The Princeton Review released its 2013 college rankings in 62 categories, including ‘Best College Library’ and its counterpart, ‘This is a Library?’ Both lists are based solely on students’ answers to the survey question: “How do you rate your school’s library facilities?” They do not take into account number of volumes, circulations, or any other metrics. The survey polled some 122,000 students in total, for an average of about 325 students per ranked campus. The full rankings will be published in The Best 377 Colleges, 2013 Edition, in both print and enhanced ebook formats.
This year’s top 20 rated college libraries are: Harvard College, U.S. Military Academy (West Point), Columbia University, Stanford University, Emory University, Yale University, Hampden-Sydney College, University of Chicago, Princeton University, Middlebury College, Brigham Young University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cornell University, The College of New Jersey, West Virginia University, University of Virginia, Dartmouth College, Colgate University, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and Loyola Marymount University.
The study’s methodology did not explain why only Harvard College’s libraries were evaluated, rather than the entire Harvard University library system, while other university library systems were considered as a whole. The Harvard University Libraries recently underwent a major reorganization, as LJ reported.
The 20 lowest ranked libraries were: Clarkson University, Bradley University, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Tuskegee University, University of Dallas, Prescott College, Howard University, College of the Atlantic, Duquesne University, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Bard College, Seattle University, Emerson College, Montana Tech of the Univ. of Montana, Drexel University, Green Mountain College, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Juniata College , Birmingham-Southern College, and Wells College.
Drexel’s presence on the ‘This is a Library?’ list is a particular surprise because the university has a library school which is ranked the ninth best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The University of Hawaii–Manoa also has a library school, ranked 29.