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Students walking in front of Hodges Library - Photo by Kellie Crye Ward.

The University of Tennessee Libraries has received an impressive ranking from the leading source of data on our nation’s research libraries. The UT Libraries currently ranks 23rd among public research university libraries belonging to the Association of Research Libraries.

ARL is a nonprofit organization composed of 124 major research libraries in the United States and Canada, including 116 university libraries as well as eminent nonacademic institutions such as the Library of Congress and the National Library of Medicine. The association gathers and publishes statistics annually on the collections, expenditures, and staffing of member libraries.

“Though it’s always first and foremost about the journey and not where we sit in a list, these rankings are a good shorthand measure of the hard work and commitment of our great staff and the university’s investment in its libraries,” said Steve Smith, dean of libraries. “It’s gratifying to see our efforts reflected in this key national library ranking.”

Among all university libraries—both public and private—that are members of ARL, the UT Libraries advanced three positions over the previous year, from 47th to 44th. The current standing is its highest since ARL updated its ranking scheme in 2005 to reflect the increasing importance of electronic access to scholarly resources.

ARL has been collecting ranking data since 1908, although the formula used has changed over the years. UT has been a member of the association for more than 50 years.


Martha Rudolph (865-974-4273,

Brian Canever (865-974-0937,