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Celebrating the Life

"Some librarians worry that an Internet-dominated society means the end of the book — and the end of their livelihoods, as they've been defined for centuries.

Not Rush Miller.

The 62-year-old director of the University of Pittsburgh library system has transformed not only his school's library but also the future of research libraries, said Duane Webster...

'Rush has been able to show a return on the investment of precious state dollars,' said Fred Heath, director of the University of Texas Libraries...."

By Mike Cronin, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Monday, June 8, 2009, full article


"University of Texas Libraries Director and Vice Provost Fred Heath has been elected chair of the board of directors of the Center for Research Libraries, a consortium of North American university, college and independent research libraries.

Heath succeeds Yale University Librarian Alice Prochaska, and will serve along with representatives of such prominent universities as Emory, Michigan and Duke. He will serve a one-year term and is eligible for re-election."

Austin Business Journal, Monday, May 11, 2009, full article


“…About 60 people, most of them University students, packed into a room in the Life Science Library to hear Ruth Buskirk, a lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences and the College of Natural Sciences, examine scenes from the ‘Spiderman’ series…

…‘The Science of Spiderman’ was the sixth program in the lecture series. The first Study Break was organized in September of 2006. A professor who testified in a real-life murder trial examined the way the crime series ‘CSI’ used genetics in a fictional case. Previous programs looked at the science behind television programs ‘House M.D.,’ ‘24’ and various Keanu Reeves movies…

…The idea to do a program on Spiderman first came to [Roxanne] Bogucka about a year ago. While driving to work one morning, Bogucka heard a story about a tarantula that would shoot webbing out of its feet…

…Studio art freshman Eric Perez said he was familiar with television shows similar to the Science Study Breaks. He said he found the information about library resources especially helpful…”

By Christopher Sanchez, The Daily Texan, November 8, 2007, full article


"The University Federal Credit Union on Friday dedicated its new first-floor study space in the Perry-Castaneda Library, which has been undergoing renovations since the spring semester.

In the University Federal Credit Union Student Learning Commons, students can expect new seating, Wi–Fi Internet access, additional power outlets and a lack of walls to open up and ease communication within the room. Drop screens will be available to divide the space for use by student organizations on Friday and Saturday nights..."

By Joanna Arnold, The Daily Texan, September 4, 2007, full article


"The University of Texas Library System and Google have launched an effort to digitize, or electronically archive, a million books over the next six years as part of Google’s larger initiative started in 2004.

Most of the one million books will come from UT Library’s Latin American Collection, one of the most extensive in the country, said Doug Barnett, a project manager for the UT Library System..."

By Nolan Hicks, The Daily Texan, June 11, 2007, full article


"The book is not dead", says Fred Heath, vice provost and director of the University of Texas libraries. In fact, those 90,000 volumes were reshelved in the campus's other libraries. "A book that's been on a shelf for 500 years, you can open it and read it. I can't say the same thing about electronic media." Many of the documents of the 21st century will be electronic, however, and libraries need to prepare, he says. "Teaching With Tech: Podcasts, back channels, and bookless libraries come to campus," by Vicky Hallett, U.S. News and World Report, October 17, 2005.


"Eliot has left the building!: Is it still a library if, like the UGL, it no longer has any books? Does it matter?" by Cora Bullock, Alcalde, September/October 2005, vol. 94, no. 1, pp. 68-73. Also in the same issue of Alcalde, "Books and Coffee. Can you offer one and not the other?" - a brief article on the Perry-Castañeda Library coffee shop naming contest and the soon-to-be-a-reality Prufrock's.


"Academic libraries empty stacks for online centers," by Kris Axtman, The Christian Science Monitor, August 23, 2005: At UT, the biggest challenge has been changing antiquated notions of a library's role in learning. "While most people have been hugely supportive of this idea, some have been sort of grieving over this iconic loss of the undergraduate library. I think what they are really grieving is the passing of the book as the means of scholarly communication," says Fred Heath, vice provost for the general libraries, adding that UT is the nation's fifth-largest academic library with more than 8 million volumes.


University of Texas Libraries web site wins CASE award: The University of Texas Libraries has won a bronze award in the Web Sites category in the recently announced 2005 CASE Circle of Excellence Awards for Alumni Relations, Communications and Marketing, and Fund Raising. This year more than 2,800 entries were received in 39 categories of competition, with 315 entries receiving awards.

The University of Texas Libraries web site was redesigned and rebranded during spring and summer 2004. The project was a joint effort of the University of Texas Libraries Digital Library Services Division and the University of Texas at Austin Office of Public Affairs Design Center.

Other institutions receiving awards in the Web Sites category included Carleton University, Duke University, Simmons College, Penn State University and Franklin & Marshall College.


"Packing Up the Books: U. of Texas becomes the latest institution to clear out a main library to make room for computers," by Katherine S. Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 1, 2005, features a lengthy discussion with Vice Provost of the University of Texas Libraries Fred Heath on the issues facing academic research libraries today. "All of us are dealing with a creative tension between our commitment to this great print collection and the digital tsunami that's bearing down on us," says Fred M. Heath, vice provost for libraries for the University of Texas at Austin. "The challenge is to re-engineer our space to be able to move into this suddenly, formidably huge digital universe."


"Students attending the University of Texas at Austin will find something missing from the undergraduate library this fall. Books. By mid-July, the university says, almost all of the library's 90,000 volumes will be dispersed to other university collections to clear space for a 24-hour electronic information commons, a fast-spreading phenomenon that is transforming research and study on campuses around the country.

"In this information-seeking America, I can't think of anyone who would elect to build a books-only library," said Fred Heath, vice provost of the University of Texas Libraries in Austin.

Their new version is to include "software suites" -- modules with computers where students can work collaboratively at all hours -- an expanded center for writing instruction, and a center for computer training, technical assistance and repair... " in "College Libraries Set Aside Books In a Digital Age," by Ralph Blumenthal; 14 May 2005, The New York Times.


"The library: No other building so symbolically and physically represents the academic heart of a university. That is, until now. Recognizing that we have indeed entered a digital age, the University of Texas will convert its Undergraduate Library, located in the Peter T. Flawn Academic Center between the Student Union building and the UT Tower, into a nearly bookless "digital information center."

Over the summer, 80,000 to 90,000 books, most now on the third floor of Flawn, will be moved to other libraries on campus, including Perry-Castañeda, where the majority of UT's 8 million- volume collection currently resides.... For every book currently available in the Undergraduate Library, he said, there are three times as many available digitally.... A new information center will better allow librarians to help students navigate this rapidly growing digital universe, Heath said.... Plans also include bringing the university's technical support operations and School of Information degree program into the building, he said. All will be active partners in giving students a "24-7, 21st century learning environment," Heath said. "We want to make it easier not to be overwhelmed by all the information available," he said..." In "UT turns a page in the digital age; A library unbound; Out go the books; in come more computers," by Laura Heinauer, 28 April 2005, Austin American-Statesman.


"Libraries aren't quiet on Web: Researchers find it easier to explore digital collections," Associated Press newswire article by Martha Irvine, January 31, 2005, dateline Madison, Wisconsin. In response to the issue of digitizing library materials for placement on the Web: "That's a huge thing we're doing," said Damon Jaggars, associate director for student services for the University of Texas Libraries. "Far more people visit us online than visit us in person. . . . The article points out that "At UT, file transfers from the university's library Web site are approaching the 1 billion mark."


"College Libraries: the Long Goodbye," by Dennis Dillon, University of Texas Libraries Associate Director for Research Services, The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 10, 2004, (Section: The Chronicle Review, Volume 51, Issue 16, Page B5 ) in which he discusses scholarly publishing, budgetary constraints, and a host of other variables, and concludes "Here are the certainties: People will continue to write books, people will continue to read books, and the academic-publishing process needs to be reformed so that we can continue to meet our goal of scholarly communication in an economically sustainable way."


Alexander Architectural Archive: "Deep in the Heart of Texas, a Glimpse of Old New York," by Christopher Gray, New York Times (October 24, 2004) discusses the buildings of James Riely Gordon in turn-of-the-century New York City and their documentation in a collection of more than 8,000 drawings and photographs from Gordon's office, now a part of the Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas at Austin.


Center for Digital Education: 2004 Best of the Web Education and Digital Achievement Awards
UTOPIA, the University of Texas Libraries digital knowledge gateway into the treasures of libraries, museums, galleries, and laboratories of the university was one of the winners in the Integrated/Multi-Focus Application (education) category.


Research advantages of the University of Texas Library system
George Friedman's Stratfor, once called 'The Shadow of the CIA,' by Barron's, is discussed in "The Business of Intelligence: Austin-based Stratfor a leader in sizing up global risks, predicting events," by Mark Lisheron, Austin American Statesman (Sunday, October 10, 2004, A1, A10). Stratfor employs more than 70 people in Austin. The article points out that Friedman ". . . could have started Stratfor anywhere, but he and his wife Meredith, a public relations specialist, chose Austin for its climate and the research advantages of its University of Texas library system."


For more information about this and all University of Texas Libraries news releases, please contact the current Communications Director, Travis Willmann, at traviswillmann@austin.utexas.edu or (512) 495-4644.


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