McConnell Library and the Radford University Carilion Library 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.

Brief History

The library at Radford was first located in the Administration Building, once standing where Muse is located. When the college opened in 1913, 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 third 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. 


Andrew W. Ross Student Art Gallery

Andrew W. Ross Student Art Gallery

In 2017, McConnell Library staff dedicated the student study area at the back of the third floor as the Andrew W. Ross Student Art Gallery, in honor of the exceptional collaboration and appreciation between Ross and the library staff. Andrew Ross, Assistant Professor of Photography, retired from Radford University in 2018 for medical reasons. His passion for Radford University remains, and continues to inspire students through the Andrew W. Ross Endowed Photography Scholarship, and through his support of the gallery in McConnell Library.

The space continues to serve double-duty as a student study area and as an exhibit space for student projects. The library works with faculty to schedule the room for 2-D or 3-D exhibits and plan for opening events and receptions. Exhibits will be professionally mounted on the walls or in the display cases. For more information, and to schedule your class project, contact Nathan (Nate) Popp, npopp@radford.edu.

Dedication of the Andrew R. Ross Student Art Gallery: https://www.radford.edu/content/radfordcore/home/news/releases/2017/september/mcconnell-library-gallery.html