University of Texas and Texas A&M Systems Augment Storage Collaboration

Sept. 28, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas System is extending an innovative collaboration with the Texas A&M University System to preserve library resources at both systems.

Following the successful completion of a high-density library storage facility at The University of Texas at Austin's J. J. Pickle Research Campus, the two systems announced plans for the construction of a new multi-million-dollar storage facility at Texas A&M University's Riverside Campus.

The new facility will house low-circulation books and documents, making available much needed space at campus library locations while allowing stored resources to be recalled as they are requested.

The UT System Board of Regents recently approved $5 million for the construction of the storage facility. The Texas A&M System will share construction costs and provide staffing for operations.

"We are delighted with the continuing success of this collaborative venture with the Texas A&M System," said David B. Prior, UT System executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. "This new storage facility will make the combined resources of our two systems available to all our students for their research while maintaining these book and documents safely. This is an outstanding example of providing the best for our faculty and students while reducing long-term costs."

"Building on the success of our joint storage initiative at the Pickle Campus and using the California model as a foundation, we hope to advance a preservation model that can be adopted by libraries across the country," added Dr. Fred Heath, director of the University of Texas Libraries. "We are pleased to partner with Texas A&M in this next stage storage facility at Riverside."

The new facility on Texas A&M's outlying campus-formerly Bryan Air Force Base-is expected to house more than a million volumes that do not require the rigid environmental controls necessary for the more sensitive materials maintained at the Pickle Campus.

In addition to benefiting students, faculty and researchers using the UT System and Texas A&M University System libraries, the facilities will be available to institutions from both systems, significantly reducing storage costs at those institutions.

To further streamline collections at involved institutions, the partners have developed a novel process through which the participants can "share" a single copy of duplicated holdings in storage. This allows for the elimination of redundancy in individual collections while preserving a collective copy that can be recalled for use in research and study among users at multiple institutions.

The efforts to jointly implement new approaches to preservation aren't limited to physical resources. The two systems have found virtual ways to collaborate in the field of storage as well. A partnership between The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M resulted in the establishment of the Texas Digital Library­, an online repository for electronic theses and dissertations that today includes more than a dozen regional members, including many schools from the University of Texas and Texas A&M systems.

For more information, contact: Travis Willmann, University of Texas Libraries, 512 495 4644;  Douglas Barnett, University of Texas Libraries, 512-495-4388.