UCSD Libraries Fact Sheet

The UCSD Libraries consist of: the Arts Library, the Mandeville Special Collections Library, the Science & Engineering Library, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Library (all housed in the Geisel Library building) and the Biomedical Library.

The Geisel Library building, designed in the late 1960s by William Pereira & Associates, has become a Southern California landmark and the visual symbol for UC San Diego. An addition was completed in December 1991, adding 151,413 usable square feet to the existing 121,839 square feet. Designed by Gunnar Birkerts & Associates to complement the strong, geometrical form of the existing library without altering the original silhouette, the addition is underground and surrounds the original structure on three sides. The canyon to the west of the original building is metaphorically recreated to form "daylight canyons" that bring natural light into the underground spaces of the addition. The faceted glass walls, like transparent fault lines in rock, refer to the original geological formation of the area.

The Geisel Library building has appeared in several television shows, including “Simon and Simon” and “Mission Impossible,” and in series III (“Killer Tomatoes Strike Back”) of the cult classic movie series “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.” The building was named in memory of Theodor (Dr. Seuss) Geisel, in recognition of Audrey S. Geisel's support of the UCSD Libraries. A major portion of the Seuss/Geisel collection of original sketches and verses is housed in the Mandeville Special Collections Library located within Geisel Library. In July 2001, renowned artist John Baldessari and designer Roy Macon transformed the Library's façade and interior foyer to become the fifteenth piece in UCSD's Stuart Collection: "Read, Write, Think, Dream"—reminding us that students are central to the educational mission of the University and essential to the future of the community.

The Libraries' collections and services support undergraduate and graduate instructional programs, as well as advanced research. Individual libraries are organized and staffed to meet the academic objectives of their primary clientele.


UCSD Libraries' Holdings 2010-2011

3,521,716 Bound volumes
512,804 Electronic Books
42,314 Periodical & other serial pubs
97,862 Pamphlets
16,448 Manuscripts/archives
116,903 Maps
3,114,287 Microforms
123,347 Audio materials
480,118 Slides & other pictorial
22,761 Video Materials


Library Staff

60 Academic
254 Staff
52 Student


Library Budget

7,770,495 Collections
15,087,427 Salaries & Benefits
3,335,993 Supplies, operations, furniture & equip.
26,193,995 Total Budget


In 2010-2011

3,181,563 People entered the UCSD Libraries
608,662 Items were checked out/renewed
656 Courses were supported with reserves material
221,362 Physical reserve items were checked out
673,887 Document views were made of text placed on electronic reserve
23,071 Connections were made to sound files placed on electronic reserve
120,503 Reference questions were answered
12,008 People received library instruction
210 People participated in outreach events
1,913,050 Images were made on copiers, printers, microreaders, screen scanners
37,363 Books were loaned to other libraries
22,981 Books were borrowed from other libraries
48,051,000 Hits were made on the Libraries Website
10,247,200 ROGER (UCSD's online catalog) searches were conducted