Skip to Content

Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Analytics

University of South Carolina
University Libraries


The library resources of the University of South Carolina are housed primarily in the Thomas Cooper Library, the Coleman Karesh Law Library of the School of Law, and the School of Medicine Library. The University of South Carolina holds membership in the Association of Research Libraries.


University Libraries

The components of the University Libraries that are located on the Columbia campus are Thomas Cooper Library, Hollings Special Collections Library, Business Administration Library, Mathematics Library, Music Library, Moving Image Research Collections, and South Caroliniana Library.

The Thomas Cooper Library is a seven-story structure near the geographic center of campus. The Library seats 2,400 people; contains more than 4 million volumes, 5 million microfilms, 1 million manuscripts, 300,000 maps, and 961,000 government documents. The Library contains a Student Technology Lounge and other computing areas, with over 500 IBM and Macintosh networked workstations, 900 locked faculty and graduate student study carrels, and 40 group study rooms.

The staff of the Thomas Cooper Library and its affiliated libraries is composed of 135 full-time employees and supplemented by approximately 100 student assistants. Fifty-three of the full-time staff are librarians holding faculty positions with appropriate degrees in library science from accredited library schools.

University Libraries hold membership in the OCLC and Lyrasis Library Networks, which provide online automated cataloging services and interlibrary lending. Other automated services include an online catalog (Innovative Interfaces), online circulation system (Innovative Interfaces), online acquisitions system (Innovative Interfaces), and online reference service from a variety of vendors. The online catalog is available from off-campus locations.


Coleman Karesh Law Library

The Coleman Karesh Law Library, located in the Law Center, is an academic research library with the primary goal of supporting the work of the faculty and students of the School of Law and the University. The Law Library serves as an instructional unit within the law school, responsible for teaching its students effective legal research techniques. As the largest public law library in the state, the Law Library is also utilized by government agencies, the judiciary, the practicing bar, local academic institutions, and the general public.

The four-story facility houses a collection of over 600,000 print and electronic volumes, encompassing American law, South Carolina legal history, international, and comparative law. In addition to developing its own collections, the Law Library actively participates in campus, regional, and national programs for collection sharing and development.

The Law Library provides seating, including carrels, study rooms, and open table seating, for over 525 researchers. The Law Library employs 10 professional librarians, 8 of which have both J.D. and M.L.S. degrees, and 11 paraprofessional and student workers. The librarians, with the exception of the Associate Dean for the Law Library, are members of the Law Library faculty. The Associate Dean is a member of the Law School faculty.


School of Medicine Library

The School of Medicine Library serves as the School of Medicine's information gateway to over 10,000 biomedical electronic journals, over 200 electronic textbooks, over 80 biomedical databases, a diagnostic decision support system (DxPLAIN), consumer health information, an online catalog, and PASCAL, South Carolina's state-wide academic electronic library.

The Library's print collection consists of more than 115,000 volumes. The Library provides information resources to meet the needs of the School of Medicine's faculty, staff, and students, as well as the larger University of South Carolina community and consumers. In its role as a Resource Library in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeastern/Atlantic Region, the Library also provides biomedical information services to health care professionals in South Carolina. A complete range of services is available, including reference and instruction, interlibrary loan, and tours and orientations.

The Library staff is composed of 15 full-time employees, nine of whom are professional librarians who hold faculty appointments. The School of Medicine Library is located approximately four miles from the main campus and is adjacent to the Dorn Veterans Administration Hospital on Garners Ferry Road.


Combined holdings for the University Libraries, the Coleman Karesh Law Library, and the School of Medicine Library:
Holdings
FY 08
FY 09
FY 10
FY 11
FY 12
 
Volumes
3,884,645
3,320,392
3,963,958
4,023,693
4,459,841
Microforms
5,357,428
5,394,547
5,430,971
5,498,539
5,537,847
Periodical Titles
63,715
66,309
67,016
78,061
78,061
US Documents
944,768
951,954
957,074
961,200
961,200
Maps
323,474
325,818
327,266
329,268
329,268
Graphic Units
250,090
250,294
250,733
250,821
250,821
Audio-Visual Units
55,898
56,805
62,750
63,326
66,105
Cartographic Units
323,474
325,818
327,266
329,268
329,268
E-books
96,766
101,161
128,066
168,879
206,886
 
Circulation
301,406
254,624
319,163
350,228
270,928
 
Inter-Library Loan
Borrowed
18,538
17,391
16,738
21,995
23,457
Loaned
19,696
17,142
17,680
19,543
19,829
Total
38,234
34,533
34,418
41,538
43,286
 
Reference Questions
148,446
109,344
108,770
86,480
85,215