Featured Library: The McDonald Memorial Library of Xavier University

Xavier University’s library is located in the McDonald Building, a gift to the university by the Walter A. and George McDonald Foundation in memory of their parents, Andrew J. and Mary McDonald. The library’s history dates back to 1840 when the Jesuits assumed responsibility for the school originally known as the Athenaeum, and changed its name to St. Xavier College. At the time, the college was renovated and reopened with a library containing a collection of 4,000 to 5,000 titles, predominantly in classical studies and philosophy. St. Xavier College became Xavier University in 1930. Presently, the McDonald Library offers an array of online and print resources to support undergraduate and graduate research across numerous disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences, Williams College of Business and College of Professional Sciences. These include databases, e-books, e-journals and streaming media, as well as books, journals and audiovisual materials contained in the physical collections. Special Collections, including St. John’s Bible Heritage Edition volumes, and the University Archives provide unique holdings.

OhioLINK recently sat down with McDonald Library Director Ken Gibson to learn what makes the library unique.

What are your top three points of pride in your library?

  1. Three points of pride first and foremost includes the library staff – providing 250 years of combined Xavier University experience to our campus and community.
  2. This stability and commitment to the mission fuels our partnership with Xavier faculty and other collaborations across our beautiful campus and in our city, as we each seek ways within our own roles to best serve students in the Jesuit Catholic tradition of Xavier University.
  3. Finally, as we look back in celebrating the McDonald Memorial Library’s 50th anniversary this year, a third point of pride is we are also forward-looking, as evidenced by the 2016 addition of a technology-driven Makerspace where, for example, occupational therapy students prototyped assistive devices with the help of 3D printers.
Xavier staff
Xavier University McDonald Memorial Library staff as of 2017.

What is the most popular spot in your library for patrons?

According to collected data, the most popular spot is the library’s third floor, as patrons gravitate to our building’s quiet study spaces. Last year, the library garden area was a hit when staff pets came as part of an exam week stress reducer.

How long have you been a member of OhioLINK?

Xavier has been an OhioLINK member since 1996.

To learn more about the Xavier University Libraries: