James J. Shea Sr. Memorial Library

The mission of the Shea Library is to assist the American International College community in their quest for knowledge by providing resources and services that support information literacy, encourage life-long learning and promote personal fulfillment.

The Shea Library is open to AIC students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the general public. We offer computers for drop-in use by the AIC community, group study rooms, copiers, reference and research help, and much more. Because of the unique history of this college and the gifts which have been bequeathed to the library, the college has been blessed with items which have been studied and examined for their historical content by writers and scholars.

Learning Commons

Fall 2016, the first floor of the Shea Library was transformed into the state-of-the-art learning commons. The learning commons features significant technological upgrades, including laptop and docking stations as well as traditional desktop computers. A variety of study area configurations are available to accommodate different styles of preparation and learning, including independent and small group collaborative zones with soft seating, study tables, bookable boxes (study rooms), as well as a food kiosk with booths and café-style seating. The flag room serves as a large group collaborative zone featuring several furniture configurations, as well as a video projection option and whiteboard space.

See the Shea Library gallery images for a virtual tour of the learning commons.

Archives & Databases

Our archives contain college memorabilia from scrapbooks and photographs to films and videotapes of documented events. The accomplishments of AIC’s illustrious alumni and faculty can be found recorded here.

AIC students, faculty, and staff have access to over 70 databases of newspapers, scholarly articles, ebooks, journals and more through the Shea Library’s LibGuides site (login is required). Popular databases include:

  • Academic Search Premier
  • Business Source Premier
  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • CINAHL Complete
  • EBSCO Discovery
  • ERIC
  • IBISWorld
  • Literature Resource Center
  • New York Times
  • UpToDate

A few things you should know…

Current students can access information about the Shea Library through myAIC (login is required). Go here to find information on eBooks, research guides, and library policies.

Guests are defined as any visitors to James J. Shea Sr. Memorial Library who are not currently active American International College students, faculty, or staff. Guests are welcome to use Shea Library Monday through Friday during standard business hours, 7:45am to 4:30pm. After 4:30pm weekdays, and at all times on weekends, the library is only open to A.I.C. students, faculty, and staff.

Click on the links below for a few library quick facts.

Circulation and Reserves

Students may borrow items from the circulating collection for up to one month. Renewals are available if the item has not been requested by another patron. Fines are assessed for late items.

Faculty may place items on reserve for their classes. Restricted loan periods and policies apply to reserve items. To find a list of items on reserve by course title or instructor, check the library catalog.

Getting Help

If you need assistance with any of the library’s services, just stop in and one of our staff members can help. The Shea Library is located next to Magna Hall and in front of Lee Hall (when viewed from State Street).

If you have any questions please email us at shea.library@aic.edu. We will try to respond within one business day.

You can also reach us by phone at 413.205.3225 (main number) or 413.205.3206 (reference department).

The Oral History Project

In January of 1971, Dr. Theodore (Ted) Belsky and Robert Bohlke, professors of history and sociology, respectively, piloted an interdisciplinary course at AIC called The Social and Cultural History of Springfield, 1890-1915, in which students taped interviews with area senior citizens to build an oral history of that time period. The immediate success of the course led to the establishment, two years later, of AIC’s Oral History Project (OHP). In the fall of 1974, the OHP introduced a stand-alone course in oral history, with enrollment open to teams of four or five members of community organizations pursuing, “in depth, an oral history project of their organization’s choice.” Such oral history courses remained on offer at AIC intermittently through the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. Dr. Belsky oversaw the OHP until his retirement in 1992.

In 2017, Martin Cleaver, a cataloguer at the James J. Shea, Sr., Library, began digitizing the OHP’s more than six hundred audiocassettes that had lain dormant in the College’s archives for two and a half decades. These interviews paint a detailed portrait of life in the Pioneer Valley from the turn of the century onwards—with insights into the immigrant experience, farming and family life, government and education reforms, and much more.

Browse All Oral Histories

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