I want to assure students and members of the Fine Arts community that I’ve been following their concerns and appreciate their passion for our library. All members of the UT community are encouraged to send ideas to the Fine Arts Library Task Force, an independent group of faculty, students and library staff charged with soliciting community input and making recommendations on the future use of the FAL. I am also inviting small groups of COFA students to sign up and have lunch with me so I can hear your concerns. Two dates are available now, March 21 and March 27, and more will be added if there’s interest. To participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact info and the dates you’re available.
I am concerned by inflammatory language accusing UT Libraries of “shredding books.” Like other libraries across the country, UT Libraries follows best practices for dealing with damaged and duplicate items, but the purpose of relocating low-use items to off-site storage is to preserve them for future use. Also, contrary to what some people have said, no decisions have yet been made about the disposition or future location of the collection currently housed on the fifth floor of the Fine Arts Library. I and other university leaders will be advised in our decisions by the report of the task force gathering community input and formulating options. While that process moves forward, I encourage all members of the community to help explore these issues with an open and creative attitude.
Dean Doug Dempster