This has been an eventful year of change and learning for the University of Texas
Libraries Committee and for the University of Texas Libraries.
Standing Committee Changes
Prior to the beginning of the 2005-06 academic year, the name of
this committee, its function statement, and its composition statement
were changed to the following:
FUNCTION: To become well informed concerning the functions of the
University of Texas Libraries. To assist in developing operational
procedures; to advise the librarian, the Faculty Council and the president
concerning the direction and growth of the University of Texas Libraries;
to advise the president in the event it becomes necessary to appoint
a new librarian.
COMPOSITION: At least eight members of the General Faculty, three
staff members, and seven students. Staff members shall be appointed
by the president from panels of names submitted by the Staff Council
and shall include two research staff representatives. Student members
shall be appointed by the president in the fall from panels of names
submitted by the appropriate student committees and shall include two
representatives from Student Government, three from the Cabinet of
College Councils, and two from the Graduate Student Assembly. In addition,
every year the chair of the Faculty Council shall appoint two members
of the Faculty Council for one-year terms as members of the committee.
The committee shall elect its own chair and vice chair, who shall be
members of the General Faculty. The director of the University of Texas
Libraries shall serve as administrative adviser without vote. Heads
of other administrative units on campus that include library programs
and services shall be invited to provide comment and information as
the need arises.Committee Meetings and Other Activities
The year of learning for the University of Texas Libraries Committee
members and for University of Texas Libraries administrators is summarized
in the following information about meetings and tours.
The following summarizes salient points that were covered in meetings
of the University of Texas Libraries Committee during the 2005-06 academic
year. Minutes for each meeting are posted at the University Library
Committee Web site <http://www.lib.utexas.edu/vprovost/meetings/ulc_index.html
and some of the minutes contain links to PowerPoint files and other
documents.September 7 Meeting (PCL 3.204)
This meeting was held in the conference room of the University of
Texas Libraries in Perry-Castañeda Library. Professor Desmond
F. Lawler convened the meeting and Professor Kenneth M. Ralls was elected
chair. The chair noted that the Faculty Council has put a new rule
in place that results in the election of a committee chair for the
2006–07 fiscal year by the committee members in the spring of
Dr. Fred Heath, vice provost and director of the UT Libraries, gave
a PowerPoint presentation to the committee on: the efforts of the library
to increase faculty, student, and staff input into its strategic planning
processes; the development campaigning being shaped to supplement library
funding; the efforts of the library administration to secure stable
budgetary funding in the face of implacable materials inflation; the
rearrangements to provide adequate study facilities (and coffee) for
students on campus; and major current projects including UTopia and
the Texas Digital Library.October 13 Meeting (PCL 3.204)
Handouts distributed included the minutes of the meeting for September
7 and sign-up sheets for the “Behind the Scenes” tours
of the Perry-Castañeda Library. Professor George Sylvie was
elected vice chair of the committee. Professor Ralls announced that
he will have hip-joint replacement surgery on October 19 and probably
will not be able to attend the November meeting.
Dr. Fred Heath gave a presentation on the FY2006–07 budget
for the UT Libraries. Following a discussion of needs and priorities,
Professor Lawler moved for the libraries committee to support the budget
submission as outlined. His motion was seconded and was passed unanimously
by all those in attendance.
The associate director for digital initiatives, Mark McFarland, gave
an overview of the priorities, needs, and timeline for the libraries
to identify, purchase, and install integrated library system (ILS)
software to further facilitate many library operations, including ordering,
cataloging, circulation, billing, and provision of an online public
access catalog. Mark noted that the libraries' data will remain portable
and not be tied to the system of a particular vendor.
November 7 Meeting (PCL 3.204)
The associate director for administrative services, Kay Sewell, made
a report to the committee on the planned addition to the Library Storage
Facility (LSF) on the Pickle Research Campus. The present storage facility,
completed in 1993, occupies approximately 11,000 sq. ft. and holds
10,000 4’x3’ shelves. The facility is 99% full.
The second unit will also occupy about 11,000 sq. ft. and will include
an additional 4,700 sq. ft. of processing and service area. UT Austin
and TAMU, with UT putting up $2M towards construction and TAMU $1.25M,
are jointly constructing it. It will hold an estimated 1.7M volumes.
There is no start date slated yet, but once construction begins, the
project should be completed in 18 months. The Libraries are hoping
to have the slab for LSF 3 poured at the same time to save money later
on. Usage of the current materials at LSF is fairly low. Construction
costs now are comparable to those of 1993, at about $300 per sq. ft.
The LSF is modeled on the Harvard storage facility.
Mark McFarland reported
on the intended purposes of the Texas Digital Library (TDL) project,
undertaken by the five Texas Applied Research Laboraties (ARL) members:
UT Austin, TAMU, Texas Tech, U Houston, and Rice. TDL is seen as a
ten-year collaborative project to promote scholarly communication and
access, to facilitate the digitization of theses and dissertations,
and to leverage the relative scarcity of available funding for the
increasing numbers of would-be online users. The hardware and software
will initially be based at UT Austin, with TDL staff funded by the
five directors of the Texas ARL libraries. The release date of the
initial site is planned for February 1, 2006.
October 21, 25, and 28
"Behind-the-scenes" tours of Perry-Castañeda Library
were taken by small groups of University of Texas Libraries Committee
members. These thirty-minute tours gave an overview of cataloging,
acquisitions, preservation, and digital library services.
These tours were started in 2004-05 and must continue to be a required
event for University of Texas Libraries Committee members early in
the fall semester each year.January 30 Meeting (PCL 3.204)
The associate director for research services, Dennis Dillon, gave
an illustrative, informative and wide-ranging review of the Internet
information access utility, Google, and its present and possible impacts
on libraries and information services. He reviewed two of Google’s
current products – Google Book Search and Google Scholar – and
discussed Google’s one-stop shopping appeal to students and researchers.
Mr. Dillon's presentation was followed by a lengthy question-and-answer
period, and he answered questions from committee members about such
related areas as copyright and the federated search tool MetaLib (currently
listed under Research Tools on the Libraries Web site).
Dr. Fred Heath gave an update of the advancement efforts of the UT
Libraries. Tom Galyean and Linda Abbey are setting many of the elements
of the newly articulated program in place, including the formation
of an advisory council and the beginnings of an annual fund campaign.
They are using the library advancement programs at Berkeley and Michigan
as benchmarks for a local comprehensive advancement strategy, including
marketing and branding. Mr. Galyearn and Ms. Abbey are working closely
with branch librarians and locating people interested in supporting
the UT Libraries.
February 14 Meeting (BTL 101)
This meeting was held in Battle Hall, where the Architecture and Planning
Library and the Alexander Architectural Archive are located. This was
the first meeting at a branch library for the 2005-06 academic year.
The first item of business was the report from the subcommittee considering
the size and makeup of the University of Texas Libraries Committee.
The recommendation from this subcommittee was approved and will be
forwarded to the Faculty Council.
Michael B. Winship was elected chair elect for the 2006-07 session
of The University of Texas Libraries Committee.
The main agenda item was a presentation given by Janine Henri, head
of the Architecture and Planning Library (APL) and Beth Dodd, head
of the Alexander Architectural Archive (AAA). They discussed their
collections and services and how APL and AAA support the academic programs
of the School of Architecture and researchers from all over the world.
The AAA house over ninety collections that contain over one million
items, including unprocessed drawings. Fred Heath confirmed that items
included in the library catalog are only the tip of the iceberg. Processing
of items is done when there is available funding or when someone asks
to see materials that have not yet been processed. The APL and AAA
acquire items through purchase and gifts. Access is provided through
finding aids and subject guides and through exhibits within the APL
and AAA and online through UTOPIA.
Desmond Lawler asked what is being done in terms of national outreach
and what efforts are being made to reach beyond Texas. Janine Henri
outlined activities including presentations at local, national and
international conferences; hosting training sessions with national
and international reach, and publication. Dennis Dillon stated the
libraries Web site is used more often than any other academic Web site
in the country, and Beth Dodd confirmed that the libraries make as
much material as possible accessible online.
Following the presentations by Janine Henri and Beth Dodd, Tom Galyean
and Linda Abbey updated the committee
on the Libraries Advancement Program. Tom and Linda have successfully
launched their development plan. They established an online giving
site, and the Libraries now receives one third of its annual gifts
via the Internet. Tom led the formation of Libraries Advisory Council
that is actively opening doors for the Libraries and providing helpful
insight, and they are working with UTOPIA. A brief tour of the Alexander
Architectural Archives and the Architecture and Planning Library was
March 10 Meeting (RLM 5.220C)
This meeting was held in the new study lounge of the Physics-Mathematics-Astronomy
Library in Robert Lee Moore Hall.
Molly White, head of the Kuehne Physics-Mathematics-Astronomy Library
(PMA) gave a presentation about the PMA’s collections and user
community. PMA opened in 1972 and the library serves the physics and
mathematics needs for the entire campus. Graduate students are the
primary users of the library’s resources. Undergraduate research
is focused on PMA’s textbook collection. Ms. White stated that
mathematicians use the library in a manner similar to the humanities.
Mathematicians study older problems and use older literature. They
prefer to use printed journals rather than electronic and like to have
older issues in the library, not in storage. In physics, there is a
lot of national and international collaboration. Physics is a large
field with large projects and it produces and uses some of the most
expensive science literature. Astronomy is a smaller, more contained
field of study. Astronomers do not do much stargazing; instead they
analyze the spectral data collected by telescopes. In addition to the
resources in PMA, astronomers have their own departmental library and
a library at the McDonald Observatory. Getting an article published
in the sciences can be a very protracted process. In order to communicate
study results to their peers, researchers and scientists submit their
papers for publication and then send pre-print copies to colleagues
all over the world. Many in these fields are early adopters of information
technology and several developed searchable databases that track and
store pre-prints. One of the largest and most popular examples is arXiv
in arXiv and similar databases varies across disciplines and sub-disciplines.
Ms. White also discussed the creation of a study area within PMA. The
library originally opened with an open-air balcony, but the balcony
became a haven for pigeons and was not used by the library. Four years
ago the physics department appropriated some of PMA’s floor space
to create a conference room. In exchange, the department helped PMA
get permission to convert the balcony into study space. The University
Co-op funded the construction. The College of Natural Sciences purchased
the furniture, and the Libraries provided the computer equipment. The
space is now in constant use.
March 22 Meeting (Tom Lea Room, Harry Ransom Humanities Research
This special meeting scheduled by Professor Ken Ralls was held in
the Tom Lea Room of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, which
is not part of The University of Texas Libraries.
The associate director for student services, Damon Jaggars, and project
coordinator, Jocelyn Duffy, gave a brief overview of the LibQUAL+ survey
and how the University of Texas Libraries uses it. The survey measures
users’ perceptions of service quality in three categories: Information
Control, Affect of Service and Library as Place. The adequacy gap is
the difference between the minimum level of service that a user finds
acceptable and the perceived level of service a user receives. The
University of Texas Libraries is doing well in terms of gaps scores
when compared to the ARL aggregate and to five of our peers. The libraries
also analyze the survey results for trends and are especially alert
to downward trends that indicate areas that need improvement.
The main agenda item was a presentation by Professor Thomas F. Staley,
director of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC). He talked
about collection development at the HRC and how the center is intent
on making its collections alive and interesting for the community.
He also mentioned that in the latest issue of Texas Monthly
the HRC was chosen as one of the “75 Things We Love About Texas.” Dr.
Staley pointed out that the collections within the HRC relate to each
other and build on each other. The guiding premise for the center is
that the published work is not the beginning of the literary study.
Notes, early drafts and false starts, cross-outs and marginal notes
are all important; they show the provenance and evolution of a work.
Correspondence such as letters and postcards also help fill in the
collections. The majority of the collections are author-centered, but
the HRC is also interested in cultural context and it looks for items
that define it for a collection.
Dr. Staley also stated that the balance of the HRC’s holdings
is in literature, and the current focus is on authors who were first
published post-1950 (over 550 authors). The HRC has tracked the Booker
Prize since its beginnings in 1968, purchasing winners and finalists.
For most post-1950s authors, the center collects first editions, but
for a select number, all published works and manuscripts associated
with the author are collected. The center also looks at publisher archives
and agent archives and is somewhat active in music, photography, film
and theater. For each addition to the HRC, the center considers the
form of publication, the genre, mode of writing, and the relation to
other collections in the HRC.
Dr. Richard Oram, Associate Director of the HRC, gave a brief tour
of parts of the HRC.April 7 Meeting (ECJ 1.300)
This meeting was held in the Alec Room of the Engineering Library
in Cockrell Hall.
Susan Ardis, head librarian of the Engineering Library, gave a PowerPoint
presentation to the committee intended to address two questions: “What
if there was one science library instead of five?” and “What
if this single library was designed to be a science and technology
Ms. Ardis reviewed the user and staff populations of the current science
and technology libraries, collection sizes in square feet and linear
feet of shelving, and user seating. She also discussed the various
limitations of each library, including 90% full stacks, limited
space for users, limited hours, and non-ADA facility compliance.
Ms. Ardis spoke of the various advantages of having one library versus
the disadvantages, and the situations that would remain the same regardless.
The various faculties and their likely support for such a unified library
were outlined, as well as the user instruction needs that are not adequately
addressed by the present arrangement. Among the sticking points for
such a project is space available at the University and the likely
costs, which will of course only increase over time. There was a lively
discussion among the committee members and engineering associate dean
for academic affairs, David Dolling, about the points of the presentation.
May 3 Meeting (Brown Room, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and
This special meeting scheduled by Professor Ken Ralls was held in
the Brown Room of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.
Dr. Betty Sue Flowers, director of the LBJ Library and Museum and
adjunct professor of English gave a brief overview of the history and
administration of the LBJ Library and Museum. The library was dedicated
on May 22, 1971, and was the first presidential library to be built
on a university campus. The National Archives and Records Administration
(NARA) administers it. Along with NARA, Dr. Flowers also reports to
the presidential family and the LBJ Foundation. The LBJ Library and
Museum hosts one permanent exhibit and puts on one other major exhibit
in alternate years. They are currently preparing for Lyndon Johnson’s
centennial birthday celebration in 2008.
Dr. Flowers pointed out that the LBJ Library and Museum is a favorite
of researchers. Lyndon Johnson wanted his papers opened and made accessible
as quickly as possible. There are over five hundred separate collections
within the library; millions of documents, films and tape recordings
have been opened and millions more are still classified and waiting
to be released. The library also hosts University classes, offers internships
to students, and co-sponsors symposia on campus.
The library is currently working with UTOPIA on the Presidential Timeline
project involving all eleven Presidential Libraries. Dr. Flowers worked
with Paul Resta, Director of the Learning Technology Center at UT Austin,
to apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities
for the project. She also put together an interactive demonstration
site for the application, available under “Interactive Demo” at <http://www.edb.utexas.edu/presidential_timeline/
The project will highlight events from each president’s time
in office using original archival materials from the Presidential Libraries’ collections
and teaching materials for K-12 curriculums are being created for each
event. The initial site is scheduled for release in Fall 2006.
Professor Ralls thanked everyone on the committee for their participation
and wished them a good summer.
Dr. Betty Sue Flowers gave a brief tour of a non-public part of the
LBJ Library and Museum.
This was the final University of Texas Libraries Committee meeting of
Ken Ralls, chair