FAQ about the Fine Arts Library

Has a decision has been made to close the Fine Arts Library?

Reports of the demise or closure of the Fine Arts Library are greatly exaggerated. It is true that we continue to re-evaluate traditional uses of the Fine Arts Library—as we have done for the last decade or longer. For the moment, however, no decision has been made about the disposition of the Fine Arts collection on the fifth floor of the Doty Fine Arts Building or about the overall future of the Fine Arts Library.

How will decisions be made about future use of the fifth floor—and about the Fine Arts Library more generally?

Two working groups will be formed:

The first, under the leadership of the UT Libraries, will explore and evaluate the alternatives to having the Fine Arts collection on the fifth floor of the Doty Fine Arts Building—in part or whole—and will explore the drawbacks and advantages of those alternatives.

The second will consider a) what facilities our new programs need and b) what spaces in the College of Fine Arts, throughout all our buildings and facilities in every department and school, could accommodate these expanding programs. All current spaces throughout the College of Fine Arts facilities will be considered, including the Doty Fine Arts Building.

There will be faculty and student representation in these working groups.

How much of the Fine Arts Library holdings are currently stored off-site?

Approximately 60 percent of the Fine Arts collection is not in the Doty Fine Arts Building. The Fine Arts Library in the Doty Fine Arts Building currently holds approximately 200,000 items.  Items have recently been moved to renovate the fourth floor.  Shifting items to storage to make space for new acquisitions is also part of the daily library operation and has been for decades.

If the Fine Arts Library materials are moved out of the Doty Fine Arts Building, how will that affect access to those materials?

If more of the collection is relocated, providing easy access to the most frequently requested items would be a primary objective for both the college and the Libraries.  Some of the collection could be relocated to other main campus libraries, for example PCL or the Main Building.  These facilities are closer to many students’ residences and have more extended hours than the FAL, so relocating the collection could improve access for many.

In the last twelve months, how many items have been removed from the Fine Arts Library?

In the last year, materials previously housed on the fourth floor and behind the service desk were consolidated into the fifth floor stacks or moved off-site. More than 75,000 books, scores and bound volumes of periodicals, as well as 75,000 CDs and DVDs were relocated off-site.

If the Fine Arts collection is moved off the fifth floor of the Doty Fine Arts Building, how long will it take for me to get the books, scores or periodicals I need for class or research?

There is typically a one- to three-business day turnaround time, depending on when the request is received and whether it is being retrieved from the main campus or remote storage.  The Libraries administration is increasing investment in the various modes of retrieval from off-site locations to shorten turnaround times.

If I check out more books than I need or drop off books at the reshelving locations, can I influence the circulation count and prevent moving books to other locations?

This is a myth. The strategic needs of the college and the university will drive the future use of library space, including how many print items are stored on the main campus. 

If I enter the front entrance of Fine Arts Library as often as possible, will visitor counts go up and help influence the decisions to possibly relocate materials?
This is not true, but please do visit the library often, including Saturday afternoons.