Janet L. McCoy (


AUBURN -- Auburn University's Libraries were ranked third among more than 300 of the nation's top colleges and universities, according to students polled by The Princeton Review for its annual guide to the best universities.

Auburn's Libraries ranked No. 3 in the category of "Great Libraries" behind No. 1 Eastman School of Music and No. 2 Mount Holyoke College. Others in the top 10 were: Wake Forest University, Wesleyan University, Naval Academy, Emory University, University of Chicago, University of Washington and Bucknell University.

The Princeton Review surveyed 56,000 students at 311 of the nationıs top colleges for its guides, which is out in its 1999 edition. Less than 10 percent of America's 3,500 colleges were analyzed.

Glenn Anderson, assistant dean in the collections department of AU Libraries, said he believes many factors were included in the library's top ranking.

"Auburn's Libraries hold more than 2.2 million volumes and we are the largest library in the state, both in terms of volumes held and in the size of the library facilities," he said.

"Exit interviews with graduating seniors consistently characterize library service as outstanding at Auburn and a number of assessments of students and faculty by library staff have also indicated that library users are pleased with the service they receive."

Anderson also pointed to the fact that AU Libraries staff conduct numerous programs to introduce library programs to patrons, as well as keep abreast of the latest technology to assist users.

"During the past fiscal year, librarians gave 612 presentations to 14,648 participants," he said. "Many of these are orientation sessions for students new to the library, or sessions for students and faculty unfamiliar with AUBIECat, the WEB-based catalog, or with the many databases, indexes and full-text sources available via the Library's home page.

"In addition to the full-text sources, many of which students can use from off- campus locations, an electronic 'Ask a Librarian' service and an electronic document delivery service allows library users to do library work from their home or office."


In other categories, AU was ranked No. 2 among "Jock Schools"; No. 4 in "Students Pack the Stadiums" (Notre Dame, Duke and North Carolina-Chapel Hill were ahead of AU); No. 5 in "College Newspaper Gets Read"; No. 6 in "Town-Gown Relations Are Good"; No. 10 in "Students Most Nostalgic for (former President) Reagan"; No. 12 in "Everyone Plays Intramural Sports"; No. 14 in "Students Pray on a Regular Basis"; and No. 15 in "Happy Students."

Student responses to The Princeton Review survey -- the largest on- going poll of student opinions of their colleges -- determine the bookıs unique annual ranking lists of the top 20 (or bottom 20) colleges in 60 categories.

Categories include: academics, financial aid, administration, dorms, food, and aspects of the campus culture: political leanings, social life, race/class interaction, and more.

Published since 1992, the guide features student-based rankings of the universities to give people considering them an inside perspective on what students who attend that university say about it. Though the rankings offer an unscientific index of campus life and customer satisfaction, over the years they have: caused colleges to change their curricula, food, and campus policies, generated considerable news, commentary and discussion and even been the subject of a Doonesbury cartoon.

This year, The Princeton Review created a special area on its award- winning web site, Princeton Review Online, for individuals to learn more about, and post their candid opinions of the best colleges and the rankings in the book. Visitors can search the site to see which colleges made which top 20 lists in the book. In addition, the site offers a public forum for students, college officials and others to post their unedited comments about the book, survey and rankings.

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CONTACT: Anderson, 334/844-1739 (; or click here to visit The Princeton Review Internet site.