Emory, Georgia Tech Dedicate Joint Library Service Center

Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology today dedicated a new joint Library Service Center (LSC), a collaborative project that houses a shared collection of materials, provides delivery services and frees space on the main campuses at both universities.

The LSC, located at Emory's Briarcliff Road property, is a secure, 55,000-square-foot, climate-controlled facility that employs state-of-the-art equipment and technology to house both special and general library collections, provide free access to them, and ensure cost-effective, long-term preservation of the materials. 

“The new Library Service Center is a shining example of the long and productive public-private partnership between Emory and Georgia Tech," says G.P. "Bud" Peterson, president of Georgia Tech. "Our complementary strengths produce powerful synergies. Our collaborations exist because both institutions believe great things happen when we work together to tackle big challenges."

"The LSC represents an important new chapter in the public-private partnership between Emory and Georgia Tech," says Emory President James Wagner.

More than 15 years ago, the two universities established EmTech, at that time a biotechnology business incubation initiative to provide infrastructure for biotech start-ups. 

"But our collaborations are broad, deep and multiple, growing largely out of the ways in which our institutions complement each other, says Wagner. "EmTech now is the working name under which the LSC is now incorporated." 

Each institution contributed equally to the facility's construction and will continue equal support for operations funding. 

Currently, the LSC houses approximately 95 percent of Georgia Tech’s collections and a portion of Emory collections. Once ingest is complete in the summer of 2016 the archive module will house more than 2 million volumes. The module is capable of holding 4 million volume equivalents, and the facility can accommodate another module of the same size, meaning that it may be possible for additional partners to join Emory and Georgia Tech. 

"By working together to establish the LSC, both institutions now have access to a broader range of library materials, stored in optimal physical conditions and at a lower cost," says Rich Mendola, enterprise chief information officer and senior vice provost for library services and digital scholarship at Emory. 

Only about 17 percent of Georgia Tech's and Emory's collections overlap, which means that "together we have an exceptional collection that benefits both campuses," says Yolanda Cooper, university librarian at Emory. "Our goal is to leverage the services we can provide across both institutions, enhancing our ability to meet the changing needs of users and to develop new resources and tools for use in research, teaching and learning."

"In addition to making progress on the big dream of the shared collection available to all at both institutions, the Emory-Georgia Tech collaboration creates a new model of partnership between research libraries that we hope will encourage our library colleagues to improve access to collections and services through deeper collaborations of their own," says Catherine Murray-Rust, vice provost for learning excellence and dean of libraries at Georgia Tech. 

Features of the Library Service Center include: 

  • The 55,000-square-foot secure, climate-controlled facility has state-of-the-art equipment and technology. The archive module is 30,000 square feet and 25,000 is used for processing materials and special handling.
  • High-density shelving is designed to ensure the long-term preservation of and access to library collections. 
  • A reading room allows users to consult materials on site, so that they can make more precise selections to be delivered to a campus library for use.
  • Two deliveries per day of physical items to campus locations are scheduled, with a mediated service available for rush/on-demand delivery. Electronic delivery of scanned content, such as journal articles and conference papers, also is available. 
  • A virtual browsing solution is in the planning stages; it would offer a similar serendipitous experience to finding a valuable new book by chance.

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