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Welcome to the Tarleton State University Libraries

As the world of information becomes more complex, your library seeks to provide ongoing service and expanded resources to enable you to make your educational experience a success. The recent completion of the Library Learning Commons provide a place for collaborative study and work spaces where students can interact with cutting-edge technology, research resources, support service good coffee, and each other. The library staff look forward to helping you navigate the increasingly complex and information-rich learning environment. They will assist you in finding material for your classroom assignments and your research endeavors; show you how to use both web-based and print resources; or just find a quiet place to study. Whether your next visit to the library is real or virtual, the library staff is here to help. We welcome your comments and suggestions for improving library service.

Donna Savage
University Librarian

Mission and Goals

As an integral component of the University, Tarleton Libraries provide relevant and effective user-centered service collections, technologies, facilities, and personnel that facilitate the University’s mission of creating “an academically challenging education where learning is grounded in real-world experiences and effective teaching, research, scholarship, and service” Our goals include

  1. We will support our users in all settings by providing service access to collections, library instruction, and assistance to facilitate intellectual endeavors and encourage lifelong learning.
  2. We will build collections in a variety of formats that support intellectual inquiry, curricula, and research.
  3. We will provide user-centered, technology-rich facilities to address current and future needs.
  4. We will enhance awareness of the library's service and resources through promotions, campus collaborations, and participation in university initiatives.
  5. We will employ effective management and assessment strategies that enhance library operations and foster library staff development.

Library History

The Dick Smith Library, named for a highly respected Tarleton professor and benefactor, has grown from one room into a three level structure with 83,500 sq. ft., seating for over 700 users, and housing over 1 million items. Beginning in 1894, when the school was known as Stephenville College and books were shelved in a church ante-room, the Library was shifted about and located in a strange array of college departments including the President's Office, the College Book Store, and the Dining Hall. The Library was given its own home in 1956, when a new building was erected. It was a two-story structure that surrounded an open mezzanine. A renovation and addition to the library in 1985 doubled the size, and the access, utility, and beauty of the library was greatly enhanced. Included in the expansion was an audio-visual room, computer lab, and meeting rooms.

Over the last decade, the library has kept pace with the latest in technological advances with the development of a network that provide access to a variety of electronic resources, research databases, and selection tools. A $5.2 million renovation and expansion was completed in 2006. While the library's exterior remained relatively unchanged, the interior changes were dramatic with spacious study areas; group study rooms; fully-equipped instruction classroom; a multi-purpose meeting center; comfortable student lounge with coffee bar; reconfigured, well-lit stacks; AV listening rooms, and a striking Special Collection Suite.

The latest building renovation started in 2011 when seldom used items in the periodical and reference collections were moved to remote storage. This made room for a renovation of the west side of the facility to accommodate the Center for Instructional Innovation (CII) offices, which was followed by a $2 million renovation of the remaining main floor area into the Library Learning Commons. Opened in June 2014, the Library Learning Commons provide a campus “hub” for collaborative study and work spaces where students can interact with cutting-edge technology, research resources, and support service like the University Writing Center, Tutoring Service Information Technology Service CII Online Instructional Support, and Dining Service.