The library occupies an unparalleled place in an institution of higher
education. It is a center of learning and knowledge unlike ordinary classrooms,
lecture halls, or laboratories. Within its physical and burgeoning virtual
realms, researchers and scholars can do much more than simply access information
that has been systematically collected, cataloged, referenced, and preserved.
Through today’s academic library, they can search worldwide for information,
network and dialogue both in person and digitally with other scholars, and use
newly-acquired knowledge to test hypotheses, advance theories, synthesize new
learning, and contribute to the ever-growing bodies of knowledge in a myriad of
disciplines. Evidence that SMU subscribes to the belief that the library is
preeminent can be found in its Centennial Strategic Plan: Developing Leaders for
an Emerging Global Society 2006-2015, where the libraries are referred to as
“the heart of academic excellence,” and of fundamental importance to enhancing
the academic quality and stature of the University.