The University of Texas Libraries

The University Libraries website offers a range of services and resources. Each year this site is visited more than a billion times by information seekers around the world.

Online Services

  • Check the library catalog for a listing of on-site and electronic information resources.
  • Libraries hours information. Most circulation desks close fifteen minutes before the library closes.
  • Renew an item or recall an item loaned to another borrower.
  • Ask a Librarian: Use e-mail or instant messaging to obtain assistance from a librarian.
  • Request books, photocopies of articles, and other material not owned by the University Libraries from another library in the United States or abroad.
  • Request that the University Libraries purchase an item it does not currently own.
  • Ask for an item in remote storage to be delivered to another library.
  • View jobs available in the University Libraries.

Online Resources

Campus-affiliated users may access millions of pages of specially licensed scholarly information, including the full text of articles and illustrations from thousands of journals and the full text of about eighty thousand books in electronic format. They may search hundreds of indexes and view the world’s largest and most heavily used online map collection.

Subject specialists are responsible for developing the extensive collections that make up the University Libraries. Users who have questions about resources or need research assistance are encouraged to consult one of the subject specialists listed.

On-Site Services and Resources

The University of Texas Libraries includes several libraries on the Austin campus and the Marine Science Library in Port Aransas. Each unit offers a range of services and specialized resources.

Library classes and tours. The University Libraries offers a variety of classes on how to use the library catalog and how to access and evaluate information, as well as advanced classes covering databases and other electronic and on-site materials in specific subject areas. Virtual and on-site tours are also offered.

Information and research help. Staff members are available in all libraries to help users find information.

Computing facilities. Computing facilities available to UT Austin students, faculty members, and staff members are located in all libraries. The Perry-Castañeda Library, the Flawn Academic Center, and the science libraries offer the largest number of available workstations.

UTNet Wireless Access is available to students, faculty members, and staff members throughout the Flawn Academic Center and the Chemistry, Classics, Fine Arts, Physics Mathematics Astronomy, and Law Libraries, and in selected areas of the Architecture and Planning, Geology, Life Science, and Perry-Castañeda Libraries and the Ransom Center.

Copying and printing facilities. Printing from computers, photocopiers, and microform readers requires a UTEID.  Library Copier Services has more information.

Individual and group study areas. All libraries offer individual study spaces. Many also offer group study rooms, designated collaborative study areas, or closed studies or carrels. Group study rooms in the Fine Arts and Perry-Castañeda Libraries and the Benson Latin American Collection may be reserved online.

Libraries

Perry-Castañeda Library. This six-level open stack library contains more than 2.5 million volumes, computers for public use, a coffee shop, and enclosed studies as well as group study areas.

This main library of the University serves most subject areas, with emphasis on the humanities, the social sciences, business, education, nursing, social work, and European, East European, Asian, Middle Eastern, Hebraic, and Judaic studies. Special materials include United States and United Nations official documents, current journals, and newspapers. Reference and information help is provided in the lobby area. Library users are also encouraged to make appointments with subject specialists in their areas to discuss information needs. A list of subject specialists, with contact information and office locations, is published online. Service units in the library include Access Services, Courtesy Borrower Services, Library Copier Services, and Interlibrary Services. The Office of the Vice Provost and Director of the University Libraries and the University Libraries administrative staff are also housed in the Perry-Castañeda Library.

Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. The Benson Latin American Collection holds over one million books, periodicals, pamphlets, and newspapers; and over 7,000 linear feet of archives and manuscripts. The collection acquires research material from across Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States, on Latin Americans and U.S. Latinas/os, with subject focuses including the humanities, social sciences, natural resources, natural sciences, history of medicine, law, human rights, civil rights, and technology. In 2011, the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection entered into a partnership with the Teresa Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies (LLILAS), creating LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections.

The Benson’s Special Collections consist of archival and digital collections, and include manuscripts, publications, and other written works. Other formats include broadsides, newspapers, photographs, slides, musical scores, oversize materials such as posters, artwork, and architectural drawings and blueprints. Audiovisual materials are found throughout the collections, including VHS tapes, cassettes, vinyl records, DVDs, CDs, and others audiovisual formats. The collecting areas of focus for the Benson Special Collections are Latin American Archives, U.S. Latino Archives, Black Diaspora Archives, and Rare Books. Major resources include the Guatemalan National Police Historical Archive (AHPN) and the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA). The Benson and UT Libraries are founding partners in Primeros Libros de las Américas, an international digital initiative providing access to the earliest printed works published in the Americas.

Science libraries. The science libraries on the main campus are the Mallet Chemistry Library, the Walter Geology Library, the Life Science Library, and the Kuehne Physics Mathematics Astronomy Library. The Marine Science Library is located at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

Fine Arts Library. The Fine Arts Library, located in the Doty Fine Arts Building, contains collections that support learning and research in art, music, theatre, and dance. The collections include a variety of formats, including books, journals, musical scores, plays, CDs, and DVDs. UT Austin students, faculty and staff members, and courtesy borrowers may check out digital cameras, camcorders, and boom boxes. Cassette players may be checked out for use in the listening carrels.

Architecture and Planning Library. Learning and research in architecture, interior design, urban planning, landscape architecture, and related disciplines are supported by the Architecture and Planning Library and, within it, the extensive collection of architectural drawings and other records in the Alexander Architectural Archive.

Other units. Other units of the University Libraries include the Classics Library. The Collections Deposit Library is a limited-access facility that houses a number of specialized collections.

Information for Borrowers

Loan periods. Undergraduates and courtesy borrowers may borrow most library materials for twenty-eight days. All other holders of University ID cards may borrow most materials for one semester.

A borrower may place a recall request online for a book checked out to another borrower. When the recalled item is returned, the requestor is notified and the item is held for seven days.

Borrower responsibilities. Borrowers are responsible for maintaining correct records of their identification numbers and mailing addresses with the University and for obtaining corrected borrower cards in case of error or a change in data. Borrowers are responsible for the return of items checked out to them until they are returned. The University Libraries is not responsible for notifying borrowers that materials are overdue.

Fines and fees for overdue materials. Borrowers are fined for failing to return library materials by the date they are due. Fines vary depending on the loan period of the material; detailed information is published at Charges for Overdue and Lost Material.

Charges for lost or damaged materials. Borrowers are charged for lost and damaged items. Charges include a rebinding or repair charge if a damaged item can be repaired; the cost of replacing a lost item or a damaged item that cannot be repaired, plus a rebinding fee if applicable; a processing fee when an item is reported lost or is presumed by the University Libraries to be lost; and a billing service fee. A detailed list of charges is published by the University Libraries.

Library cards for non-University borrowers. Libraries are open to the public for use of materials. Adult Texas residents who are not members of the University community may borrow materials for home use by purchasing a courtesy borrower card at the Courtesy Borrower Services Desk at the Perry-Castañeda Library, entrance level. A photo ID and proof of Texas residence are required at the time of purchase. The fee may be waived for current members of the Texas Exes, for users who present valid TexShare cards from libraries participating in the TexShare Card Program, and for other users included in reciprocal borrowing agreements in which the University Libraries participates. More information on fees and waivers is published by the University Libraries. Cards are valid for the period of enrollment, membership, or appointment, not to exceed one year.