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About the Library

Diversity Statement

The USC Upstate Library is committed to the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. We strive to be welcoming to all people and to promote social justice by engaging in an ongoing process of evaluating our spaces, services, policies, and collections to make our library anti-oppressive, anti-racist, and identity-affirming for all individuals in our community.


With more than 60,000 square feet, the USC Upstate Library has more than 240,000 print volumes that can be requested for pick-up as well as online e-books for 24/7 use. The library has 342 online databases with articles that can be accessed 24/7 for any subject research need.

Building Updates and Renovations 


The University of South Carolina Upstate Library began in a small room located on the first floor of the Spartanburg General Hospital nursing residence in 1967. Increasing enrollment and lack of physical space, the Library was moved in the Spring of 1968 to the basement of what was formerly the Spartanburg County Health Department. At that time the holdings of the library totaled 9,607. The USC Upstate campus began in the fall of 1969 with one building – the current Stockwell Administration Building.


Construction on a new building began in 1976. In addition to housing the Library, the building was designed for classrooms and office space. The project took one year to complete and classes were held in the building for the first time In January 1977. Between the 1970s and 2018, the library was remodeled as services and programs changed to meet the needs of the students. 


The library began the first phase of a two-part renovation project in the Fall of 2018. The first phase included the implementation of a library coffee shop and bistro, two non-gender specific restrooms, compact shelving for the entire physical collection and relocation of two instruction computer labs to the second floor. The second phase began in January 2021 included the installation of a sprinkler system, 6 new faculty offices, 2 new service desks, an uplifted staircase, open seating, and new flooring. The library plans to be open 24/7 as soon as procedures and best practices are created.  


  Library Mission

The USC Upstate Library promotes the mission of the University by serving the curricular information needs of USC Upstate students, faculty and staff, and where possible, the educational needs of the broader community. The Library anticipates and strives to utilize innovations in education and technology, and responds to the evolving curriculum. The efforts of every member of the Library staff are committed to the ultimate objective of providing the highest possible quality of service.

To these ends, the library selects, acquires, processes, organizes and maintains Library materials appropriate to the academic and cultural interests in the USC Upstate community. The Library facilitates access to information and materials through the provision of a wide variety of services. The Library provides an environment conducive to learning by providing study and reading facilities. The Library teaches students to find information independently so that they may better perform their tasks as well-informed members of society.


The general collection is located on the library's first floor and may be checked out. This is the library's largest collection and includes books, DVDs, videos, plays and music recordings.

This collection is located on the library's first floor, in compact shelving, adjacent the bound periodicals. Library users may search for these titles by choosing USC Upstate Juvenile in SearchUp's location panel. Non-fiction, fiction, easy books and many of Newberry & Caldecott Award winning titles are found in this collection.

Maps & Atlases are located under the library's second floor stairs. Flat maps are arranged by area location.

Oversized books are located before the circulating collection, but there are also oversized items that are in the reference collection. Materials that are oversized will be indicated in the SearchUP record.

Periodicals are publications issued at regular intervals like a newspaper, magazine, or journal. In the USC Upstate Library, the periodicals are shelved in alphabetical order by the title of the newspaper, magazine, or journal. There are several locations of periodicals, depending on their currency and format.

Current Issues are located on Shelving Range 82, the last set of shelves in the far left of the library, just past the restrooms. Newspapers are kept at the Circulation Desk.

Bound Periodicals are shelved in the compact shelving along the far left wall (just past restrooms) on Shelving Ranges 74 to 81. Titles are in alphabetical order. If you cannot locate a title on either the current or bound shelves, the Circulation Desk can check the record for the title and see whether it has been sent to the bindery.

Microfilm, periodicals in film format, is housed in cabinets across from the library elevator.

Microfiche is available for Daily Congressional Record 1986- July 2000, Monthly Catalog 1965-1977, South Carolina Constitution 1895, South Carolina Convention Journal 1860 -62,65,68, 95, Congressional Record 1949-1978. These publications are also with the cabinets of Microfiche.

The Microfilm & Microfiche Reader is found behind the 24/7 glass computer lab on a table and it can be used to read both microfilm and microfiche materials. Check out the mouse from the circulation desk. If you need assistance in finding or copying the material, please ask-a-librarian.

Many periodicals are listed in the online Library Catalog and are searchable by the Periodical Title. The catalog lists the title and the library location for the item.

The Reference Collection is found in the first several compact shelving ranges adjacent to the reference desk. This collection is for in-library use only. The collection is indicated with red signage on each of the end shelving panels. Materials in this section but are not limited to include dictionaries, large volume sets, and encyclopedias.

Library Deans & Directors

John Barnett
John Barnett

Library Dean
2021- Present

A native of coastal North Carolina, John has more than 25 years of experience in library management, leadership, collections, outreach to diverse audiences, grant writing, scholarly communication and reference and instructional services. Prior to joining USC Upstate, John served as executive director of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), an academic library consortium headquartered in Toronto, Canada. John also has held positions with the University of Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium (PALCI), Gettysburg College, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and San Antonio Public Library. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Writing and Editing from East Carolina University and a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He served as past co-editor of Pennsylvania Libraries: Research and Practice, an open access journal, and continues to research and write about libraries, books, media, travel, and culture.

Frieda Davison
Frieda Davison

Past Library Dean


Frieda grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of the southwestern section of Virginia. She holds degrees from Clinch Valley College (now UVa at Wise), University of Kentucky, and Columbia University. During her career, she has worked at seven universities, including Upstate, throughout the United States. Her research interests centered on family and local history. Her book More Than A Name, which highlights the lives and deaths of each of the 640 soldiers listed on the Spartanburg County Veterans’ Memorial in Duncan Park, was written while serving as USC Upstate Library Dean.

19XX-2000 Ms. Helen Wiltse - Library Director then Library Dean
1994 - 19XX Dr. Celia Adair - Interim Library Dean & Professor of Mathematics
1988 - 1994 Dr. Julian "Chip" Green - Dean of Library Services
19XX-1988 Ms. Judy Dye - Library Director
1975 - 19XX Mr. Bob Perrin - Library Director
1968-1975 Ms. Jane Johnson - Library Director