Welcome to the Tarleton State University Libraries

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.

As the world of information becomes more complex, your library seeks to provide ongoing services and resources to enable you to make your educational experience a success. The Library Learning Commons provide a place for collaborative study and work spaces where students can interact with cutting-edge technology, research resources, support services, good coffee, and each other. The Maker Spot provides access to innovative technologies for invention, creation, exploration and design, no matter what your field of study.

Whether your next visit to the library is real or virtual, the library staff are here to help. We welcome your comments and suggestions for improving library service.

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. Supporting our users in all settings by providing services, access to collections, library instruction, and assistance to facilitate intellectual endeavors and encourage lifelong learning.
  2. Building collections in a variety of formats that support intellectual inquiry, curricula, and research.
  3. Providing user-centered, technology-rich facilities to address current and future needs.
  4. Enhancing awareness of the library’s service and resources by promoting our collections, fostering campus collaborations, and participating in university initiatives.
  5. Employing 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 bookstore, 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 its size, and enhanced the utility, and beauty of the library. Included in the expansion was an audio-visual room, computer lab, and meeting rooms.

The library has kept pace with the latest in technology to provide a variety of electronic resources, research databases, and services. A $5.2 million renovation and expansion was completed in 2006. While the library’s exterior remained relatively unchanged, the interior changes included spacious study areas, group study rooms, an instruction classroom, a multi-purpose meeting center, a comfortable student lounge with coffee bar, reconfigured stacks, AV listening rooms, and a Special Collection Suite.

The 2011 building renovation started with the relocation of seldom used items in the periodical and reference collections 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. Opening in 2014, the Library Learning Commons provides a campus “hub” for collaborative study and work spaces where students can interact with cutting-edge technology, research resources, and support services like the writing center, tutoring service, and technology helpdesk, as well as a cafe.

The Maker Spot, opened in 2016, provides the Tarleton community a place to create, design, and get hands-on experience with some of the latest innovation technologies. It offers 3-D printers and scanners, a laser cutter, large format printer, cameras, and computer kits.