- In a year more than 2,300,000 patrons enter the libraries and more than 20,000 research help questions are answered.
- The Library's William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections houses 4,600 linear meters of archives, including those of Bertrand Russell, more than 30,000 rare books published before the year 1800, and nearly 70,000 books published from 1800 to the present day.
- The combined collections of the libraries total more than 1.9 million print and electronic books and 86,000 print and electronic journal titles.
- General collection strengths support the research and teaching strengths of the University. Particular areas of emphasis include Biology, British History, Business, Chemistry, Classics, Economics, Engineering, English Literature, Geography & Earth Sciences, Health Sciences (with particular emphasis on problem-based self-directed methods of teaching and learning), Maps, Nuclear Physics and Religious Studies.
- The libraries acquire print, non-print, and electronic materials from multiple sources. The acquisitions budgets for the University Library and Health Sciences Library are funded separately, and materials are ordered, received and processed independently as well.
- The libraries participate in a number of consortial projects including CRKN (Canadian Research Knowledge Network) and OCUL (Ontario Council of University Libraries) for digital content.
- The libraries participate in OCUL's Collaborative Futures program, using the Ex Libris Alma library services platform to manage cataloguing, acquisitions, circulation, and electronic resources, and Ex Libris Primo discovery software to power the shared Omni search tool. Omni allows McMaster users to discover and request library materials at any of the partner libraries. Omni is available from the Library's website.