Library Student Assistant Training

Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries

Mission Statement: The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries are fundamental to the university’s goal of advancing scholarship and learning. We collect, preserve and make accessible a wide variety of resources, we partner with faculty and students to shape research, and we encourage the development of informed scholars and engaged citizens. Read more

Overview of the Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries

The Library consists of eight campus libraries, plus Special Collections and University Archives, the Fine Arts Gallery, as well as a number of library departments. Each library has a special focus and together, they make up the Heard Library system.

Biomedical iconBiomedical icon

Annette and Irwin Eskind Family Biomedical Library

► Provides access to materials in support of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the School of Nursing. Collection emphasis on Biomedical Research, Nursing and Health Care
► Has its own ILL unit known as Document Delivery Service (DDS), and its own Technical Service staff
► Home to the History of Medicine Collections and the Digital Scholarship & Communications department

Central Library

► The largest campus library with a plethora of study spaces and group study rooms
► Collection emphasis on the Humanities & Social Sciences
► Leisure Reading and Video Collections, and Equipment checkout

Divinity Library

► Collection emphasis on religion and theology.
► Special Collections in Judaica, Ancient Near East and the online Revised Common Lectionary
► Provides support for church and ministry workers locally, as well as nationally via the Kesler Circulating Library

Fine Arts Gallery

► Promotes engagement with the visual arts through exhibitions, collections, research, and instruction

Alyne Queener Massey Law Library

► Provides access to a wide range of legal resources, as well as non-legal resources including business, science, and medical publications
► Depository of U. S. government documents
► Law librarians can direct patrons to resources, but cannot answer legal questions

Walker Management Library

► Collection emphasis on Business, Management and Marketing

Anne Potter Wilson Music Library

► Collection emphasis on Music
► Specialized Collections of scores & sound recordings, and the Global Music Archive

Peabody Library

► Collection emphasis on Education, Human and Organizational Development
► Specialized collections include Curriculum & Test Materials

Sarah Shannon Stevenson Science & Engineering Library

► Collection emphasis on Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Physics & Astronomy and the various Engineering disciplines
► The only campus library open 24/5 throughout the academic year

Special Collections and University Archives

► Stores and provides access to Vanderbilt University's collection of rare books, manuscripts, etc.
► Houses one of the finest 20th century Southern Literature Collection in the United States

Map of Library Locations

Campus library map with parking info

map of libraries

Library Floor Plans

Floor plans of the library buildings

Overview of Other Library Departments and Units

Their functions are described below:

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

► Provides Faculty Delivery Services
► Provides national ILL services; book and documents can be requested and delivered

Digital Scholarship and Communications

► Manages Institutional Repository
► Provides GIS Services
► Handles data curation, digital humanities, and open access publishing/authors rights
technical services

Technical Services

► Provides cataloging and metadata services
► Handles acquisition of materials
► Management of electronic subscriptions
► Preservation, repair, and labeling of library materials

TV News Archives

► Core collection consists of 365 days a year coverage of daily evening national news.
► Includes special collection of special reports and historic broadcasts
► Database currently includes over 1 million records, including abstracts 

Annex and 21 North (remote storage units)

► The Annex houses off-site book storage
► Holds the largest collection of print material within the library system
► 21 North serves as archives storage unit

Library Technology and Digital Services (LTDS)

► Provides system management and support for ILS and discovery layer
► Provides network support for library staff and public services

Government Information Services

► A depository for federal government documents, microfiche, CD-ROMS, and more
► The public is welcome to use the federal depository collection without charge
► The collection is currently housed in Central Library and the Law Library

Library Leadership

Valerie Hotchkiss is the University Librarian at Vanderbilt University. Over the past 20 years, she has led three libraries and has championed issues of access, public programming, and curricular connections. She has implemented an integrated online library system, renovated facilities, built world-renown collections, and raised over $20 million in endowments. Hotchkiss is passionate about libraries and their role in the educational enterprise. She loves teaching cultural history through primary sources and  has curated or produced over fifty exhibitions, many of them collaborative and international in scope. She truly believes that the library is the heart of the university and she wants everyone to hear the beat. She and the librarians and staff of the Vanderbilt University Libraries are committed to partnering with faculty and students to help them transform information into knowledge, creativity, and action.

In addition to leading The Vanderbilt Libraries, Hotchkiss serves as Professor of English at Vanderbilt. She has a B.A. in Classics, the M.L.S. degree, and a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Yale University. She is the author of numerous books and articles on medieval cultural history, women's studies, and topics in the history of books and printing, including Clothes Make the Man: Female Transvestism in Medieval Europe (Routledge Press), Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition (Yale University Press) and English in Print from Caxton to Shakespeare to Milton (University of Illinois Press). She currently edits the series Women in Print for the University of Illinois Press (

Valerie was born and raised in Cincinnati, with strong childhood connections to Rabbit Hash, KY, where she learned how to climb trees, whittle, shoot (with arrows mostly), and avoid snakes.  She has been working in libraries since she was 14 and enjoys reading, writing, going to art museums, and hiking in the mountains with her husband and son.