News

Stay up-to-date with JSG

Walter Geology Library 2016–17 Annual Report

Student with therapy dog in the geology library.

In keeping with the new organizational changes in the UT Libraries, The Walter Geology Library has begun redefining spaces by taking down two ranges of shelving and replacing them with additional study tables, making room for 20 more seats.

Over the next several years, we plan to shift much of the legacy print collection to off-site storage and continue this transition to a more service focused facility. The majority of our journals are now available only by E-access, and historical access online is available for many of them.

Improved scanning and delivery will help us provide needed
access to the older print materials. As the library’s reorganization takes effect, duties and responsibilities are
shifting to provide more efficiency without sacrificing our standards of service. The librarian will focus more
on collections, research services and outreach, while the ongoing daily responsibility for the unit will shift to Stacy Ogilvie, our onsite unit manager, and a new branch management structure.

To prepare for these various changes, the Walter Library is starting the next phase of a de-duplication project. This means removing multiple copies of titles that are not circulating enough to warrant their retention, and shifting some materials to storage or to units where they may get more use.

We are still exploring the idea of converting our periodicals reading area to a display space for gem, mineral and fossil collections and a small seminar room. We will be able to put more specimens on display for more hours in a more secure environment than is now available, free up a room on the main
floor, and the additional seating space will give us an opportunity to host small group meetings.

This is a small remodeling project, and we have some
seed money, but not enough to make it happen yet. Stay tuned!

Looking ahead, Library Storage Facility #3 is under construction at the Pickle campus; we expect to have it open next year. This is just in time, as LSF #1 and #2 are full, and one of our current facilities is in the way of the expansion plans for the medical school.

A couple of collections news items are notable. We have acquired hundreds of sheets this year to complete coverage of Italy, Greece and Western Australia at 1:100K or finer scales, as well as numerous atlases and other far-flung materials to support research. In addition, we teamed up with the other science libraries to pool funding and acquire e-access to almost 3,000 legacy physical sciences monographs from Elsevier at substantial discount, which we hope will make everyone very happy.

Our colleagues at the American Geosciences Institute have also donated more than 20 cartons of pre-selected foreign geology periodicals and monographs, adding some hard to get new resources to our holdings.

On other fronts, the UT Libraries have hired a GIS data coordinator and a GIS technical staff person to help us push forward our vision of a geospatial data server and more involvement in GIS services for the wider campus community. We are also proud to note that some of our Texas ScholarWorks open access materials have been highly successful. We are making steady headway getting author permission to digitize theses, and we have added a number of meeting abstract volumes and other materials in ScholarWorks, ranging from historical to brand new, many of which have been getting a great deal of use. You can visit the open ScholarWorks repository here: repositories.lib.utexas.edu.

Last year, we mentioned the massive new UT Press book edited by Andre Bober, The Collections, featuring materials from our Tobin Map Collection, Barron Gem and Mineral collection, and other collection materials. The book is now available online for those that might want to browse it here: thecollections.utexas.edu.

Our social media presence is strong, with almost 700 people following our Facebook page (you should too!), and the Walter Library twice sponsored local therapy dogs near exam time to
provide stressed out students with some fur-time.
In staff news, Stacy Ogilvie is working on several website projects, most especially the sprawling geoscience thesis index, which we are expanding to include abstracts and links to e-versions, and consolidating into a single searchable file.

Four student workers graduated over the course of this year after many semesters of service with us: Hector Peralez, Daniela Jauregui, Kevaughn Evans, and our GRA, Katelyn Helberg.

We wish them well in their future endeavors. This year’s winners of the Guion service award were Kevaughn Evans for her efforts on our thesis database revision, and our GRA
Katelyn Helberg for all of her excellent cataloging work on our large cataloging backlog. Head Librarian Dennis Trombatore attended the GSA meeting in Denver, continued to serve as chair of the AGI GeoRef advisory committee, and reached a milestone with his 20th year of pottery contributions to the
Austin Empty Bowl Project for the Central Texas Food Bank.

Dennis Trombatore
Librarian