The Stockwell-Mudd Libraries make available to students and faculty approximately 357,416 books and non-print items, over 19,600 electronic and print journal subscriptions, and full text articles from more than 40,000 journals through the library's many online databases. The print collections are distributed between two buildings connected by an enclosed walkway: the Stockwell Memorial Library (1938) and the Seeley G. Mudd Learning Center (1980).
The Cutler Commons, the newly renovated area on the first floor of the Stockwell building, includes interactive study spaces, a one-stop services area (Reference, Circulation, and Information Technology), and a café. The Stockwell building also houses the back issues of periodicals and the Wendell Will Room.
The Mudd building houses the current periodicals collection, extensive collections of U.S. government documents, maps, and foreign and domestic newspapers; the College Archives and Special Collections; the Madelon Stockwell Turner Memorial Room; viewing and listening facilities for video and music; a classroom; the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA); and the Academic Skills Center.
The library's online catalog is available to students and faculty from computers located throughout the library, from across campus and from anywhere in the world via the Internet. The library Web site provides instant access to the library's periodical holdings, numerous online databases and full-text sources, and special collections.
The book collections, developed over more than a century, are extensive and provide support across the curriculum. A large collection of classic and popular motion pictures on DVD and videotape is available. The library is a participant in the Michigan Electronic Library (MeLCat), an online system that enables Albion students and faculty to directly request materials from other participating Michigan libraries. In addition, the library provides an interlibrary loan service that utilizes an international computer network and electronic transmission to locate and rapidly retrieve materials not available locally.
Wireless access to the College network and the Internet is available throughout both buildings. The library maintains a pool of more than 35 wireless laptops (both Windows and Macintosh) available for student checkout at the Circulation Desk.
The library contains many attractive areas for study—classrooms, seminar rooms for groups, carrels for individual study, and comfortable seating. The Friends of the Stockwell-Mudd Libraries sponsor a variety of displays and programs, including readings and lectures, and the Odd Topics Society series. These programs provide a public forum for authors reading from their works and for speakers making presentations on a variety of topics.
The Special Collections department contains the College's archives, United Methodist Church West Michigan Conference archives, student honors theses and a rare books collection. These are closed stacks, but access to these collections and research assistance are available by appointment.
The library staff is highly skilled and conscious of their public service role and mission. The library is open 110 hours a week. Reference assistance is available at the Mudd Reference Desk 53 hours a week. Librarians also provide research assistance through e-mail and instant messaging (IM). A wide range of up-to-date reference sources in electronic and print formats are available for consultation.
A strong program of library instruction has been developed in which librarians teach not only the use of resources in the library, but also how to gain access to information in a wider sense, for lifelong learning. Librarians offer a variety of library instruction sessions, including a general library orientation, and course-specific and assignment-specific sessions. Librarians work closely with faculty to be certain that the reference sources, research strategies and evaluation methods that are presented address the specific information and research needs of the students in their classes.