ACU Students, Faculty Now Can Access All University Libraries in State
for immediate release Nov. 13, 1997Students at Abilene Christian University and other private Texas colleges were given greatly expanded access to online documents and other library services by the passage of new state legislation.
Created in 1994, TexShare was originally a cooperative program for library services to students, faculty and staff at only state-supported institutions of higher education. After the passage of this year's TexShare bill sponsored by Rep. Bob Hunter, ACU's vice president emeritus, TexShare has been expanded to all private institutions as well as community colleges.
Through TexShare, the collections and services of each individual academic library in the state are made available to the students and faculty of all institutions. In addition, the combined buying power of Texas libraries results in significant cost reductions for electronic information subscriptions.
"The expansion of TexShare to independent universities and community colleges will do more to enrich the quality of educational materials at institutions than anything else," said Carol McDonald, president of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas. "Through TexShare, students on all campuses will have access to the most sophisticated journals and periodicals available."
TexShare emphasizes electronic information resources as well as traditional collections of books and journals. The largest portion of the program's annual $1 million budget will be dedicated to licensing commercial databases such as Periodical Abstracts and ABI Inform, which provide access to the full text of more than 1,100 journals, in addition to citations to many more journals and periodicals.
ACU will have access to about 500 unique journals its students and faculty have not had access to before, especially in the business field, said Marsha Harper, director of ACU's Brown Library.
Future services may include a library card program for students at participating schools who request them; a courier service for interlibrary loans; and the addition of new databases.
In spring 1996, libraries affiliated with ICUT schools formed a consortia to determine shared needs that could be met as a group. This eventually led to a lobbying effort for expanding TexShare.
Harper was active in the project by keeping record of who was contacted by whom, writing letters, visiting legislators, and being a liaison to the Texas Library Association's lobbying efforts.
She was chosen to represent private institutions on the new TexShare Advisory Board, created by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to establish policies relating to resource sharing.
"This really opens up a lot of information to our students and faculty," Harper said. "This cooperation is especially important to smaller schools and schools in more remote areas such as West Texas. We may not have the option to drive over TCU in Fort Worth this evening, but we can be right in there with TCU on the databases and share in interlibrary loans."
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