Happy New Year!

The staff of the UT Health Science Center Libraries wishes all of our campus community a happy, healthy and productive new year!

2012 is already shaping up to be a busy year for librarians and library staff.  Construction continues on the Briscoe Library’s 5th floor to build the School of Medicine’s Office of Education.  Options for creating additional study space in the library are being explored, as is a plan for relocating print journals and books in the library building.

A task force of the Library Committee that includes Library Committee members, librarians, student representatives, and Facilities Management staff is discussing the “library of the future.”  The task force will develop a report based on stakeholder input about services, physical space, and amenities needed in the library of the future.  A recent study titled “Redefining the Academic Library” by the Education Advisory Board for the University Leadership Council, a council made up of university provosts throughout the country, details many of the changes the task force has discussed already.  Some of the top trends in next-generation library space planning that both the “Redefining” report and the task force have identified include:

  • fewer physical print collections on site as more books and journals move to electronic form;
  • space designed for comfort, collaboration, and varied student study needs;
  • flexibility and modularity in furnishings and design;
  • ubiquitous wireless connectivity and electrical access for laptops and mobile devices;
  • integration of academic support services;
  • food, drink and other amenities readily available.

The Library Committee task force welcomes comments and thoughts about the library of the future.  Comments can be sent to Adelita Cantu, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, and Library Committee Chair, CantuA2@uthscsa.edu.

A pilot of 24/7 access to the Briscoe Library was conducted during the fall semester exam period in December. Following on this pilot project, options are being explored to extend hours using work study students.  As part of the 24/7 pilot project, we conducted a survey of academic health science center libraries.  Of the 60 libraries responding to the survey approximately half of the libraries provide 24/7 access to the library building for student study.  Exact days and hours for extended library hours are still being explored but we hope to have a schedule settled by mid-January.

The library’s new website, A-Z journal list, and link resolver are all debuting this month.  Read more about each in this issue of our newsletter.

In 2012 and as always, librarians and library staff in San Antonio, Harlingen, and Laredo are ready to assist our campus community with their information and study needs.  Please contact us at AskALibrarian@uthscsa.edu.

Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries

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