributions to the CRC, the University Libraries, and BGSU.

The CRC offers the following services:

  • Instructional presentations, tours, and orientation sessions,
  • Reference service by experienced teachers,
  • Circulation of materials to BGSU students, faculty, and staff as well as to educational professionals,

The CRC contains the following materials:

  • Curriculum guides and courses of study,
  • Curriculum materials,
  • Literature for children and young adults,
  • Reference sources, and
  • Multimedia materials [4]

Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives[edit]

The Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives, located on the third floor of the Wm. T. Jerome Library, contains materials related to the study of music. Although the collection primarily supports the undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Musical Arts, the Department of Popular Culture, and the Center for American Culture Studies, the resources of the library are available to all interested users.

The Music Library contains more than 60,000 books and scores related to all aspects of the study of music. Studies ranging from biography to general histories of music, from theoretical treatises to studies of such diverse aspects as country music, opera, and band music are included in the collection. The score collection includes solos, orchestral studies, exercise books, and chamber music for ensembles from two to ten parts. The recordings collection, which circulates on a limited basis, contains more than 16,000 recordings of music from all periods of music history as well as ethnic music, musical theatre, and jazz. Recital tapes from the College of Musical Arts dating from 1966 are maintained by the Music Library. All masters' theses and documents written by graduate students in the College of Musical Arts are housed in the collection.

The Music Library houses two special collections: The Sound Recordings Archives and the Archives of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music. The Sound Recordings Archives, considered the nation's premier collection of popular music sound recordings, contains more than 700,000 recordings representing all styles of popular music and all recorded formats. Established in 1967 for the scholarly study of popular music, the Sound Recordings Archives serves not only campus patrons, but also researchers from around the world. Discographies, books, and periodicals related to popular music and the recording industry are also included in this collection. Established in 1987, the Archives of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music contains music both submitted to and performed at the College of Musical Arts' New Music and Art Festival. At present, the collection contains more than 3800 scores of contemporary music, many in manuscript.[5]

Browne Popular Culture Library[edit]

The Browne Popular Culture Library, founded in 1969 and dedicated to the acquisition and preservation of research materials on American popular culture (post 1876), is the most comprehensive repository of its kind in the United States.[6]

The Browne Popular Culture Library holds more than 190,000 cataloged books. Popular fiction predominates, particularly novels in the romance, mystery-detective, science fiction-fantasy, and western genres. This Library also contains extensive collections of late 19th- and 20th-century juvenile/young adult series fiction.

Other major strengths of the Browne Popular Culture Library includes materials documenting popular entertainment and the entertainment industry (e.g., television, film, radio, and the mass communications industry), graphic arts, recreation and leisure, and popular religion. Non-fiction holdings also include books on the occult and supernatural, parapsychology, manner and customs, etiquette and advice, arts and crafts, hobbies, games and amusements, sports, foodways and cookery, domestic arts, costume and dress, and humor. Users can also find popular reference and informational materials (self-help and how-to books, for example) in this Library's collections.

In addition to many rare hardcover and paperback books and magazines, the Browne Popular Culture Library houses archival and special collections, including literary manuscripts and movie and television scripts. Non-traditional library resources such as dime novels, storypapers and nickel weeklies, pulp magazines, fanzines and other amateur publications, comic books and graphic novels, and posters, postcards, greeting cards, mail-order catalogs, and travel brochures, comprise some of the Library's most unusual collections.

The Browne Popular Culture Library also collects manuscripts to support and complement existing print collections.

Books, magazines, and many other materials are fully cataloged and accessible through the BGSU Libraries Catalog . Many specialized in-house finding aids are also available. Please contact the Browne Popular Culture Library directly for information about uncataloged and special collections materials.[7]

Center for Archival Collections[edit]

The Center for Archival Collections is an archives and manuscripts repository within the University Libraries at Bowling Green State University. The primary mission of the CAC is to actively acquire, preserve, and make accessible to researchers historical materials in Northwest Ohio, University Archives, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Rare Books, Special Collections, and the National Student Affairs Archives.

The collection emphasizes local history, Great Lakes maritime history, women's history, the Civil War, education, and all aspects of the social, cultural, economic, and industrial history of northwest Ohio. Visitors are welcome, including scholars, local residents, and students from throughout the University, the region, and the world.[8]

Historical Collections of the Great Lakes[edit]

The Historical Collections of the Great Lakes (HCGL) is part of the Center for Archival Collections at Bowling Green State University. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and make available to scholars, students, and the public, historical materials documenting the Great Lakes region and connecting waterways. The HCGL's collections include materials related to commercial shipping, shipbuilding, navigation, maritime law, commercial fishing, shipwrecks, yachting, labor history, popular literature, freshwater ecology, maritime culture, and the history of Great Lakes ports. The types of materials include manuscripts, newspaper clippings, photographs, maps, vessel data sheets, maritime architectural drawings, and published materials.[9]

Additional Resources[edit]


OhioLINK is a statewide library and information system that enables BGSU students, faculty and staff to borrow books from other Ohio libraries (mostly academic, some public) and to access more than 220 online research databases. More than 89 Ohio institutions are OhioLINK members. For more information about OhioLINK, visit:


External links[edit]