Main Library · Science and Technology Department

The Science & Technology Department service desk closed in October as part of the Main Library for the 21st Century reorganization. The collection is now part of the Information & Reference Department.

Second Floor—South Building

Manager: Mary Beth Brestel

About the Department

The Science and Technology Department began in 1902 as the Useful Arts Room and was the first circulating technical collection in an American public library. Known for a time as Science and Industry, the department assumed its current name in 1982. Since its inception the department has broadened and deepened its collection, providing a wealth of information in the pure and applied sciences. The holdings are notably strong in the areas of chemistry, cooking and nutrition, consumer research, gardening, engineering, natural history, health and medical, parenting, earth science, car repair, math review, construction, and ornithology. The usefulness of its collection draws a wide variety of customers. In this department visitors can find a recipe, the value of a used car, an idea for a science fair project or a biography of a famous inventor. The department also has large collections of U.S. standards (including ANSI and ASTM standards) and Rand Corporation documents.

The Collection

The department’s collection includes over 250,000 books and 40,000 pamphlets, and a complete collection of Consumer Reports magazine. Newspaper and pamphlet files contain local and national information on topics of interest. A small chart collection offers visual aids for students and teachers on subjects pertinent to the department.

Special Collections

Pet Memorial Collection
Begun in 1960 by a library employee as a lasting way of remembering a beloved pet, this fund has been in continuous growth through customer donations. It is used to purchase library materials that will provide information about pet selection and care for animal lovers of all ages.
Science Fair Project Collection
Extensive resources including indexes and project books which allow students to gather ideas and information for projects.

Reference Service

The skilled departmental staff is readily accessible to answer questions in person, by phone, mail, email, or through KnowItNow, our online reference service. Special reference resources in the department include a science fair project resource table.


Science and Technology staff may be scheduled for group orientation sessions to familiarize users with the department’s resources. Call the Program Coordinator at 513-369-6945 for information.