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, and the physical and the virtual, can students truly be prepared for the future.
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 accessed, evaluated, organized, and may be presented and utilized, especially concerning the navigation of online academic databases and the internet as a whole.
The Library Collection itself contains over 80,000 print volumes, including the best 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.
The library computer services are fully networked to the web. The Computer Learning Lab contains 15 PC’s, faculty station and Smart Board for classes to receive formal Information Literacy and research skills instruction. The Library Commons Area provides open access to computer stations but cadets are encouraged to bring their own laptops for academic research in the library. 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 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.