Undergraduate Library Collection

NOTE: the below document is superseded by the current version of the Undergraduate Library collection development statement.

The primary focus of the Undergraduate Library (UGL) collection is to serve the research, curriculum, and personal information needs of undergraduate students. In addition to serving the needs of the undergraduate population, the Undergraduate Library also houses the primary media collection for the University Library, and one of the largest reserve collections which serves faculty, staff, and students at all levels. The collections are heavily edited to emphasize high-use items and formats, with a focus on newer digital collections and technologies, and undergo continuous revision and updating.

The collection at any given time consists of roughly 175,000 monographs in open stacks, 5,000 reference books in a non-circulating reference collection, 25,000 circulating media items such as VHS tapes and DVDs, 2,000 print reserve items, and 20,000 bound and unbound periodicals volumes and issues.

The Undergraduate Library serves not only to meet students' immediate, course-related needs but also to prepare them for a future in academic work, and lifelong learning. The library supports:

  1. Information literacy programs
  2. Reference services, in which the individual encounter results not only in obtaining specific information, but in personalized instruction in the methods of library research
  3. A core collection of reference works, periodicals, and general monographs, with which newly imparted skills call be practiced in the context of actual course assignments
  4. A media collection which serves to support the University’s curriculum by providing appropriate non-print instructional materials for classroom use and personal research, as well as to make available campus-wide materials which are only available, or are most useful, in non-print formats (e.g. motion pictures, theatrical productions, demonstration and tutorial tapes)
  5. A large reserve collection in print, electronic and media formats developed to support the immediate curricular needs of instructors and students across many departments and at all levels
  6. Formats popular in undergraduate student life and learning such as digital audio, digital media, loanable technology and gaming

Physical arrangements are designed to encourage direct access to the collection, and to provide spacious and attractive study spaces. Through this arrangement, UGL seeks to encourage intellectual exploration through browsing and group study work. Long service hours are offered to maximize access. In conjunction with the Learning Commons initiative, wide varieties of available in-house and loanable technology provide direct access to UGL’s growing digital collection of books, video, audio and games. Virtual spaces are designed to facilitate discovery and use of online resources and encourage literacy in various forms through patron creation of digital projects.

A good undergraduate education proceeds as much outside the classroom as it does within it. Since UGL is intended to support undergraduate education in the broadest sense of the word, it has a vital role to play in this area. Its collections include materials of extracurricular interest, such as sports, hobbies, travel, etc. The Undergraduate Library has a continued focus on providing access to a current popular culture collection, including lighter reading matter, such as current fiction and books of topical interest, graphic novels, anime, popular media, and games and gaming literature. Its periodical list contains both popular magazines and academic journals. All of this is intended to stimulate general intellectual curiosity and informal inquiry among Illinois' undergraduates.

Version Date: January 2007