October 31, 2014

Brief Look: The Digital Transition at the University of Texas Libraries

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From The Daily Texan (Student Newspaper at U. of Texas at Austin):

“Today, we offer access to over 750,000 e-books and texts, and add more every day, in addition to tens of thousands of electronic journals and databases of digital content to support research in every subject and department at UT,” said Susan Macicak, the interim collection development officer at the UT Libraries.

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UT Libraries began their digital transition in 1989 when the Balcones Library Service Center, an outpost of the Engineering Library, adopted an electronic database called CASSIS that contained patent and trademark information. The Engineering Library became UT’s first all-electronic library. To access the database users had to load indexes into a computer via multiple CD-ROMs, and patent information was stored on microfilm.

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With an increasing role in UT Libraries’ resources, electronic records comprise a growing proportion of the Libraries’ budget. Macicak said about 60 to 65 percent of the collection budget is now dedicated to acquiring electronic resources. UT Libraries spokesman Travis Willmann said UT’s total collection budget for the 2011-2012 school year amounted to roughly $14.8 million.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.