April 11, 2018

University of Texas Fine Arts Library and Collection Will Remain in Place

AUSTIN, TEXAS—TheUniversity of Texas at Austinwill revise plans to relocate the university’s Fine Arts Library and move its holdings offsite. The announcement follows a months-long campaign by students, faculty, and staffprotesting the further downsizing of the Fine Arts Library, which began in summer 2017 with the removal of more than 75,000 items from circulation.

The Fine Arts Library task force was formed in fall 2017 to study the university’s plans to renovate the library’s stacks to create makerspaces for the College of Fine Arts’ School of Design and Creative Technologies. The task force found overwhelming support for keeping the library on UT-Austin’s campus and opposition to removing more collections from the Fine Arts Library. The onsite library collection now includes more than 213,000 volumes.

In a forty-eight-page reportdelivered to the university provosts and College of Fine Arts dean Douglas Dempster, the task force wrote, “The Fine Arts Library serves multiple overlapping scholarly communities, including each of the departments and centers in the College of Fine Arts, as well as colleagues in College of Liberal Arts, the School of Architecture, the Blanton Museum of Art and the wider campus community. Additionally, it is a resource for Austin community members and visiting scholars.”

Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost of the University of Texas at Austin, accepted the task force’s recommendationsto keep the Fine Arts Library and allocated funding to renovated and upgrade its facilities. McInnis also commissioned a university-wide task force to study how UT-Austin’s research libraries serve faculty and students, a “conversation taking place at leading research universities—public and private—across the nation.”

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