Michigan State University

Library Facts

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


  • 7,606,499 unique print and electronic titles
  • 6,295,758 print and electronic volumes
  • 1,329,222 e-books
  • plus more than 235,000 maps; 71,000 sound recordings; and nearly 6,000,000 microfilm/microfiche


  • Librarians conducted 727 sessions on research skills, reaching a total of 35,469 students.
  • The reference staff handled 44,148 questions in person, by phone, and online.
  • The library borrowed 22,322 items from other libraries for MSU users, and loaned 74,240 items to other libraries from our collection.
  • The library website was visited 1,321,463 times. Users retrieved 3,726,656 full-text articles from the library's databases.
  • Digital collections created from our own holdings exceed 25 gigabytes – nearly 800 shelf-feet of print material.

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.