The May H. Baker Memorial Library serves as the focal point of a cadet’s academic life at Valley Forge Military Academy & College, acting as a gateway for both independent and collective learning, research, and discovery. Located in the center of campus, the Library is dedicated to the memory of May Hagenbuch Baker, wife of Valley Forge’s founder, Lieutenant General Milton G. Baker. The contemporary library is a forum in which students, facilitated by teachers and librarians, come to take part in the academic traditions of the past while engaging the present, ever-changing world in which they live, seen through new methods and technologies. Only through the understanding and synthesis of the past and present, the old and new, the physical and the virtual, can students truly be prepared for the future.
More About the Library
Librarians interact with students and teachers in meeting information needs and achieving instructional goals. The Faculty members of the Academy and College collaborate with the Library Staff to fulfill and support research-based curricula. Students become literate in the new ways in which information is organized, and may be presented and utilized; they learn how to access and evaluate information by navigating not only the internet, but also academic research databases.
The Library Collection itself contains over 80,000 print volumes, including fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works. Notable collection strengths include American and World History, Military History and Technology, Geopolitics, and English and French Literature. Students also have access to 5,000 plus volumes from 3,000 plus libraries and regional librarian consortia in Pennsylvania through inter-library loans. Students also have access to periodical and newspaper subscriptions available through the research databases, which may be accessed in the Library, in the barracks, or at home available through the VFMAC webpage. College Cadets and Students also have access to many textbooks that are on reserve for in-library use.
The Computer Learning Lab contains 15 PCs, a faculty station and a Smart Board for classes to receive formal Information Literacy and Research Skills instruction. The library computer services are fully networked to the web and printers. The lab and information literacy instruction are both available for reservation upon request.
The Library also has a traditional classroom, equipped with a Smart Board that is available for reservation upon request.
The Moore, Stein, Weller Naval Room is a conference room located in the East Wing of the Library and is available for reservation upon request.
The Library also houses the Learning and Support Center (LASC), which is open six days a week and is staffed by a dedicated team which includes a full time Director, several work-study students, and peer and professional tutors. The LASC center is fully equipped with computer stations, Smart Board, technology and resources to maximize the full academic potential of our College Cadets and Students.
The Cadet Counseling Center is located on the second floor of the Baker Library and is an integral part of the Character Development program at VFMAC. Working with the Academic and Commandant’s Departments, the Counseling Center helps Cadets address social and emotional issues.
Library Hours of Operation
During the Academic Year, these are the library’s typical hours of operation. Library Staff work with the Academy and College to provide additional hours of operation during peak times of the Academic Year, such as midterms and finals.
|Sunday||6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.|
|Monday – Thursday||8:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.|
|Friday||8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.|
Staff Phone Numbers
(All phone numbers are 610-989-xxxx)
|Director of Library Services||Dana Kerrigan MA, MSLIS||x1364|
|Library Technician||Mrs. Morris||x1362|
|Librarian for Education Support||x1438|
The Library’s subscription databases provide access to hundreds of reference books, thousands of periodicals, and hundreds of thousands of articles, statistics, images, audio recordings, and video recordings. Databases have been selected and acquired based on their relevance to the information and research needs of the Cadets and Students, as well as the curricular needs of the Faculty.
Special Collections and Archives
The May H. Baker Memorial Library has been the recipient of several donations in the area of military history and character development. Robin Lahiri generously donated funds to enhance our character development collection. Through AMSCUS (Association of American Military Colleges and Schools in the United States) the library received a large donation of military books from the collection of Major General Stan R. Sheridan. Dr. George P. Psihas also contributed his military collection as well as memorabilia. Closer to home, COL Thomas Balish ’81, generously donated books from The Pentagon and The National War College.
VFMA&C is a member of the Private School Resource Exchange Program (PREP) and the Tri-State College Library Cooperative (TCLC), which enable students, faculty and staff to request items from other member schools in the Philadelphia area through interlibrary loan. VFMAC community members may also borrow from the collections of more than 3,000 libraries in the state through ACCESS Pennsylvania.
The computer lab is used during the school day for teachers and librarians to present information literacy instruction, library resource-based instructional units, and individual student use. Individual cadets may use these 20 Microsoft-compatible computers for paper and project preparation, word-processing, accessing library resources though the online catalog, searching the library’s online subscription-based research resources, and searching the web for curriculum-based information. The lab is open during weekend and evening study hours until 9:30 pm.
Moore, Stein, Weller Study Center
The Moore, Stein, Weller Study Center for International Relations and Naval History includes a collection of memorabilia and artwork that pertains to Valley Forge, the U.S. Navy and international relations. The purpose of this room is to increase cadet interest in the fields of international relations and naval history, and to encourage cadets to explore the prospect of a career in military service.
Learning Assessment & Support Center
The mission of the Learning Assessment & Support Center (LASC) is to assist a diverse population of students achieve academic success and to provide opportunities for leadership, collaboration, and intellectual growth. The LASC provides tutorial services and educational resources at no additional cost to students enrolled in the college. Additionally, the LASC works with students with diagnosed learning disabilities to provide academic services and accommodations to those students to ensure equal access to the institution.
The LASC’s newly-renovated facility is outfitted with computers, SmartBoard technology, and a printer/copier/scanner for student use. In addition to peer and professional tutoring, students can take advantage of assistive technology like Dragon Naturally Speaking to word process assignments and search academic databases and the web. Supplemental computer-based instruction is also available to students struggling with reading.
Become a certified tutor, find out more by contacting the center. For questions, comments or suggestions about the Learning Assessment and Support Center please contact LearningCenter@vfmac.edu.
Cadet Counseling Center
The Cadet Counseling Center is a separate department of VFMAC that is housed in the Library. The Counseling Center was implemented as part of the Forge’s Character Development Program to help cadets address social and emotional issues that may affect their growth and development.
Donations to the Library
The cadets and faculty have benefited greatly from the support of friends who have donated books and other materials to the library over the years. We are frequently contacted by family, alumni and friends who wish to donate new books. Sometimes it may be a specific title that has personal significance to the donor in honor or in memory of someone. At other times, supporters may wish to consider a set of titles of a timely nature.
Because the librarians maintain a “Wish List” for future acquisition, we always welcome the opportunity to discuss the library’s specific needs and interests with potential donors.
When donations in kind are made, the titles are evaluated to determine their relevance to the informational and educational needs of the students and faculty in relation to the curriculum and the personal reading interests of the cadets. Please contact the Director if you wish to donate collections of books or other media to the library.