Jerry Falwell Library
Angela M. Rice, B.A., M.L.S.
Dean, Jerry Falwell Library
Rory Patterson, B.A., M.A., M.L.I.S.
Associate Dean, Planning, Administration and Operations
Rorie Fredrich, B.S., M.L.I.S.
Associate Dean, Research and Customer Service
Gregory A. Smith, B.A., M.L.S., M.B.A., Ed.D.
Associate Dean, Library Technologies and Collection Services
The Jerry Falwell Library (JFL) is the focal point of academic life at Liberty University. Strategically located in the center of campus, the library promotes learning, discovery, and research by providing robust resources, engaging instruction, flexible spaces, and outstanding services to the Liberty University community.
JFL’s 170,000 square-foot facility opened in 2014 and has seating for approximately 2,400. The library provides three levels of quiet, group study rooms, event spaces, learning commons, lockers, and a fully equipped technology commons. With a collection of over 1.8 million physical and electronic items, the library supports the university’s curriculum and areas of research focus while also providing additional resources to help develop well-rounded students. The majority of the physical collection is housed in a temperature and humidity controlled two-story robotic book retrieval system with the newest and most frequently used items accessible on traditional browsing shelves. Research support is available in person and via phone, email, and chat. During the fall and spring academic terms, the library is open over 100 hours per week.
The library collects, organizes, and provides access to physical and electronic resources in a wide variety of formats. Digital resources include over 1.4 million e-books, video and audio streams, digital scores, and other electronic content. The physical collection consists of approximately 427,000 books, DVDs, CDs, scores, models, and non-traditional materials such as tools, electronics, cookware, and other practical and recreational items. Approximately 400 online research databases from industry-leading information providers offer access to articles from more than 138,000 unique journals as well as a variety of other materials. The majority of these resources are discoverable and directly accessible through a single-search interface on the library’s homepage. The university’s online population and others working off-campus can access electronic resources through a single sign-on authentication system.
In addition to the general collection, the library oversees several specialized collections. The Archives and Special Collections Department preserves and provides access to materials related to the history of Liberty University, Thomas Road Baptist Church, the ministries of Jerry Falwell Sr., Baptist traditions, and other materials of enduring value that support the university’s mission. The library also maintains Scholars Crossing, an open-access institutional repository that archives students’ theses and dissertations as well as other scholarly works created by members of the Liberty University community. The Curriculum Library supports the School of Education by providing access to a variety of preschool through grade 12 teacher-edition textbooks; teaching resources; English as a Second Language materials; and educational games, manipulatives, and models while an extensive selection of children’s, adolescent, and juvenile literature provides reinforcement for classes in curriculum development.
Additional resources are available as a result of the library’s professional memberships and partnerships. Membership in the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) enables students and faculty to request materials from CRL’s collections of approximately 5 million newspapers, journals, books, pamphlets, dissertations, archives, government publications, and other resources from all regions of the world. Students and faculty can also borrow materials directly from other libraries participating in the Atla and Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) cooperative borrowing programs.
Highly qualified library faculty provide group and individual information literacy instruction to residential and online students in a variety of venues. This instruction is designed to help students learn to identify, access, evaluate, and use information and ideas in an effective, efficient, and ethical manner. Librarians work collaboratively with other faculty members to deliver course-specific instruction virtually or in person. Additionally, librarians offer webinars that are live-streamed and recorded as well as provide video tutorials and discipline-specific research guides. Individual research assistance is available in person as well as via chat, email, and phone. Virtual and in-person appointments are available for more in-depth research consultations.
Located in the heart of campus, the Jerry Falwell Library is an anchor point on the southern end of the academic lawn. A spacious atrium, casual seating areas, reading rooms, a café, multiple balconies, and dedicated quiet and deep quiet spaces create a relaxed, scholarly atmosphere. Over 30 group study rooms with writable walls and digital displays support student productivity and collaboration as do portable and stationary dry erase surfaces available throughout the facility. Event spaces afford opportunities to host speakers and other activities while seven learning commons provide an array of options for group and individual study.
Library spaces include a variety of technologies to facilitate learning and productivity. Over 100 computers are available in the Dodak Technology Commons and throughout the building while copy/print/scan stations are available on every floor. A book scanner and a number of secondary monitors are also available in the library. The Active Learning Classroom as well as several group study rooms are equipped with telepresence technologies that facilitate interactive virtual learning. The Osborne Assistive Learning Technology Center houses a special collection of equipment and software specifically designed to assist those with audio or visual impairments. In addition, wireless Internet service is available throughout the facility for laptop and mobile devices, which can be charged in one of over 200 lockers with electrical and USB outlets, or with a portable charger from a battery kiosk. A 22’ x 12.5’ interactive media wall featuring campus, national, and international news; weather; university social media and events; student and faculty scholarship; and a video tour of the library is a focal point of the library atrium.
The Customer Service Center on the main floor of the library serves as a starting point for help with borrowing services, research questions, room reservations, and computer assistance for those visiting the library in person. For online students and others using the library resources remotely, a research support center provides services via phone, chat, and email whenever JFL is open. Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery (ILL) services enable students, faculty, and staff to request that articles not available in full text through the library’s databases be scanned and delivered to them electronically. Residential students, faculty, and staff can also use ILL to borrow a book or media item from other libraries across the United States if JFL does not own the item or if it is unavailable at the point of need. Online students and faculty can use ILL to request that items from JFL’s physical collections be mailed to them.