Michigan State University

Some areas of the Main Library are now open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday and 12pm to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. These areas include main-floor access to Circulation as well as our study and computing space on 1 East with access to MSU printing. As of Feb. 1st, we opened 1 West. Our total capacity at this time is 120 people. We also now have touchless lockers, where you may pick up materials. Outside of safety, our top priority is to provide access to all of our collections. We continue to offer virtual services. We also are paging materials and will continue to mail materials to faculty, staff, and students living off-campus. We encourage you to use our convenient distance services. Please see our Online and Distance Learning resource page for more information.

Library Facts

Each year, we compile statistics about our resources and services for the Association of Research Libraries. Here are some highlights from the last year:


  • 7,805,066 unique print and electronic titles
  • 7,267,012 print and electronic volumes
  • 2,144,905 e-books
  • plus more than 235,000 maps; 85,844 sound recordings and films/videos; and nearly 7,000,000 microfilm/microfiche


  • Librarians conducted 646 instruction sessions and workshops, reaching a total of 27,167 people
  • The reference staff handled 14,331 questions in person, by phone, and online
  • The library borrowed 16,163 items from other libraries for MSU users, and loaned 63,939 items from our collections to other libraries
  • The library website was visited more than 1.2 million times, and users retrieved 3,972,264 full-text articles from the library's databases.
  • Digital collections created from MSU Libraries' holdings exceed 100 terabytes, and cover the breadth of collecting areas from Agriculture to Veterinary Medicine. 

History Highlights

  • The first MSU librarian, George Fairchild, was appointed in 1883.
  • The first dedicated building for the library (now the MSU Museum) was completed in 1925.
  • The library moved to its current location in 1955; the east wing of the building was added in 1967.
  • The library catalog went online in 1989.
  • The value of the library endowment surpassed $6 million in 2011.

College Hall in black and white

The library's first location was a single room on the third floor of College Hall.