Texas A&M University Libraries Joins Statewide Coalition
Texas A&M University joins 26 other Texas universities in establishing the Texas Library Coalition for United Action (TLCUA) with the goal of thinking creatively about access to faculty publications and the sustainability of journal subscriptions. The coalition hopes to change current models as well as the relationships between academic institutions and publishers.
Organizers say the sustainability of providing scholarly research at ever-increasing costs has forced academic libraries into difficult positions as they work to provide access to scholars on their campuses.
“The system of scholarly communications is extremely important and must be sustained, but we believe that it also needs to change to be more reflective of our research and educational mission,” said David Carlson, dean of University Libraries at Texas A&M.
Carlson has been an advocate for libraries to take concerted action to reduce costs and retain ownership of faculty work.
“We also believe that the economic models of commercial publishing must be more sustainable for libraries and reflect the transfer of materials to a digital networking platform,” Carlson said.
The coalition has begun by entering into conversations with academic publisher Elsevier. The group hopes to achieve an improved and sustainable model for the dissemination of scholarship through positive engagement and mutual understanding.
Technology has provided greater opportunities for a wider availability of resources, and the coalition wants those opportunities to be reflected in agreements that will benefit all academic libraries, Carlson said.
“Due to its size, diversity and commitment to collaboration, we believe this coalition in Texas has a unique and compelling opportunity to effect change and assume a leadership position in the world-wide movement tor change in scholarly communications,” he said.
Elsevier has recently been involved in a number of negotiations with U.S. universities, including the University of California system, California State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Louisiana State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Washington University in St. Louis.
The coalition institutions collectively have more than 397,000 students and 25,000 faculty, and their Elsevier subscriptions represent a significant investment at more than $17 million. By these and other measures, the coalition represents one of the largest and most diverse U.S. collective negotiation consortia of its kind.
The current members of the Texas Library Coalition for Collective Action are:
Angelo State University
Prairie View A&M University
Sam Houston State University
Stephen F. Austin University
Sul Ross State University
Tarleton State University
Texas A&M International University
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University-Central Texas
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Texas A&M University-Texarkana
Texas State University
Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock
University of Dallas
University of Houston
University of Houston Clear Lake
University of Houston Downtown
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
West Texas A&M University