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About

Welcome to the award-winning University of Minnesota Libraries, one of the University’s and the state’s greatest intellectual assets.

A message from the Dean

Lisa German in a black blazer with red background.
Library Dean Lisa German

Welcome to the University of Minnesota Libraries. Our librarians and staff provide resources, expertise, and support for University students, faculty, and researchers, as well as the wider community. 

We promote student success in a variety of ways and spaces. Our data demonstrates that students who use the Libraries tend to boost their GPAs and increase their chances of graduating within four years. Our Minitex arm embraces libraries through Minnesota and the Dakotas and offers the Minnesota Reflections digital library.

We support faculty and graduate student researchers by facilitating open scholarship, by training on data management, by partnering on systematic reviews — and teaching other librarians these skills — and much more.

Our outreach to the community includes the Mapping Prejudice Project, which documents the history of structural racism through racial covenants. It also includes the Umbra Search: African American History; The Tretter Transgender Oral History Project; and the work of our Friends of the University Libraries.

Connect with us; we are ready to help you with what you need in learning, teaching, and research. 

Sincerely,
Lisa German
University Librarian and Dean of Libraries
McKnight Presidential Professor

 

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Facts and figures

Loans

1st

loans to other research libraries

Locations

12

Research questions

13,000+

annual research questions answered

Volumes

7.7 million

total volumes

Serials

119,770

total serial subscriptions

Visitors

1,647,162

annual visitors

Web visits

2.1 million

2019 web visits

Workshops

1,151

annual workshops/classes delivered

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How we operate

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Partnerships, projects, and grants

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Libraries staff

Search Libraries staff

Administration

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Job opportunities

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Policies

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History of the Libraries

In 1860, the University Library became a designated depository for Minnesota government publications. Nine years later, University President Folwell established the University Library and appointed himself as librarian, serving until 1906. 

Walter Library was dedicated in 1924 to accommodate 1,200 readers and 1.5 million volumes in the core stacks area. In 1940, the one millionth book was added to the collections. St. Paul Campus Library was dedicated in 1953, and Wilson Library on the West Bank opened in 1968. MINITEX was established a year later.

The Libraries launched the first online catalog in 1987, the first to accomplish a complete conversation of its card catalog.

Explore past Deans of the Libraries

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