May 27, 2022

University of Texas at Austin: Fine Arts Community Debates Future of Fine Arts Library

UPDATE April 9, 2018 Recommendations Made and Accepted: Fine Arts Library Collection Will Remain on the Fifth Floor of the Doty Fine Arts Building; No More Books Will Be Removed

Below are Primary Documents Released Last Week.

From the U. of Texas at Austin Libraries:

UT Provost Maurie McInnis, following a review of the Fine Arts Library Task Force Report and recommendations by Dean Dempster and Vice Provost Lorraine Haricombe, has accepted their recommendations for the future of the Fine Arts Library. Below, read her comments and summarization of next steps.

Additional Info/Documents Available Here

Statement from Vice Provost Lorraine Haricombe:

The decision by the provost to accept the recommendations for the future of the Fine Arts Library will provide the best possible outcomes for all concerned members of the UT community. The positive conclusions are the result of many months of productive, collaborative dialogue with stakeholders and a discovery process that examined the multiplicity of considerations for how best the library can serve its users. We look forward to continuing our work serving the needs of the College of Fine Arts and the entire campus at The University of Texas at Austin.

Media Coverage: No More Books to be Removed from UT Fine Arts Library (via Austin American-Statesman)



UPDATE April 1, 2018 Op/Ed in Student Newspaper: “A Library Without Books is not a Library” (via The Daily Texan)




UPDATE March 20, 2018  UT Faculty Council Approves Resolution Protesting Removal Of Books, Journals, and Other Materials From Fine Arts Library (via Austin American-Statesman)


Faculty, Students: Relocation of Fine Arts Library Resources Doesn’t Stack Up (via The Daily Texan)

See Also: Listen to the UT Faculty Council Meeting (Discussion of Fine Arts Library Begins at approx. 7:41)

See Also: Text of Resolution Passed by UT Faculty Council

See Also: Letters From Various Depts. and Other Materials re: Fine Arts Library (via UT Faculty Council)

See Also: UT Libraries: FAQ About the Fine Arts Library

See Also: Save UT Libraries Website and Petition




UPDATE March 7, 2018  Students Protest Dean of College of Fine Arts at SXSW Edu, Call to Save Fine Arts Library (via The Daily Texan)




From The Daily Texan:

Almost 100 students voiced opposition to the removal of fine arts books and collection materials at the UT Fine Arts Library, FAL, town hall Thursday.

The town hall was prompted by concerns about changes to the FAL, which has relocated more than 75,000 books, music scores and library materials over the past year.

Douglas Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts, explained the college needs more space for innovation and programs in a four-page letter in October. At the town hall, students continued to strongly oppose changes to the FAL in the E. William Doty Fine Arts Building.


Students and faculty like Mary Ellen Poole, the director of the Butler School of Music, worry that moving more music scores and materials from the Fine Arts Library to off-campus storage facilities will hinder student learning by exploration.

“As addicted as we have become to the process of Googling something, the physicality of standing next to things you did not know you would discover is critical,” Poole said at the town hall. “The issue of discovery is paramount for our students.”

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Future of the Fine Arts Library (via UT Libraries)

See Also: Fine Arts Library FAQ

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.