Illinois State University
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Library Information

Library History & Facts

The library at Illinois State Normal University opened in 1890, thirty-three years after the opening of the university. Until that time, departments held their own collections. Over its history, the library has resided in five buildings and moved into the current facility in 1976. The present building is named in honor of Angeline Vernon Milner, who was the first university librarian from 1890-1928.

Library staffing:

  • 24 tenured, tenure track, and non-tenure track library faculty
  • 11 administrative professionals (3 with rank & tenure)
  • 49 civil service staff

Library Resources

Milner Library is an active partner in the teaching, learning, research, and service activities of Illinois State University.  Milner librarians provide research assistance and library instruction customized to meet the needs of students and faculty.  Reference collections include general, as well as subject-specific, print and electronic research tools including indexes, handbooks, dictionaries, bibliographies, directories, and bibliographic and full text databases. 

Milner’s collections include:

  • 1,622,355 print volumes (located in open and closed stacks as well as a remote storage unit)
  • 81,448 electronic serial titles
  • 1,927 print journal titles

Computer workstations:

  • 84 public workstations
  • 63 classroom workstations
  • 110 computer lab workstations
  • 30 laptops

Instruction sessions:

  • 670 sessions reaching 15,263 learners

Recent activity:

  • 21,151 reference question interactions
  • 805,736 web page visits
  • 748,279 in-person visits
  • 120 hours of operation per week

Milner’s Web site serves as an electronic guide to library resources, services, facilities, and staff. In addition, Milner’s “Ask a Librarian” service provides online reference assistance through chat, text, and e-mail.

Location & Spaces

Milner Library is located on the northeast corner of the quad, next to the Bone Student Center.  Each of its five public floors provides a variety of study areas -- learning spaces, individual carrels, small tables, group study spaces, and lounge chairs which are adjacent to books, periodicals, and other library materials.

The library includes areas devoted to specific disciplines. The sixth floor is devoted to the humanities, media, education and teaching materials.  Floor Five covers the pure and applied sciences. The third and fourth floors contain social sciences materials.  The main floor offers general resources along with reference and check-out services.

Additional Features

The University Archives is part of the library organization.  It is the official repository of University records.  Part of its collection can be viewed in the ISU History digital collection.

Milner hosts the Teaching with Primary Sources (Midwest Region) program, the only academic library to be affiliated with the Library of Congress program.

Regular and ongoing collaborative partnerships enhance opportunities for students and community alike. This past year Milner teamed up with the Julia N. Visor Academic Center providing space for Drop-In Writing Assistance, Health Promotion and Wellness for stress relief activities, and Campus Dining for an Einstein Bros.  Bagels® satellite operation.  Milner continued to sponsor, co-sponsor, and/or hosts speakers (Susan J. Douglas and Brian Rohr), exhibits (Re-Tuning the Wood, Popular Grooves, Death of a President, Living His Story, Grimm Tales, The Exact Measure of Injustice, and Mrs. Packard), and events (presentations for GIS Day 2013 at Illinois State University,  Artist Talks and Panel Discussions).

The Friends of Milner Library is a group committed to supporting the mission and goals of the library.

Milner Library is a governing member in the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) and has been a member since 1980.

"Faculty Research at Illinois State University:  A Bibliography of Historical and Current Scholarly Works" is a database of publications by ISU faculty from 1857 to the present, compiled by a research group of Milner Library faculty. 


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Milner Library
Campus Box 8900
201 North School St.
Normal, Il 61790-8900
Phone: 309.438.3451

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Last Updated: 5/16/14