2014 UNT Libraries

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Willis Library

Quality collections, innovative programs, and productive partnerships drive UNT Libraries as we make information available, accessible, and applicable on campus, in the region, and around the world. With a creative blend of leading edge digital technology, fundamental library services, and genuine personal interest in our patrons, UNT Libraries empower and equip students to succeed academically, support and showcase the scholarly and artistic works of UNT’s faculty, and engage with and extend resources to the community.


By the Numbers

  • $6.5 million of external funding (cumulative from 2000), including grants from:
    • National Endowment for the Humanities
    • U.S. Library of Congress’ National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program
    • Institute of Museum and Library Services
    • Texas State Library and Archives Commission
    • numerous private foundations
  • 1.5 million in-person visitors to Libraries’ facilities in FY 2013
    • 8,611 in-person and virtual references and consultations provided by Libraries’ employees
    • 253,777 items circulated by Libraries
    • 567,000 computer uses inside the buildings
  • 25 percent of all online visits to UNT are to Libraries’ websites
    • 7.9 million uses of UNT’s digital libraries in FY 2013


Portal to Texas History
  • The UNT Digital Library ranks #35 among world repositories and #14 among North American repositories. (Cybermetrics Lab, Jan. 2014) The purpose of the ranking is to support open access initiatives, and the list includes institutions of higher education such as MIT and the University of California System, as well as repositories maintained by laboratories and centers such as NASA and the Smithsonian. The Digital Library includes theses and dissertations, artwork, musical scores, government documents, journals and other unique research materials.
  • One of only 10 affiliated archives of the National Archives and Records Administration in the U.S. and one of only three universities to hold that designation, along with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. This designation was achieved in large part because of UNT Libraries’ unique CyberCemetery, an archive of government websites and electronic documents, usually of defunct government agencies or commissions that have issued a final report.
  • Unique and expanding special collections such as:
    • the LGBT Archive, which preserves the history, culture, and unique experiences of LGBT communities in the South and Southwest. It includes landmark local, regional and national publications, as well as the archive of Resource Center Dallas, documenting over 20 years of HIV/AIDS education and outreach.
    • the Latino/Latina Archive, which collects on the diverse history of Latino/a culture while contributing to community groups, archival outreach, and educational initiatives. This archive supports academic programs in Mexican-American studies, history, anthropology, and a variety of other disciplines.
    • The Visual Materials and Photography Collection, which documents the history of photography and visual representation. Highlights include the Joe and Junebug Clark Collection, which contains thousands of pictures of historical events and famous figures and captures the history of Jack Daniel's whiskey. The Williams Family Photography Collection showcases more than 100 years of history in the North Texas region and features commercial and studio photography, western landscapes, documentary studies, and fine art photography.
  • The Music Library is one of the largest in the U.S. Its diverse collections contain more than 1,000 Duke Ellington recordings, letters and manuscripts of composer Arnold Schoenberg, and the collections of DFW radio stations WFAA and WBAP, which include more than 400,000 pieces of sheet music that are searchable in the online catalog.

Leadership Roles in Statewide, DFW Regional, and Local Partnerships

Cross Timbers Library Collaborative
  • UNT Libraries’ The Portal to Texas History offers online users free access to explore unique collections from Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, genealogical societies, and private family collections. The Portal partners with over 250 institutions around the state that contribute digital versions of their collections.
    • Statewide partners include: Texas General Land Office, Texas State Historical Association, and Texas State Library and Archives Commission
    • DFW partners include: University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Arlington Public Libraries, Amon Carter Museum, Cattle Raisers Museum, Fort Worth Jewish Archives, Dallas Municipal Archives, Dallas Museum of Art, and Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
    • The Portal is the first (and currently only) Digital Public Library of America service hub in Texas.
  • The Cross Timbers Library Collaborative (CTLC) is a new library consortium based in the Cross Timbers region of the United States. CTLC fosters partnerships among the region’s libraries through cooperative staff development, resource sharing, and innovative programs.
  • The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) in Dallas is in the process of developing a partnership agreement with UNT Libraries to serve as the preservation archive for their collections. The two will pursue mutually beneficial opportunities for raising awareness of the TBAAL archive, making the archive accessible online, and utilizing the archive for educational purposes such as creation of online and physical exhibits, pursuit of teaching and learning opportunities in conjunction with Dallas ISD; recording oral histories with significant artists and/or TBAAL associates; and symposium, lecture and performance opportunities in Dallas and Denton.
  • The Denton Inquiry 4 Lifelong Learning (DI4LL) is a collaborative project among librarians serving people via institutions in the greater Denton literacy community: Denton Independent School District, Denton Public Library, TWU’s Blagg-Huey Library, TWU’s Department of Library and Information Studies, UNT’s College of Information, and UNT Libraries. It is dedicated to developing lifelong learners through improved P20 information literacy.

Selected National and International Memberships

National Digital Stewardship Alliance
  • The International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) is a collaboration involving 50 members from around the world focused on acquiring, preserving and making accessible knowledge and information from the Internet for future generations everywhere, promoting global exchange and international relations. UNT is a member of the steering committee for the organization.
  • The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) was launched in July 2010 with UNT as a founding member. The NDSA proposes to establish, maintain, and advance the capacity to preserve our nation's digital resources for the benefit of present and future generations.
  • The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), with some 220 member institutions, is dedicated to supporting the transformative promise of digital information technology for the advancement of scholarly communication and the enrichment of intellectual productivity.
  • The MetaArchive Cooperative is a community-owned, community-led initiative comprised of libraries, archives, and other digital memory organizations collaborating to achieve a secure and cost-effective repository that provides for the long-term care of digital materials.

Areas of Opportunity

  • Funding: Long-term issues affect the budgets of all academic libraries – most prominently, the hyperinflation of scholarly journal costs – and other issues have particular impacts on UNT Libraries: a static funding model since 2004, facility over-utilization, and the university’s ambition of becoming a top tier research institution.
    • UNT’s Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board peer group, Emerging Research Universities, includes Texas Tech, Texas State, UT-Arlington, UT-Dallas, UTEP, UTSA, and University of Houston. Data from the Association of Research Libraries shows that from 1998-2011, the average annual library expenditure per capita of UNT’s peers was $656 per student, while UNT’s was $346 per student – a gap of $310.
    • FY 2012 data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that UNT spent $546/FTE on libraries, while Texas Tech spent $693/FTE, a gap of 22%. Despite this, UNT Libraries were open 14% more time and served 7% more people in a typical week than Tech Libraries.
    • UNT Libraries’ leadership has developed six different options to remediate the library funding gap. These recommendations offer viable means of addressing the problem, and were most recently presented to UNT’s administration in Spring 2013.
  • Facilities: When compared with the average of 12 peer institutions, UNT Libraries’ has only 60% of the area per student at current enrollment . Our goal is to provide well-designed physical and virtual spaces that foster academic community and encourage intellectual inquiry and exchange. Since Libraries’ space issues are not addressed in UNT’s space plan until Phase 3 (10 to 15 years in the future), we must make incremental changes in our spaces to work toward that goal by accommodating growing building usage by students and to meet collection and service needs. Some steps we are taking:
    • Collection Weeding: All collections in Willis Library are currently being weeded so that materials that have not circulated or received in-house use within the past eight years will be moved to offsite storage. These materials can be retrieved if requested by students or faculty.
    • Improving/Utilizing Public Classrooms: Willis 443 will be converted into an additional computer classroom since requests for our one computer classroom exceed availability; the central space in Sycamore Hall Suite 119 will be available for lecture-style classes.
    • Willis Second Floor Planning: We are developing a plan in which major portions of the second floor of Willis Library could be used as spaces to support student success services (tutoring, advising, faculty/student conferences, group study, etc.) in collaboration with other units on campus.
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