Utah State University Library

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Library Profile:

Overview of USU Libraries Facilities, Services, and Collections

Library Facilities

Library services at Utah State University are provided by the main library at the Logan campus and from the two branch libraries in Price and Blanding.   The main Merrill-Cazier Library in Logan is a newer facility (305,000 sq. ft.) that combines collections that were formerly housed in two buildings. Merrill-Cazier Library opened in September 2005 and houses materials in the arts, humanities, social sciences, agriculture, life and physical sciences, medicine, and engineering. Despite having slightly less total space, several technological innovations make the library a much more functional building. An automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) has capacity for over 1.5 million volumes, allowing for approximately 20 years of collection growth. In keeping with the University’s land-grant mission the Library has named the automated storage and retrieval system the BARN (Borrowers Automated Retrieval Network). Lesser-used books and all bound volumes of periodicals are stored and retrieved on demand from the BARN. Library users may use the Library Online Catalog from their offices, homes, or any computer with network access to request materials from the BARN. The materials are retrieved and made available at a service desk in the library within minutes of the request. The library makes extensive use of computer technology for staff and library users as well. The Information Commons offers over 150 workstations from which USU students can use a wide variety of productivity software, such as word processing, spreadsheets, digital image manipulation, and statistical packages. Librarians and computer support staff work in tandem to provide technological training and research assistance to customers in the Information Commons.It has seating capacity of over 2,000.


The USU Eastern Price campus library, built in 1967, is a 18,000 sq. ft. facility.  It has had several upgrades since 1967 and after the merger with USU in 2011 new computers, instruction classrooms and group study rooms were added.  It has 45 computers and seating for 116.  The USU Eastern Blanding campus library, built in 2006, is a 4,000 sq.ft. facilty with 23 computers and seating for 110.  It likewise has had several computer upgrades.


Additional library services are provided on campus at the Anne Carroll Moore Library of the Edith Bowen Laboratory School (children’s books), the Young Education Technology Center (curriculum and teacher preparatory materials), the Intermountain Herbarium, and the Quinney Natural Resources Library in the Quinney College of Natural Resources.


The USU Libraries belong to several library consortia. The Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) is comprised of 14 academic libraries throughout Utah. The consortium receives support from the State of Utah to help defray the cost of online journal and database purchases. Consortial prices make many of these products more affordable for member libraries. The Merrill-Cazier Library receives a similar benefit from membership in the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), a consortium of over 30 research universities spread across the western United States. Members of the Library staff serve on administrative boards and committees of these consortia.


The USU Libraries offers a full range of typical library services. Each of the three libraries offer information and instruction assistance under the leadership of the Reference & Instruction Services Department. Individual assistance is offered at the Information Desks as well as via chat, email, telephone, and text. Instructional services are provided in the library’s computer classrooms, via librarian visits to classes throughout campus, and through library research guides and online tutorials. Librarians in Reference & Instruction Services and other departments serve as subject librarians and are assigned to academic departments throughout the university. Subject librarians serve as liaisons to faculty and students in the departments, selecting materials to purchase for the library and offering personalized research consultation and library instruction.


The Resource Sharing and Document Delivery office borrows from other libraries materials not held at USU. During the 2012 fiscal year, the office filled over 12,200 requests from USU customers and loaned 11,500 items to other libraries. Course Reserves provides reserve materials in print and electronic format for USU instructors to ensure timely availability of heavily used items. Computer workstations are available to USU students and faculty in the Library’s Information Commons facilities and in a traditional computer lab. Photocopying services are available in the Libraries.


The USU Libraries collections contain over 1,800,000 total print volumes, which include over 796,000 circulating books and 402,000 journal volumes.  The Library makes available over 510,000 locally licensed and owned electronic books and maintains subscriptions to both print and electronic serial subscriptions.  In addition the Libraries also provide access to more than 3.4 million electronic books through memberships in HathiTrust and Center for Research Libraries.  The Libraries is a regional depository of U.S. government publications, and, thus, has extensive holdings of U.S. agency documents, maps, and periodicals, including over 560,000 titles.


The Merrill-Cazier Library also includes other materials in special formats and genres. The Library Media Collection houses audio and visual material, including educational and feature films, music audio, and slides, all available to be checked out by anyone with USU identification.  Increasingly, the library is acquiring media in streaming formats and now has access to over 85,000 streaming music CDs and 7,100 streaming films.  The Library also has an extensive map collection with more than 30,000 items. The Art Book Collection has particularly strong holdings in twentieth century modern and contemporary American art of the U.S. West and materials by and about the Beat generation of poets. The USU Special Collections and Archives contain rare book and manuscript collections, western and Mormon historical documents, the university archive of USU, and the Fife Folklore Archives, one of the largest repositories of American folklore in the United States.  The USU Eastern Price Library includes material related mining and coal production and has a small Special Collection on Utah politicians. 


The USU Libraries provides access to over 225 databases, ranging from general and multidisciplinary titles such as Academic Search Premier, Lexis/Nexis Academic, and Web of Science, to more specialized tools such as, MEDLINE, Early English Books Online, Education Source, PsycINFO, SciFinder Scholar (Chemical Abstracts), and Social Sciences Abstracts. Many databases provide online access to the full text of articles or other publications (e.g., dissertations) in addition to citations and abstracts. Patrons have access to over 57,000 electronic journals. These include newspapers, popular magazines, scholarly journals, government periodicals, and trade publications. Many journals go back to the first issue published.  Thanks to generous support from the University’s Central Administration, the Library has been able to maintain a journal collection that supports the active research agenda of university faculty and students.

Last Update: June 2013