The library is available for students and faculty to conduct research with a well-balanced collection of nearly 26,000 volumes, 125 current magazine subscriptions, newspaper subscriptions, and extensive back issue holdings (many dating to the mid-1800s).
Blending the old and the new, the library includes a wireless high-speed internet system, twelve-station computer lab, and collections of CDs, DVDs and video cassettes.
Home to two music collections—the Tony Zulfer Music Collection (a lending library of jazz music CDs) and a large classical music collection—the Hirst Library receives requests for materials from throughout the region.
The main reading room is an attractive, inviting space with a central fireplace, Oriental rugs, paintings, sculptures and a south-facing bank of leaded glass windows. The upper level, called the Crow’s Nest, houses the fiction and short story collections and bound nineteenth-century periodicals.
The Shattuck-St. Mary’s Middle School Library is located in St. Mary’s Hall on the Middle School campus, and provides age-appropriate reading materials and a ready reference section. Middle School students use the Hirst Library for in-depth research projects.
The Hirst Library is a member of SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating), a regional agency serving libraries in southeastern Minnesota. SELCO maintains a web-based catalog for all member libraries. Through SELCO, Shattuck-St. Mary’s students have access to more than 19 million books in a multi-state area, thousands of magazine titles, and numerous electronic databases. SELCO also provides a centralized reference service. SELCO libraries share materials through an inter-library loan system and van deliveries are made to Shattuck-St. Mary’s three times weekly.