University of Maryland Libraries

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University of Maryland, College Park campus
UMD McKeldin lib.JPG
University of Maryland Libraries

The University of Maryland Libraries is the largest university library in the Washington, D.C. - Baltimore area. The university's library system includes eight libraries; seven are located on the College Park campus, while the eighth library, Priddy Library, is located on the University System of Maryland satellite campus in Shady Grove.[1]

The UM Libraries are a key academic resource that supports the teaching, learning, and research goals of the university. The various materials collected by the libraries can be accessed by students, scholars, and the general public. The libraries feature 4 million volumes and a substantial number of e-resources (including more than 17,000 e-journal titles), a variety of archives and special collections, and a host of technological resources which enable remote online access to the Libraries' holdings and services. The libraries are currently ranked 10th in electronic resources as a percentage of total library materials by the 115-member Association of Research Libraries.[2][3] Patricia A. Steele currently serves as the Dean of Libraries, taking over the position in the Fall of 2009.[4][5]


The Shoemaker Building, formerly the campus library.

A library/gym building was constructed on campus in 1893, which survived the Great Fire of 1912;[6][7] the building, which stood where Tydings Hall now stands, was razed in 1958.[8] A new library building, called Shoemaker Library (now known as the Shoemaker Building), was constructed in 1931 (named for Samuel M. Shoemaker, chairman of the Board of Regents from 1916 to 1933), and served as the university's main library until the construction of McKeldin Library in 1958.[9][10]

The university's library became a Federal depository library in 1925, a status it has held since. In 1965, the library system became the Regional Depository for Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.[11]


The Office of the Dean serves as the executive administrative unit of the University of Maryland Library system, headed by the Dean of Libraries. Below the Dean's Office are five additional administrative units, each led by a director: the Collection Management and Special Collections Division, the Information Technology Division (ITD), the Planning & Administrative Services Division, the Public Services Division, and the Technical Services division.[4]

Planning and policy decisions for the Libraries is made by the Library Executive Council (LEC), which is composed of the Dean of Libraries, the Assistant Dean for Organizational Development, Directors of the five Library Divisions, and the current chair of the Library Assembly.[12]

The Library Assembly (LA) is primarily an advisory council for the Dean of Libraries and LEC. Faculty, staff, students, and administrators are all free to serve on the Library Assembly.[13]

McKeldin Library[edit]

McKeldin Library.

McKeldin Library is the main branch of the University of Maryland Library system. Constructed in 1958, the building is named for Theodore McKeldin, the former Governor of Maryland.[14] McKeldin Library is one of the largest buildings on campus,[15] consisting of seven floors and a basement.[16] Located at the western end of McKeldin Mall, the library is home to the university's General Collection.[17] and the 90,000 volume East Asia Collection.[18] McKeldin Library also serves as a regional Federal depository library, housing the U.S. Government Information, Maps & GIS Services collection,[19] and previously hosted the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH)[20] until the summer of 2012, when MITH moved to its new home in the university's Hornbake Library. Also housed in McKeldin Library are several computer labs, a copy shop, and Footnotes Café.[21]

Front view of McKeldin.

McKeldin Library remains open 24 hours a day most of the Fall and Spring semesters, in order to provide late night study hours for university students; A UM (College Park) identification card is necessary to gain access to the building during the study hours. Note the library doors close on Fridays at 8pm, re-opening on Saturday from 10am to 10pm, until re-opening at 11am Sunday morning. [22]

Terrapin Learning Commons[edit]

Dean of Libraries Patricia Steele announced plans to gut the second floor of McKeldin during the summer of 2010 in order to make room for a new "Terrapin Learning Commons" (commonly referred to as the TLC). Steele hoped to "reevaluate" all seven of the library's floors, with the ultimate goal of (gradually) transforming McKeldin into a study-oriented, laptop-friendly central library for the university, and perhaps creating a floor specifically designed for graduate students.[4][5][23] The new laptop-friendly learning commons opened for the Fall 2011 semester, with plans to add multimedia workstations and lockers which can recharge laptops in between classes. A graduate-only study room opened later during the fall semester.[24] In September 2012, the TLC expanded to include a Tech Desk,[25] which provides a variety of services, including specialized printing support.[26]

Hornbake Library[edit]

Hornbake Library.

Constructed in 1972 as a separate undergraduate library, Hornbake Library was named in 1980 for R. Lee Hornbake, the former Academic Vice President of the University of Maryland.[27][28] The building was repurposed as repository for special collections,[28] and now Hornbake Library is home to the College of Information Sciences, the Human-Computer Interaction Lab, the Gordon W. Prange Collection (a collection of Japanese print publications issued during the early years of the Occupation of Japan, 1945-1949),[29] Library Media Services[30][31] the central campus audiovisual research and instructional library facility; the Katherine Anne Porter Room; and the Maryland Room, which houses Special Collections and University Archives.[32] In September 2012, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) moved to a new space in Hornbake Library, having been previously located in the basement of McKeldin Library.[33] Hornbake Library is located in Hornbake Plaza, which sits east of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union.

Architecture Library[edit]

Located in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, the library's collection areas include architectural history, design, and theory, as well as historical preservation, landscape architecture, real estate development, and urban studies and planning.[34]

The Architecture Library is currently a "print limited" library, meaning they will continue to retain their current print materials, but their new acquisitions shall primarily be e-resources. This new policy is part of their strategy to become the model 21st century library for Sustainability in the Built Environment.[34]

Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library[edit]

Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library opened in 2000 as part of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and is home to the university's music, theatre, and dance materials; the collection includes 56,000 books, 156,000 musical scores, 130,000 audio and video recordings, 4500 microfilm titles, and 281 active journal subscriptions.[35]

The library's public areas include a large main reading room with individual study carrels, a separate reading room for special collections, a lounge-style study room, a seminar room, and a study room. Connecting the library to the Smith Center's Grand Pavilion is the multi-media exhibitions gallery, with an adjacent lecture/concert room.[35]

In addition to the general collections, the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library is home to the Special Collections in Performing Arts. Some highlights include Jim Henson Works,[36] the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives, the Viola da Gamba Society of America Archives and the American Composers Alliance Score Collection.[37]

International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM)[edit]

The Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library also holds the International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM); a collection of materials for the study, appreciation, and preservation of the classical piano repertoire and its performance. Founded in 1965 by Albert Petrak and Gregor Benko, the Piano Archives was started in Cleveland, Ohio, but the organization was soon relocated to New York City where William Santaella joined the staff. The archives quickly grew and in 1977 the International Piano Archives was given to the University of Maryland. IPAM collections consist of piano recordings, books, scores, programs and related materials, including the archival papers of many great keyboard artists.[38]

Other Libraries[edit]

The Mathematics Building houses the Engineering and Physical Sciences Library.

The other libraries located on the University of Maryland campus include the Art Library, located in the Art/Sociology Building, which houses 100,000 volumes in the areas of art history, archaeology, decorative arts and the studio arts (including photography and graphic design);[39] the Engineering and Physical Sciences Library (EPSL), located in the Mathematics Building, holds 400,000 volumes in physics, engineering, mathematics, geology, computer science, environmental sciences, water resources, and aerospace science;[40] and the Charles E. White Memorial Chemistry Library, located in the Chemistry Building, which houses 80,000 volumes in chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, enzymology, immunology, microbiology, and molecular genetics.[41] The off-campus Priddy Library is located in Rockville, Maryland, as a support library for the Universities at Shady Grove, a collaborative campus effort by nine institutions in the University System of Maryland.[42]


In 2006, Maryland's libraries were considered to be below the standards set by the university's own designated peer institutions - UCLA and University of Michigan are two such schools. Further compounding this problem was a cut in the budget of the libraries at the school.[43] The university's student newspaper, The Diamondback, criticized this decision.[44]

External links[edit]

Library websites Significant collections


  1. ^ UMD's Eight Libraries Retrieved 2013-4-06.
  2. ^ "About". University of Maryland Libraries. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ UMD Undergraduate Admissions Site Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  4. ^ a b c Office of the Dean, Univ. of Maryland Libraries Retrieved 2010-6-17.
  5. ^ a b Wells, Carrie. New libraries dean works to revamp and expand McKeldin’s study spaces. The Diamondback. October 22, 2009. Retrieved 2010-6-17.
  6. ^ UM Libraries Digital Collection: Old Library/Gym Building, 1893 Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  7. ^ UM Libraries Digital Collection: First Library's Exterior, 1912 Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  8. ^ "Architectural History of the Maryland Agricultural College". 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  9. ^ MAC to Millennium, University of Maryland Archives Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  10. ^ MAC to Millennium, University of Maryland Archives, List of Class Gifts Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  11. ^ UM Libraries, U.S. Government Information, Maps & GIS Services, About Us Retrieved 2010-6-17.
  12. ^ Library Executive Council, UM Libraries Retrieved 2010-6-17.
  13. ^ Library Assembly page, UM Libraries Retrieved 2010-6-17.
  14. ^ UM Campus Buildings Index, McKeldin Library Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  15. ^ Edward Gunts. "Bringing the arts together at UM Center." The Baltimore Sun. September 26, 1996. Retrieved: 2010-6-18.
  16. ^ UM Libraries, McKeldin Library Floorplan pdf. Retrieved 2010-6-18.
  17. ^ UMD's Eight Libraries Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  18. ^ UM Libraries, East Asia Collection, About Us. Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  19. ^ UM Libraries, U.S. Government Information, Maps & GIS Services, About Us Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  20. ^ Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  21. ^ UM Libraries, McKeldin Libraries: Services Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  22. ^ UM Libraries, Late Night Study in McKeldin Library Retrieved 2010-6-17.
  23. ^ Brown, Lauren. McKeldin Library Reads Future with New Learning Commons. Between the Columns. Retrieved 2010-8-09.
  24. ^ UMD Libraries, Terrapin Learning Commons Retrieved 2010-9-28.
  25. ^ "Tech Desk opens in the Terrapin Learning Commons". University of Maryland Libraries RSS. September 20, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  26. ^ "TLC Tech Desk". University of Maryland Libraries. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  27. ^ UM Campus Buildings Index, Hornbake Library Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  28. ^ a b "Building's Namesake Honored". Outlook: The University of Maryland Faculty and Staff Newspaper. University of Maryland. December 18, 2007. Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  29. ^ Gordon W. Prange Collection, About Us. Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  30. ^ "Library Media Services". Library Media Services. University of Maryland Libraries. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 
  31. ^ "Home - English-language Materials in the Gordon W. Prange Collection - LibGuides at University of Maryland Libraries". University of Maryland. 
  32. ^ "Special Collections and University Archives". Special Collections and University Archives. University of Maryland Libraries. Retrieved 3-9-15.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  33. ^ "Dan Cohen and More Speak at MITH’s Reception". MITH. September 7, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  34. ^ a b Architecture Library, Welcome Retrieved 2013-03-1.
  35. ^ a b Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, About Us. Retrieved 2013-03-1.
  36. ^ The Jim Henson Works Home Retrieved 2013-03-1.
  37. ^ Special Collections in Performing Arts Index of Collections Retrieved 2013-03-1.
  38. ^ International Piano Archives at Maryland Home Retrieved 2013-03-1.
  39. ^ Art Library, About Us Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  40. ^ Engineering and Physical Sciences Library (EPSL), About EPSL Retrieved 202-12-18.
  41. ^ White Memorial Chemistry Library, Collection and Location. Retrieved 2010-6-16.
  42. ^ Priddy Library. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  43. ^ Lowe, Brendan. Funding losses hit univ. libraries hard. The Diamondback. September 22, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12.
  44. ^ Editorial. Library budget needs rescuing from critical levels The Diamondback. September 26, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12.