McConnell Library and its staff of helpful librarians support student and faculty research, scholarship, and the free and open exploration of ideas. Specific services include library instruction, research help, interlibrary loan and adaptive technology. The library has a large collection of books, DVDs, journals, archival materials, and multimedia equipment for academic and recreational use. Thousands of electronic resources can be accessed from anywhere in the world. The diversity of spaces and furnishings allows for everything from individual quiet study spaces to group media rooms. Library services, collections, and spaces are designed to invite and inspire learning and intellectual and artistic creativity.
The library at Radford was first located in the Administration Building, once standing where Muse is located. When the college opened in 1914, the library housed 1,500 volumes. Groundbreaking for McConnell Library began in 1931, with a budget of $43,000. The library was completed during the 1931-32 session. Students helped move the books into the new two-story library. According to Radford College, a Sentimental Chronicle Through its First Half Century: "The building was designed for 200,000 volumes, about 10 times what the college had at the time…At the June 1932 commencement, the building was formally christened the John Preston McConnell Library. By 1970…McConnell Library had been quadrupled in size to accommodate the rapidly growing collection of books, periodicals, and non-book materials.”
In the mid-1990s, a second addition towards Main Street brought the library to its present size, with five floors that hold over a half a million physical materials, various spaces for student study and collaboration, special events, a vibrant University Archives, and Information Literacy Centers to ensure Radford University students graduate with the research, information-seeking, and source evaluation skills they need to navigate their chosen fields.