Organization at a Glance


The University Libraries inspire intellectual discovery and learning through robust information resources and academic collaborations in teaching and research that connect the Penn State community and citizens of Pennsylvania to the world of knowledge and new ideas.


We are a world-class research library with a global reach, providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for learning, collaboration, and knowledge creation. As partners in research and education, and leaders in delivery and preservation of library collections, we will leverage technology and reward innovation to ensure the University Libraries are a destination of choice.


Message from the Dean

Dean Barbara Dewey

WELCOME to the University Libraries, the heart of Penn State.

We are thrilled to be a place for everyone at Penn State — undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni — and other visitors in their pursuit of experiencing and creating scholarship. Lifelong learning and scholarly research are tremendously exciting activities, and we are proud to serve as the University’s portal to global knowledge discovery.

As one University Libraries, geographically dispersed at Penn State’s locations across Pennsylvania and online, we help our users, whether they visit us in person or virtually, navigate our vast physical and digital resources during their scholarly journeys.

We task ourselves with assessing and evolving our services and spaces, to ensure comfortable and productive environments, easily discoverable and accessible content, and friendly, knowledgeable employees. They are ready to assist with online guides, course reserves, instructional programs and assignments, digital and virtual projects, equipment, and more.

We strive to anticipate our users’ needs, delivering the latest and most engaging of the world’s scholarly records and educational materials for pursuing new and innovative ideas, while also preserving its ancient, fragile, and rare manuscripts and artifacts for study and re-examination.

A new interface of our online catalog — an effort more than a year in the making — provides upgrades including basic and advanced search “facets” to expedite search results to the most relevant resources for each search query. Results are delivered in an at-a-glance format, which allows users to quickly locate desired items or further refine their searches.

With all we do, we consider users’ interests and priorities in intellectual, social, and cultural endeavors, and develop new pathways for understanding by cultivating diverse and inclusive collections and communities.

We invite everyone to make the University Libraries the heart of their Penn State experience — and to take the Libraries with them to the next chapter of their lives through the Alumni Library Online, our partnership with the Penn State Alumni Association for its members and one of many such partnerships and collaborations we are proud to be an active part of at our University and around the world.

We can't wait to welcome you for the first — or the next — time! 


Barbara I. Dewey, Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications