Michigan State University

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.