More than a million books from UT and Texas A&M University will have a new, shared home in Bryan, Texas.
The $6.3 million dollar Joint Library Facility officially opened Friday and will free up room at the main libraries at both schools by allowing them to send less popular books to the Bryan library, officials said.
It will also reduce costs associated with storing print books and journals, which amounts to $4.26 to store one book each year. UT and A&M worked on the project for three years.
The new facility will use high-density shelving to store library books and reduce the cost of storage to 86 cents per book each year. Other academic and health institutions will be able to use materials from this library, officials said.
UT and A&M have collaborated on joint library projects in the past, including a preservation library for rare books at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus.
“Collaborating allows us to build a larger facility and share a single copy of an item that can be recalled by a patron at either of the universities,” said Travis Willmann, a spokesman for UT Libraries. “[It] keeps down costs for each university.”
Willmann said the goal of the Joint Library Facility is to create new study space in libraries at both universities and free up more room for higher circulation materials.
James Hallmark, A&M vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the Joint Library Facility is an example of cost efficiency and cost sharing.
“We live in an era of unprecedented budget cuts to higher education. We must pool our resources and work together for the good of Texans, especially those with students attending our universities,” Hallmark said in a statement.
Alejandro Azocar, an aerospace engineering senior at Texas A&M, said he uses the libraries often for his research. Azocar works on creating aircraft simulators from scratch and also tests new autopilot systems.
“It may seem inconvenient to not have the library nearby, but the library's existence will most likely make more books accessible for students that may otherwise not be available,” Azocar said.