University of Dayton Libraries

The University of Dayton Libraries consists of Roesch Library, Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute and University Archives and Special Collections. These are the University’s principal centers for the collection, dissemination and preservation of diverse information resources, Catholic and Marian collections and research, and the University’s historical record.

OhioLINK spoke with Kathleen Webb, Dean of University Libraries, to see what they do to stand out in the community.

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

  1. Firstly, the Libraries constantly do community outreach in the form of public programs: exhibits, events, lectures, films and dialogues. To support our housing and residence life co-curricular learning program, the Libraries sponsor around 20 events per academic year, with hundreds of student attendees overall. One of our past exhibits welcomed over 5,000 visitors to a living indoor garden that promoted the John Stokes and Mary’s Gardens collection, housed in the Marian Library.
  2. Another special quality we are proud of is that the Marian Library holds the world's largest collection of printed materials about the Virgin Mary, including circulating items and more than 12,000 rare books. The rare book collection includes several illuminated manuscripts and incunabula, or books printed before the year 1500. Archival collections include postcards, photographs, realia, prints and posters. Exhibits of religious art attract thousands of visitors each year. The Marian Library also offers distinctive research opportunities for University of Dayton students and faculty and routinely fields questions from U.S. and international media and researchers. Visiting scholars are welcome.
  3. Last but not least, the Libraries’ finals-week programming for students has received wide acclaim among students and academic libraries. Themed after cultural trends, university-wide topics, and current library exhibits and programs, finals week activities include, among other things, snacks, therapy dogs, chair massages, free coffee and tea, and study breaks ranging from coloring pages to late-night dance parties. Students vie on social media for a weeklong study room reservation, and alumni send in encouraging “finals friends” notes, which are posted around the library.

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

Renovated in 2019, the first and second floors attract students day and night for services, studying, team projects and printing. Students, faculty and staff were invited to focus groups to plan the new spaces. The first floor is home to Information Point, a one-stop shop for research and writing support from librarians and peer writing consultants as well as technology help from IT specialists. Nearby, the Dialogue Zone is a campus-wide initiative to facilitate civil, productive discourse on sensitive or challenging issues. The first floor also features reservable huddle rooms, a leisure reading area, a supplies vending machine, movable whiteboards, printers, computers and accessible workstations. The second floor features the Scholars’ Commons, a space for research conversations, peer feedback, seminars, workshops and consultation. Above an open-air lobby is Concourse D, a student-designed project development studio with reservable tables, project supplies and a project database. Students and patrons enjoy flexible study and collaboration spaces throughout the building; tech-enabled team tables; and a big, bright teaching space, the Collab.

How long have you been a member of OhioLINK?

University of Dayton is a founding member of OhioLINK.

If you want to learn more about University of Dayton Libraries: