This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries About the Libraries

About the Libraries

The combined collections of the Auburn University Libraries contain over 3.2 million volumes as well as 2.6 million government documents, 2.5 million microforms, and over 148,000 maps. The Libraries receive over 35,000 current periodicals, many which are available online.

The library also provides access to over 227 electronic databases and has over 10 million archival and manuscript items.


About RBD Library

Ralph Brown Draughon Library

The Ralph Brown Draughon Library is named in honor of Ralph Brown Draughon, president of Auburn University from 1947 to 1965 and a driving force behind the construction of the original portion of the library that was completed in 1963. The RBD Library was expanded in 1991 with a 207,000 square foot addition, effectively doubling the building size. In 2017 the Mell Classroom Building addition was added to the front of the building, bringing together active student learning classrooms with library spaces to support it. The RBD Library now has more than 4850 study seats and other facilities designed to serve the study, teaching, and research needs of Auburn students, faculty, and staff.

Website     Hours     Map     Phone: 334-844-4500 or 800-446-0387     Room Use Policy    

About the Vetmed Library

Charles Cary Veterinary Medical Library

The Veterinary Medical Library provides services and collections which primarily support the teaching, clinical applications, and research of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Secondarily, the Library assists other Auburn University faculty, staff and students, especially in the fields of agriculture, biological sciences, home economics, nursing and pharmacy.

Website     Hours     Map     Phone: 334-844-1749

About the LADC Library

Library of Architecture, Design, & Construction

The Library of Architecture, Design, & Construction (LADC) supports the research and teaching needs of the College of Architecture, Design and Construction (CADC). The library is also a resource for professionals in related fields and for the community. The library houses a collection of over 45,000 volumes focused on architecture, building science, community planning, environmental design, graphic design, industrial design, interiors architecture, and landscape architecture disciplines; and subscribes to over 100 domestic and foreign periodicals. Services provided include research assistance, extended weeknight hours, use of equipment and circulation of materials.

Website     Hours     Map     Phone: 334-844-1751

Libraries Timeline

1859    The first library of East Alabama Male College opened and was housed in a room of the original college building, Old Main. The book collection was begun by the Wirt and Webster literary societies.

1890    The library occupies three rooms on the second floor of Samford Hall (built after fire destroyed the Old Main in 1887), contained 8,000 volumes, and was open eight hours a day. It subscribed to 92 periodicals.

1904    Electric lights are added in the library rooms. By the end of that year, the number of volumes had increased to 20,926.

1907    AU Libraries designated a Federal Depository Library

1910    Auburn’s first dedicated library, Mary E. Martin Hall, is completed to serve a student body of only 1,000 students.

1939    Mary E. Martin Hall is enlarged to serve the current enrollment of 3,850 students

1955    AU enrollment had swelled to 9,100 students and the lack of library capacity was reaching a crisis point.

             Legislative efforts begin to fund a new library building.

1959    A $100-million bond issue was approved by the state legislature that included funds for a new library building.

1960    March, building site approved.

            December, bids to build the edifice as designed by Van Keuren, Davis and Co. of Birmingham came in and the contract was awarded to Mid-South Constructors, Inc. for their low bid of $1,995,000.

            December 21, groundbreaking ceremonies for the new library are held.

1963    January 3, library building opens.

            November 5, building dedicated.

            Equipment and furnishings cost $2.6 million.

            Department of Archives established.

1965    Building named after AU President Ralph Brown Draughon, president of AU from 1947 to (11th AU president).

1966    500,000th volume added, “Hippocrates Opuscula” (1485).

1969    Average cost of a book - $7.99.

1971    Veterinary Medical Library opens in Greene Hall.

            Auburn Library Topics began publication.

            Teletypewriter Exchange (TWX) installed for inter-library loans.

1973    Became a full depository library for U.S. Government documents.

            Dr. William Highfill becomes library director.

1974    Installation of 5¢ photo          copiers.

1975    Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET) computer-assisted catalog system installed.

1977    Architecture Library opens in Dudley Commons.

1978    Haley Center reading room established.

            Map collection is designated as U.S.G.S. Map Reference Library.

            Average cost of a book - $27.58.

1979    Auburn University President and Mrs. Philpott donate 1,000,000th volume, “The Great Bible.”

1980    Closed stacks established in basement.

1982    Oxmoor House Collection from the publisher of Southern Living added in special collections. This collection was seeded by the publisher with copies of every book they had published.

1983    National Endowment for the Arts project starts for newspaper microfilming.

1984    Northwestern Online Totally Integrated System/ Library User Information Service online public access catalog goes live.

            Microwave placed in 3rd-floor lounge.

              First Online Public Access (OPAC) terminals installed.

1985    First online databases: Wilson Indexes.

1986    Barcoding project begins in summer.

1988    Groundbreaking for $21.3-million library expansion, which includes the first parking deck on campus.

1990    Keyword searching capabilities added to online system.

            RBD addition completed.

1991    Free patent searches.

            Smoking ban in libraries.

1992    Association of Research Libraries (ARL) membership.

            XCP Venda-Cards are issued for photocopying.

1993    Bobby Holloway becomes Dean of Auburn University Libraries.

1997    Library surpasses 2,000,000 volumes.

            Voyager integrated library system installed.

            Dr. Stella Bentley becomes library director.

2001    A-Z move.

            Library goes wireless.

            Sheri Downer serves as interim library director.

2003    First digital collection added: Loveliest Village photo collection.

2004    Library opens Internet Café and Stacks Café.

2005    Media & Digital Resource Lab (MDRL) opens.

            Bonnie MacEwan becomes Dean of Auburn University Libraries.

2006    First “Up All Night” event.

2009    Caribou Coffee shop opens.

2010    Learning Commons dedicated.

            3,000,000th volume added, “Philip Henry Gosse: Science and Art in Letters from Alabama and Entomologia Alabamensus.”

2012    Study Commons dedicated. (The Innovation and Research Commons displaces this area in 2020.)

2013    Library of Architecture, Design and Construction renovation completed.

2015    December, ground breaking on Mell Classroom Building addition to RBD Library.

2016    A-Z book shifting begins to accommodate the 38,000 square feet of the RBD Library that is being taken in for classrooms.

            Offsite Library Storage Facility (OLAF) constructed.

2017    August, Mell Classroom Building addition dedicated.

2018    Panera Bread restaurant location opens in RBD Library in fall semester, the first on a university campus.

2019    Dr. Shali Zhang named Dean of Auburn University Libraries. (February 18)

2020    The COVID-19 global pandemic causes almost all of the AU campus to close and most work to be done remotely beginning March 13. Defying the norm of most academic libraries, AU Libraries’ Interlibrary Loans department under librarian Gail Barton continued operations on-site - supplying research materials to AU and other universities both in the U.S.A. and internationally to more than 30 countries. The RBD Library has a limited reopening to faculty and graduate students in late May and opens to all with limited hours in late June. Pandemic protocols that affect library operations to varying degrees continue through 2021.

            Fall. The Innovation and Research Commons (I&RC) opens for the fall semester. This new technology center includes the area previously occupied by the Media and Digital Resource Lab and Study Commons on the 1st floor. Included in the area is a MakerSpace (3D printing, electronics bench, laser cutter, sewing machines), DataSpace, AdobeSpace, equipment checkout desk, full-featured audio studio and Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality experimentation area. Pandemic protocols prevent the use of much equipment.

2021    New exhibit space opens on 1st floor. Inaugural exhibit of Heisman Trophy winners.

2022    Exhibits of Harry Potter 25th anniversary and home video game consoles 50th anniversary bring in large numbers of visitors.

            Volume count 7.5 million.

2023    Library establishes 24-hour coffee and food vending to satisfy student demand.

Other Units

Innovation and Research Commons

The Innovation and Research Commons (I&RC) at RBD Library was established to help Auburn University students and faculty create and use physical and multimedia materials in their class assignments, projects and scholarly research. By providing access to the latest multimedia hardware and software, together with the on-site technical expertise needed to use these resources, the I&RC has become a centerpiece of learning through technology at the Library. The I&RC staff consists of four full time employees each of whom brings a unique level and range of skills. The staff is supported by student employees from many different academic areas who work one on one with patrons to help them make their ideas a reality, and hopefully, teach them something about the technology along the way. The staff and students in the MDRL are committed to serving the multimedia technology needs of Auburn University students and faculty in all academic disciplines

Website     Hours     Phone: 334-844-7398

Special Collections & Archives

The Special Collections & Archives Department of the Auburn University Libraries is located on the Ground Floor of Ralph Brown Draughon Library and houses published and unpublished materials which, because of their uniqueness or condition, require special care and handling.

Website     Hours     Phone: 334-844-1732

The Learning Commons

The Draughon Library is pleased to provide students with a newly established Learning Commons, a one-stop, flexible space configured to accommodate both individual study and group collaboration. The Miller Writing Center, Study Partners, Office of Information Technology Service Desk and library reference services are all conveniently located within the space.

Website     The Miller Writing Center     Study Partners     Office of Information Technology Help Desk     Library Reference Services

Last updated: 06/03/2024