University of Texas Libraries

We invite you to support the University of Texas Libraries during 40 Hours for the Forty Acres.

In addition to fundraising for our main priorities: Think Space, Collections Support, and area of greatest need, UT Libraries invites you to support special projects that have been chosen by our volunteers: Scholars Commons, Black Diaspora Archival Collection, and Graduate Fellowships.

Our Think Space initiative supports UT Libraries strategic investment in students’ learning experiences through the transformation of our spaces. Our goal is to provide a one-stop-hub for students, faculty, and researchers across the University.

Projects across our libraries are made possible through public and private dollars. To steward these funds responsibly and further the services we offer to our users, the University of Texas Libraries has and continues to test projects.

In January 2016, the Scholars Commons pilot opened on the entry-level of the Perry-Castañeda Library. This space provides a place for undisturbed study and collaboration for graduate students and other serious scholars. The Scholars Commons brings to life the spaces and services with support from other players in the campus research enterprise, including the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Assembly. This new area includes a silent study area, a data lab, a Graduate Landing Spot and a modest exhibition space, all situated in the former periodicals room and adjacent staff office spaces on the entry level of the PCL.

The Scholars Commons pilot has quickly become a favorite spot for students and other scholars. As we look to create a larger space we hope to include additional, “study nooks.” These carry a hefty price tag of $4,000 each and it is rare to find any of the five we have now unoccupied.

Contributions designated for the Scholars Commons will help UT Libraries purchase more of these popular study nooks for students. Jenifer Flaxbart, Research and Liaison Services Librarian, has generously pledged to match the first forty $40 contributions designated for the Scholars Commons!

The Black Diaspora Archival Collection seeks to collect documentary, visual, and artistic materials related to the Black Diaspora. While the geographic collecting area for the Black Diaspora is global, this collection is grounded primarily in the expansive collecting areas currently in practice at the Benson—including North America, South America, and the Caribbean. In addition to collecting, this initiative also aims to promote collection use and research through scholarly resources, student programs, and public engagement.

To date, The University of Texas at Austin stands alone in its pioneering efforts to collect in this area and encourage scholarship and collaborative learning in this way.

Contributions designated for the Black Diaspora Archival Collection will help fund professional development for the archivist, interns/graduate research assistants who assist with processing, the general enhancement of this collection. Rachel Jew, UT Libraries Advisory Council Member, has pledged to match the first $300 designated for the Black Diaspora Archival Collection.

University of Texas Libraries hires between 30-40 Graduate Research Assistants from the School of Information every semester. These graduate students, who are typically pursuing a career in libraries, gain on-the-job real workforce experience and their work is invaluable to our operations. Graduate Fellowship support provides much needed financial assistance for graduate research assistants.

Contributions designated for Graduate Fellowships will be directed toward the David O. Nilsson Endowed Graduate Fellowship, a new endowment which seeks to help graduate student make ends meet during their time at UT Libraries.

Finally, University of Texas Libraries preeminent collections represent specialized areas of research, are historically significant, have specific contextual value, or hold decidedly rare or unique materials. These collections elevate the University’s reputation as a destination for research, attracting and inspiring communities of scholars worldwide. Collection Support can help provide preservation and conservation, collection development, advancing specialized professional expertise, physical space for both storage and service, and resources to build and maintain technical infrastructure.

A gift to UT Libraries has the potential to touch the lives of every student, faculty, and staff member on the Forty Acres. Thank you for helping us further our mission in teaching, learning, and research.

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