Purpose of the Collection
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 in print and online resources, the Undergraduate Library also houses the primary media collection for the University Library, one of the largest reserve collections, and a robust loanable technology collection which serves faculty, staff, and students at all levels.
The UGL serves as a hub for collecting popular culture materials, including items covering the study of pop culture itself, as well as primary sources and secondary literature covering individual popular culture phenomena. The pop culture collection includes graphic novels, genre fiction, video games and vintage games, and materials about popular culture icons from a variety of eras. The media collection 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). The collection also contains box office hits, TV series, documentaries and special orders. See the Media Collection page for more information.
The physical collection at any given time consists of roughly 125,000 monographs in open stacks, 40,000 circulating media items such DVDs, Blu-rays, Games, 2,000 print reserve items, over 450 loanable technology items, and 5,000 bound and unbound periodicals volumes and issues. A focus of current and future collection development is on collecting ebooks and related online resources to facilitate broader access to the collection. See, for example, our Online Reference Collection. The collections undergo periodic assessment in order to emphasize high-use items and formats, and to align with student needs.
In addition to building and maintaining a relevant collection, the Undergraduate Library provides in person and virtual assistance in finding, using and evaluating the materials. These occur through:
- Information literacy programs, instruction sessions, online guides (LibGuides) and tutorials that highlight the collections and services. For more information see our How Do I..? page.
- Reference services, (both in person and virtual) in which the individual encounter results not only in obtaining specific information, but in personalized instruction in the methods of library research. For more information, Ask a Librarian or check out our Online Reference Collection.
Physical arrangements are designed to encourage direct access to the collection, and to provide spacious and attractive study spaces. Through this arrangement, the UGL seeks to encourage intellectual exploration through browsing and group study work. Long service hours are offered to maximize access. In conjunction with the Media Commons initiative, wide varieties of available in-house and loanable technology provide direct access to the 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.