University of Maryland Libraries

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University of Maryland Libraries
UMD McKeldin lib.JPG
McKeldin Library, the main branch of the library system
Country USA
Type Academic library
Location College Park, Maryland
Branch of University of Maryland, College Park
Size4,094,341 volume  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Access and use
Population served37,000
Other information
DirectorAdriene Lim, Dean of Libraries
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: six are located on the College Park campus, while the Severn Library, an off-site storage facility, is located just outside campus, and the Priddy Library is located on the University System of Maryland satellite campus in Shady Grove. [1]


The UMD 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. They are members of both the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) [2] and the University System of Maryland and Affiliate Institutions (USMAI). The libraries are currently ranked 10th in electronic resources as a percentage of total library materials by the 115-member Association of Research Libraries. [3] [4]


The Shoemaker Building, formerly the campus library. UMD Shoemaker.JPG
The Shoemaker Building, formerly the campus library.

A library/gym building was constructed on campus in 1893, which survived the Great Fire of 1912; [5] [6] the building, which stood where Tydings Hall now stands, was razed in 1958. [7] 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. [8] [9]

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. [10]


The Office of the Dean serves as the executive administrative unit of the University of Maryland Library system, headed by the Dean of Libraries. Adriene Lim, PhD, began as Dean of Libraries on August 19, 2019. She succeeds Babak Hamidzadeh who served as Interim Dean of the Libraries starting in July 2015 after the retirement of Patricia Steele. [11] Reporting to the Dean of Libraries are five additional administrative units, each led by an associate dean or director: Administrative Services, the Collection Strategies & Services division (CSS), the Digital Services and Technoologies division (DST), the Strategic Communications and Outreach Office, the Research and Academic Services division (RAS). [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

McKeldin Library. UMD McKeldin long2.JPG
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. UMD Mckeldin Fountain.JPG
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 UMD (College Park) identification card is necessary to gain access to the building during the late night study hours. Note the library doors close on Fridays at 8pm, re-opening on Saturday from 10am to 9pm, until re-opening at 11am Sunday morning. [22]

Terrapin Learning Commons

Former 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. [23] [24] [25] 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. [26] In September 2012, the TLC expanded to include a Tech Desk, [27] which provides a variety of services, including specialized printing support. [28]

Hornbake Library

Hornbake Library. UMD Hornbake Library.JPG
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. [29] [30] The building was repurposed as repository for special collections, [30] 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), [31] 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. Hornbake Library was the home of Library Media Services which lent non-print media, including DVDs and production equipment, but in June 2019, the Provost, Mary Ann Rankin, and Dean of the College of Information Studies, Keith Marzullo, announced that the space would be repurpose as a space for the College of Information Studies' faculty and students. [34] [35]

Architecture Library

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. [36]

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. [36]

Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

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. [37]

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. [37]

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, [38] the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives, the Viola da Gamba Society of America Archives and the American Composers Alliance Score Collection. [39]

International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM)

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. [40]

Other libraries

The Mathematics Building houses the STEM Library. Glenn L. Martin Institute of Technology at UMCP, 2007.jpg
The Mathematics Building houses the STEM Library.

The other libraries located on the University of Maryland campus include the Art Library, located in the Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building, which houses over 100,000 volumes in the areas of art history, archaeology, decorative arts and the studio arts (including photography and graphic design); [41] and the STEM Library which was formed in January 2018 from the merging of the former Chemistry Library and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Library (EPSL). [42] The library remains in the same location as EPSL, in the Mathematics Building, and it contains resources supporting work in engineering, computer, mathematical, and physical sciences. There are also two off-campus libraries: the Severn Library developed in 2016 in the off-campus Severn Building. The library holds about 1.25 million volumes and about 40,000 archival boxes; [43] and the off-main-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. [44]


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. [45] The university's student newspaper, The Diamondback , criticized this decision. [46]

Library websitesSignificant collections

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