Task Force on the Future of UT Libraries - Final Report




Addington, Michelle
Haricombe, Lorraine

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As a university of the first class that builds on the rich fabric of global engagement on campus and beyond, the University of Texas at Austin (UT) must articulate a visionary role for its Libraries commensurate with twenty-first century expectations that require new modes of thinking about collections, services, space and innovative operating models. In fall 2018, Provost McInnis established a campus wide Task Force led by co-chairs Dean Michelle Addington, School of Architecture, and Vice Provost and Director of UT Libraries, Lorraine Haricombe, to engage the campus community about “The Future of UT Libraries.”
THE CHARGE • Develop a shared vision for how UT Libraries will support UT’s mission in research, teaching and learning. • Identify resources required to best advance the creation, discovery, dissemination and preservation of knowledge to support UT’s mission while recognizing resource limitations. • Articulate realistic strategies for UT Libraries to advance the higher education research ecosystem.
The two co-chairs directed three subcommittees each focusing on a specific area identified as key priorities by the Provost including: Collections, Digital Scholarship and Spaces. At the end of the 2018-2019 academic year the subcommittees began to weave together the threads of several important town halls, open meetings, discussions and website comments to provide a glimpse into the UT community’s needs and priorities and to help re-imagine a shared vision for UT Libraries. From these data points and subsequent subcommittee reports four overarching themes emerged: • UT Libraries is core to the mission of research, teaching and learning at UT; • Library space is at the intersection of highly diverse modes of needs; • Deep human connection with librarians is a hallmark of UT Libraries; and UT Libraries’ reputation as a tier one research library is highly valued. The three subcommittee reports represent and present a deeper dive into their respective areas, thereby forming the foundation for the Task Force’s assessment and conclusions. They are included for your consideration in their full and un-edited submissions. (See Appendices A, B, and C.)

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