Library Services

The Stockwell-Mudd Libraries make available to students and faculty approximately 550,000 books and non-print items, over 650 current print journal subscriptions and more than 1,400 electronic journal subscriptions. The collections are distributed between two buildings connected by an enclosed walkway: The Stockwell Memorial Library (1938) and the Seeley G. Mudd Learning Center (1980). The Mudd building houses the Reference, Circulation, Special Collections and Technical Services departments; the Madelon Stockwell Turner Memorial Room; video, language and music viewing and listening facilities; a computer laboratory/classroom; the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA), and the Academic Skills Center. The Stockwell building houses the periodicals collection and extensive collections of U.S. government documents, maps, and foreign and domestic newspapers.

The library's online catalog is available to students and faculty from public computers located throughout the library, from across campus and from homes and offices anywhere in the world via the Internet. The online catalog provides instant access to the library's books, special collections, periodical holdings, and numerous online indexes and full-text sources.

The library contains many attractive areas for study-- classrooms, semi nar rooms for groups, carrels for individual study, and comfortable seating, with coffee and snacks, in the library lounge. The Friends of the Stockwell-Mudd Libraries sponsor a variety of displays and programs, such as readings and lectures. These programs provide a public forum for authors reading from their works and for speakers making presentations on a variety of topics.

The book collections, developed over more than a century, are extensive and provide support across the curriculum. A large collection of classic and popular motion pictures on videotape and DVD is available. The library provides an interlibrary loan service that utilizes an international computer network and electronic transmission to locate and rapidly retrieve materials not in the local collections. In addition, the library is a participant in InMich, in which patrons directly request materials from other participating libraries.

The Special Collections department contains the College's archives, United Methodist Church West Michigan Conference archives, student honors theses and a rare books collection. These are closed stacks, but access to these collections and research assistance are available by appointment.

The library staff is highly skilled and conscious of their public service role and mission. The libraries are open 114 hours a week. Reference assistance is available at the Mudd Reference Desk 53 hours a week. Librarians are available to help students develop their research projects and find appropriate materials. A wide range of up-to-date reference sources in electronic and print formats are available for consultation. Students and faculty have access to a large number of electronic full-text and bibliographic databases.

A strong program of library instruction has been developed in which librarians teach not only the use of resources in the library, but also how to gain access to information in society generally. The library offers a variety of library instruction sessions. The general library orientation session and the research strategy session are two of the more popular offerings. Librarians provide course-specific and assignment-specific instruction sessions in which relevant reference tools, appropriate research strategies and the evaluation of sources are discussed. Librarians work with faculty to tailor these sessions to the specific information and research needs of the students in their classes. The library also offers a basic library skills course, Library Science 201: Library Research Methods. This one-half unit course, taught by a librarian, introduces students to the organization and evaluation of library materials and information resources.