Vision Statement

The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries will be known as the institution’s center for intellectual inquiry by creating new avenues of service to educate and assist patrons, developing innovative approaches to enhance and expand collections, and exploring new opportunities to foster collaboration across campus and among the larger community.


The mission of the University Libraries is to create an information-rich environment that fosters the intellectual development and creativity of the university community by providing services, collections, and other resources to meet the needs of the university’s students, faculty, staff, and other researchers in a changing academic landscape.


  • Service – Deliver exemplary service.
  • Stewardship – Evaluate, select, and provide access to a broad range of information resources.
  • Intellectual Freedom – Protect the privacy of individuals and their rights to find and use information relevant to educational and research needs.
  • Collaboration – Form partnerships that support or advance the Libraries’ mission.
  • Equality – Provide access to the library and its resources without regard to national origin, background, or views.
  • Diversity – Respect the richness of different ideas and cultures.
  • Empowerment – Support student success and professional development.
  • Engagement – Be a vital and welcoming center for educational and cultural activity.

View the Libraries’ Strategic Plan here.

Cook Library

The Joseph Anderson Cook Library contains the principle holdings of books, journals, microforms, music, media, and other materials, which support the research and instructional programs of the University. Cook Library has five floors of book stacks, study areas, computers, and access is provided to over five million books and microforms and over 150,000 journals. Library services, such as circulation, reference and interlibrary loan, can be found on the first and second floors with the collections being housed on all five floors.

You can learn more about our history here.

Special Collections
Established in 1976 as the graduate research library, the McCain Library & Archives is situated across a courtyard from Cook Library. The building houses the Libraries' Special Collections. Research services are directed from the Cleanth Brooks Reading Room, located on the third floor in room 305. Because of the uniqueness, rarity, and historical research value of the books, manuscripts, and other formats, Special Collections materials do not circulate outside of the Brooks Reading Room.

The building is named for William D. McCain, former Mississippi state archivist and long-time president of The University of Southern Mississippi (1955-1975). An avid genealogist and historian, Dr. McCain took up offices in the McCain Library as President Emeritus following his retirement in 1975. Today, current President Emeritus Aubrey K. Lucas works out of the third floor offices. Other tenants in the building include the Graduate School, and the Testing Center.

Gulf Coast Library
The Gulf Coast Library, located on the Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach, has print and non-print materials that support the research and curriculum needs of the students, faculty, and staff. All of the University Libraries’ electronic holdings are accessible to the students on the Gulf Coast, and materials are available for campus-to-campus loan. The Gulf Coast Library includes 37,000 volumes of curriculum resource materials and provides study space and access to computers throughout all three floors of the facility.

Gunter Library
The Gunter Library, located in the Richard L. Caylor Building, at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs provides technical information for the research staff, resident faculty, and students. A collection of 1,663 print journals and over 30,000 books, reprints, reports, and gray literature, environmental impact statements; fishery management plans; and other materials supporting the research and teaching done by the Department of Coast Sciences and GCRL scientific staff are available to support research, education, and services in the coastal sciences.