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2016-2017 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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University Libraries


Dean: Lee Van Orsdel
Interim Associate Dean of Research and Instruction: Lynn Sheehan
Interim Associate Dean of Technology and Information Services: Jeffrey Daniels
Director of Special Collections and University Archives: Robert Beasecker



Grand Valley State University Libraries purposefully collect, teach, display, discover, disseminate, and preserve information, in all its forms, to support the university curriculum and fuel the intellectual life of the university. We connect scholars and learners to resources. We create spaces and programs that inspire the university community and promote inquiry as an essential life skill.

About Us

Grand Valley State University was the proud recipient of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 2012 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award: The University Libraries offer dynamic and diverse opportunities for research, collaboration, and individual study. From four unique locations (the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons and the Seidman House, both in Allendale; the Steelcase Library at the Richard M. DeVos Center in Grand Rapids; and the Frey Foundation Learning Center in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences in Grand Rapids), the libraries serve the entire Grand Valley community. Each library's collection is tailored to its location and the programs it serves, with daily deliveries of physical materials between all University Libraries locations.

Events and Exhibits

The Mary Idema Pew Library offers event and exhibit spaces dedicated to supporting programs that enrich the educational, cultural, and creative life of the entire university community. Events and exhibits provide both planned and serendipitous opportunities for students to engage in learning moments that support, and at times transcend, their classroom experiences.

Student Support Services

Our libraries offer a suite of unique programs and services to enhance students' learning experiences. In the Knowledge Market, there are peer consultant services that help students hone their skills in research, writing, and presenting. Students may also visit the Data Inquiry Lab in the Mary Idema Pew Library and meet with faculty members for assistance with qualitative data management, analysis, and visualization. Other services that support student research and increase student efficiency include research consultations with professional librarians, a suite of online subject guides to help students find relevant resources on their topics, desktop delivery of journal articles across campuses, an interlibrary loan service that borrows materials from other institutions, and electronic course reserves for required class readings. General reference help is available through email or chat (, by phone, text, or in person at any of our locations.

Technology in the Libraries

Desktop computers, laptops, scanners, and printers are available for use in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons, Steelcase Library, and the Frey Foundation Learning Center. The Mary Idema Pew Library also houses the Technology Showcase ( where students can experiment and create using the latest technologies like 3-D printing, gesture-based computing, and robotics.

Library Collections

The University Libraries house a robust collection of resources in multiple formats that support the research and scholarship activities of students and faculty members, including over 650,000 print volumes, 60,000 electronic journals, and more than one million e-books. Grand Valley State University is a depository for United States government documents.

Curriculum Materials Library

Located in the DeVos Center on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus, the center has a diverse collection of high-quality instructional materials for preschool through grade 12, including puppets, teaching aids, big books, print materials, and educational machines. The Curriculum Materials Library provides spaces where education majors can preview resources, develop lesson plans, create media for the classroom, and try out teaching aides. There is also a collection of K-12 materials housed on the fourth floor of the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons on the Allendale campus.

Special Collections

Seidman House on the Allendale Campus contains both the University Archives and the libraries' Special Collections. The latter includes substantial numbers of rare books, Michigan novels, the Harvey Lemmen Collection on Lincoln and the Civil War, the Johnson Center Philanthropy Archives, and the papers of acclaimed Michigan author Jim Harrison, among others. Overlooking the ravine, Seidman House also offers a quiet study area during business hours.

Digital Collections
Grand Valley State University Digital Collections contain a selection of photographs, correspondence, diaries, interviews, and publications from the holdings of the libraries' Special Collections and University Archives, and other university entities. This expanding resource makes unique or rare materials from Grand Valley collections available electronically to students, faculty members, administrators, researchers, and the general public.


ScholarWorks@GVSU is an online repository of research and scholarly outputs by Grand Valley faculty members and students, selected and deposited by individual university departments and centers on campus. Since its launch in 2008, works in the repository have been downloaded more than two million times by readers from all 50 states and 193 different countries around the world. ScholarWorks currently hosts 20 journals and 10 open access textbooks.

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