Academic Libraries: A Closer Look

An academic library is used by both students and faculty in a university institution, for one. Learn about what they are, academic librarianship, and more.

Academic Libraries: A Closer Look cover

There is no doubt that education is very important. Despite the setbacks, it can be said that almost every person in the world goes through education at some point in their lives. You also know that learning is beyond the walls of the classroom. There are times teachers require students to visit libraries for the acquisition of more resources and services needed for their learning. This is where academic libraries would come forward.

Academic libraries are libraries attached to a higher education institution, usually, and provide for the benefit of both students and faculty members. Nowadays, with the growing demand for education, the pressure is on for those who manage these libraries to further enhance what they offer to the students and faculty. Did you know there are innovations that can help you reach these objectives?

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at these academic libraries, and get to know a tool that can help further enrich what these places offer. Welcome to our discussion.

Overview Of Academic Libraries

What Are Academic Libraries?

An academic library pertains to a library attached to a higher education institution and serves two complementary purposes. The purpose: to support the curriculum and the research of the university faculty and students.

It seems that every educational institution has its own academic library. Ever wondered how many academic libraries are there worldwide? Generally, this information is unknown. However, an academic and research portal managed by UNESCO links to 3,785 libraries.

Furthermore, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are around 3,700 academic libraries in the United States.

The Challenge For Librarians

Before, the material for class readings that supplemented the lectures from instructors had been called reserves. You may be familiar with this term when you are visiting libraries at your university. Before electronic resources became available, these reserves are supplied as actual books or as photocopies of various journal articles. Nowadays, academic libraries generally already provide access to digital resources.

These academic libraries should find focus on collection development since comprehensive collections are not feasible. In other words, there is a need for resources to help libraries determine what materials to provide to students and faculty. To achieve this, libraries identify the needs of the faculty and student body, matching these with the mission and academic programs of the college or university.

Also, if there are certain areas of specialization in academic libraries, these are often regarded as niche collections. These collections are often the reference of a special collection department. It may include original artworks, papers, and artifacts written or created by a single author or about a particular subject.

Notable Examples Of Academic Libraries

From the number of academic libraries you learned about earlier, it can be deduced that these libraries are varied, based on their size, resources, collections, and services.

The world's largest strict academic library is the Harvard University Library. However, the Danish Royal Library, a combined national and academic library, has a larger collection.

Another noteworthy example is the University of the South Pacific, a university with locations -- and academic libraries, too -- spread throughout Oceania.

And do you know which university operates the largest academic library system in the globe? It is the library system of the University of California. It manages over 34 million items in 100 libraries across 10 campuses.

Now that you have learned what these libraries are, let us get to know their kinds.

What Are The Various Types Of Academic Libraries?

Through time, these libraries have already evolved into having various types depending on their purpose and content. Let's find out what these types are.

1. College And University Libraries

Academic libraries are a crucial part of higher education institutions. As you learned earlier, they serve two complementary purposes, that is, to support the curriculum, and to support faculty and student research.

Despite the fact academic library positions vary depending on their goals and the kind of institution they serve, the common responsibilities include:

2. Community College Libraries

The next type of these libraries is the community college library. These are libraries in two-year colleges, also referred to as community or junior colleges. They occupy a very interesting and important middle ground between libraries in universities and public libraries.

Community college libraries are usually also research or student academic support hubs, and community centers. Thus, librarians in community colleges are often performing various roles such as collection development, reader advisory, circulation, and reference and instruction.

However, community college libraries generally comprise of a smaller staff, which explains the blurring of job descriptions.

Additionally, the community college setting such libraries are housed requires consistent outreach efforts to engage the diverse student body that is composed of part-time students enrolled in technical or continuing education.

3. Vocational And Technical College Libraries

Compared with those in community colleges, and four-year colleges or universities, libraries in vocational and technical colleges have a different focus. While the former supports a very far-reaching curriculum that involves both general and specialized students, vocational and technical college libraries usually employ a much narrower mandate.

Since the students' courses are centered on different aspects of technical training offered by the schools, the library resources support these types of learning, including additional business skills.

Moreover, the setup here is that students rarely engage in research for their courses, as well as instructors, these libraries have less bibliographic instruction and research support activity. Instead, librarians in these colleges may manage collections of specific technical manuals, magazines, and business and career resources.

4. For-Profit College Libraries

The last type of academic libraries are those in for-profit colleges. These colleges are owned and operated by private and for-profit companies. However, the lines are blurred in this type, since four-year online schools and colleges, independent campus-based programs, schools that focus on a particular profession such as nursing, and nationally-based colleges and campuses may be considered for-profit institutions.

It is interesting to note at this phase that the level of support given to the library of for-profit institutions may widely vary, and is focused on student success or investor profits, since they are for-profit institutions.

When it comes to the librarians' responsibilities in these types of libraries, they are somewhat similar to those in more traditional colleges. They provide student and faculty research support, support for course development, bibliographic instruction, and the like.

Also, since many students in for-profit college programs are working individuals juggling school, work, and family responsibilities, librarians in their libraries, similar to those in community colleges, may assume coaching roles aside from their usual responsibilities.

Learn More About Academic Libraries In This FAQ Section


What Is The Purpose Of An Academic Library?

An academic library serves two complementary purposes, which are, to support the curriculum and the research of the faculty and students at a university.

What Is The Concept Of Academic Library?

If you thought that academic libraries are the libraries that schools, colleges, and universities have, you are right. An academic library refers to a library part of a college or university publicly or privately funded. Its primary role is to provide resources to enrich and support the school's curricula, and the needs of the students and faculty for research.

Is Academic Library A Special Library?

No, academic libraries are entirely different from special libraries. The latter are libraries other than an academic library, a public library, or school library. These include medical libraries in hospitals, libraries in corporations, libraries in government offices, libraries in museums, and the like.

Strengthen Your Academic Libraries With Eurekaa

If you want to strengthen the content of your academic libraries, especially their electronic materials, you can use Eurekaa. Here is what this tool is all about.

About Eurekaa

Eurekaa is an online course creation tool that helps validate and create not just online courses but also books, and how-to content in record time.

With Eurekaa, you can increase your odds of success with data-driven insights. There are less guessing, and more creating. What would take a whole day or an assistant to do now only takes seconds with Eurekaa.

Use Eurekaa to search by topic, title, niche, rating, popularity, price, platform, and more. Then, save your date to your library for future use.

How Eurekaa Works

Here's how this software works.

Academic libraries are only part of the many things that Eurekaa can offer. You have learned that it lets you gain access to trending content, online courses, and so much more, so you can create the best for your audience. Try this today.


Academic libraries are vital so students can learn better and so the faculty can provide the best education for their pupils. There are so much to learn about these academic libraries, such as its database, library science, how they publish materials, librarianship, research libraries, the role of the school's academic librarian, and the library's academic librarianship. The concepts also involve the scholarly catalog and research databases academic institutions keep, the usage of these libraries, how they help in teaching and learning, how they help in academic research, how they help in education and research, access to materials such as scholarly content, and so much more. The learnings are endless.

Nowadays, the trend among educational institutions is toward combining their academic libraries, which have been in existence for several years, with technology. They use tools in order to find the right content for their library that can be shared with the students and the faculty too, of course. One of today's most popular tools that can enrich the content in academic libraries is Eurekaa.

Eurekaa has the power to ideate, validate, and create a course, book, or how-to content in record time. It has features such as a unique content planner that can provide you with the best ideas to enrich your content. Truly perfect if you are running an academic library. Eurekaa also allows you to get a jumpstart on your ideas by seeing the popular courses being offered today, so you know which content is patronized more by your consumers. With these, Eurekaa's features, and how affordable it is, this is a recommended tool you should add to your desk. It does not only help academic libraries, but also course creators, content creators, and a whole lot more. We look forward to seeing you use Eurekaa.

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