Texas A&M’s Joint Library Facility Providing Key Materials Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Research centers around the world are requesting materials related to the pandemic.
By Keith Randall, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications April 2, 2020

a warehouse filled with tall shelves of manuscripts and books
The Texas A&M University Joint Library Facility is considered to have the premier medical book collection in the state

Texas A&M University Libraries


Leading research centers have made requests for medical resources, especially medical journals, from the Texas A&M University Joint Library Facility (JLF). The facility has stayed open to provide these resources to researchers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Veterans Administration in Salt Lake City and the Environmental Protection Agency are among the research centers that have requested resources from the JLF, which is considered to have the premier medical book collection in the state, and a leading collection in the U.S. The value of the collection is shown by the many requests for materials from a diverse group of important research centers around the country.

“The majority of requests we are receiving are for medical material, and there are a variety of topics they are interested in such as respirators, virus, pandemic, isolation, various diseases and health issues,” said JLF Director Wyoma van Duinkerken.

In the years following the opening of the JLF in 2013, medical and hospital libraries around Texas began to reduce their book collections due to the age of their collections, space issues and the fact that medical libraries currently rely more heavily on journals and other electronic resources. JLF staff recognized the opportunity and began to add the books to the facility as they were released from various libraries.

More than 50 medical schools and universities have contacted the JLF about various medical publications. They include the health science centers of the University of Washington, the University of Oklahoma, Columbia University, Yale University and the University of Maryland. Medical groups from the Netherlands and Canada’s University of Manitoba and the University of Alberta have also requested information.

Located at the Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus, the JLF was originally built as a shared materials plan with the University of Texas so that the state’s two flagship systems would have a cost-effective place to store materials. The JLF is now open to most universities in the state.

“JLF is the only system-level collaboration between UT and Texas A&M,” said David Carlson, dean of Texas A&M University Libraries. “This alone makes it unique, but the last few weeks have demonstrated its value at a much deeper level. JLF permits not just collaboration and annual savings to these systems, but enables them to save and preserve materials.

“The libraries of UT and The Texas A&M University System can take great pride in having the vision and foresight to create this facility, allowing these valuable collections to reveal information that would have otherwise been lost forever,” Carlson said.

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