The mission of the library is to support the museum's research and teaching goals, with a collection of over 11,000 books, 38 art periodical subscriptions and 5,200 artist biographical files. Books are cataloged in the University of Akron Libraries Catalog, an online public access catalog. Items are labeled "Art Museum" in the location portion of the UA Libraries Catalog record.
The Martha Stecher Reed library received its name in 1972 when Charles S. Reed made a generous gift in tribute to his late wife. A portrait of Mrs. Reed, painted in 1953 by Pietro Annigoni, is on view in the library's reading room.