UT, A&M Open Joint Library. Yes, Really.

A joint UT-A&M library aims to help both universities keep costs down—and give students in the PCL more electrical outlets.


A once dusty lot in College Station is getting some culture—sort of. Officials from The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University cut the ribbon Friday on a new joint library facility on the campus of Texas A&M-Riverside. The campus, a home to A&M’s engineering extension service, also houses firearm ranges, unexploded ordinance grids, practice tracks for emergency vehicles, and other things that are generally considered more exciting than a library.

The library, however, is a big project for both universities, allowing them to save money by removing redundant copies of books, sharing resources, and clearing space on both campuses for students to study—and plug in their iPhones. UT libraries communications officer Travis Willmann says the average UT student has more than three electronic devices on them. The University’s main library, the Perry-Castañeda Library, was built in 1977,  almost 20 years before the Class of 2017 was even born. At the time, there wasn’t much demand for places students could charge their phones, laptops, or tablet computers.


The universities had previously built a joint facility in Austin at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus. Now, Longhorns and Aggies are looking for more ways to efficiently manage information. Over the lifetime of a book, its spot on the shelf costs a library about $100. And as the price of subscriptions to digital journals far outpaces the rate of inflation, libraries are looking for every way to access as much information as possible, as efficiently as possible. Removing redundant books and sharing books—even with the Aggies—is one step in the right direction.

Users shouldn’t notice much of a difference in retrieving shared books either, as the process for requesting books from the joint library will be similar to the current inter-library loan process.

But what does a joint library look like?

“If you can imagine the last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Willmann says, “that’s what it looks like.”

If you can’t imagine it, just check out the video below.

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget. Texas Exes get free access to UT’s world-class library system.

Photo courtesy tamu Times. Graph courtesy UT Libraries.


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