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What is Ask a Librarian and who can use it?

5848 views   |   14   12   |   Last updated on Oct 31, 2017    Ask a Librarian

Ask a Librarian is a service that enables users to ask University of Texas library staff reference questions. Questions can be submitted by email or users can instant message (IM) with library staff. Although the service is intended for current students, faculty and staff of the University of Texas, librarians will answer email questions from users outside the UT community as time permits.
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What happened to the Mallet Chemistry Library?

5053 views   |   15   7   |   Last updated on Sep 17, 2018    Chemistry Library

The Mallet Chemistry Library closed at the end of the 2017 spring semester and will remain closed for the duration of the Welch Hall 1978 wing renovation project. Please continue to read for additional information about the Mallet Chemistry Library and collections.

Why did the Chemistry Library have to close?

  • While the library's entry is in the 1929 wing, the mechanical and electrical systems inside the library are part of the 1978 expansion and were shut off in late summer 2017. Temporary power and HVAC are not feasible for a project of this duration, and it is not possible to remain open for business or store the print materials in that space due to hazards such as mold, heat, dust, and ongoing construction work.

Where can I ask chemistry related questions and get help?

Where are the reserves textbooks?

Where are the rest of the books?

  • The books (monographs and reference materials) are currently in temporary space on the 6th floor of the Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL, sections 6AA and 6BB), where they are available for direct use. 
  • The print journals have been mostly moved to remote storage sites such as the UT Libraries Library Storage Facility on the Pickle Research Campus and the Joint Library Facility in Bryan Texas. A small number of titles have been moved to the Life Science Library in the Main building. Please check the library catalog for the location of a journal.

May I request scans of articles from the journals and chapters from the books?

  • As with all UT Libraries' collections you may request scans of articles and chapters by using the Get A Scan service. As a reminder, about half of the printed journal content formerly housed in the Mallet Chemistry Library is currently available to us online.

May I request to books from the chemistry collection be sent to another library for check out?

  • All users may use our Pick It Up service via the Library Catalog to request paging and delivery of any regularly circulating UT Library books to another campus library. The nearest checkout desks to Welch Hall are in the  (MAI 220) and the PMA Library (RLM 4.200). Turnaround is usually three to five business days. You may also go to PCL to get a chemistry book yourself if you need it immediately.

Where may I return Chemistry Library materials?

  • All regularly circulating UT Library materials may be returned to any campus library or remote drop-box. The nearest library service desks to Welch Hall are in the Life Science Library (MAI 220) and the PMA Library (RLM 4.200). There are also remote book-drops on Dean Keeton on the north side of RLM and on the circle drive between FAC and MAI.

Where can I access computers and software like ChemDraw?

  • EID-login workstations are available in other campus libraries. However, they don't have chemistry-specific software. Consult with your instructors for assistance. There are no open computer labs in Welch Hall.


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What types of questions will librarians answer?

5034 views   |   3   16   |   Last updated on Jul 20, 2017    Ask a Librarian

Questions pertaining to University of Texas resources, the academic research process, and other related topics will be addressed by librarians staffing the Ask a Librarian service. Librarians will provide answers, source suggestions, search strategies, and referrals to appropriate agencies.
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Can I ask a question anonymously? Who else sees my question?

4873 views   |   12   5   |   Last updated on Oct 31, 2017    Ask a Librarian

Questions can be submitted anonymously. You can request a transcript of your chat will be sent to your email address.

This service will make every attempt to respect and preserve your privacy. Only library staff members have access to questions submitted to this service. Questions may be added to a database of frequently asked questions accessible to librarians for training and evaluation purposes. Any identifying information, such as names and email addresses, will be deleted from questions.

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May I check out Archive materials?

4161 views   |   0   5   |   Last updated on Oct 31, 2017    Alexander Architectural Archive

The Alexander Architectural Archive is a non-circulating collection. This is in the interest of safeguarding and preserving the collections for posterity.
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Do I need to make an appointment to visit the Benson Latin American Collection?

3747 views   |   2   5   |   Last updated on Jan 04, 2018    Benson Latin American Collection

No advance appointment is necessary to use our collections.


  1. Some materials in our catalog have the location note “Library storage – ask at desk.” These must be requested at least a week in advance.
  2. In the rare books and manuscripts database TARO some collections have the note “Access restrictions:  This collection is located at an off-site storage facility. Access must be requested in advance.” These materials must be requested at least a week in advance.
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May i use a camera to take pictures of archival materials?

3580 views   |   1   3   |   Last updated on Jan 03, 2018    Benson Latin American Collection

We allow the use of cameras in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Room as long as your flash is turned off.
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Can you make copies of materials in the Benson Latin American Collection for me?

3509 views   |   1   4   |   Last updated on Jan 04, 2018    Benson Latin American Collection

In some cases we are able to make limited copies upon request. See our fee schedule for associated charges. Requests may be sent by email.
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How may I obtain permission to use an image or quote from the Benson Latin Mexican Collection in a publication?

3398 views   |   0   3   |   Last updated on Jan 03, 2018    Benson Latin American Collection

Requests for permission to use images or quotes from our collections can be sent to us by email.
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Where may I park when visiting the Benson Latin American Collection?

3391 views   |   1   5   |   Last updated on Jan 03, 2018    Benson Latin American Collection

Public parking is available in the Manor parking garage just across Clyde Littlefield Drive from the building. Evening parking is available in the LBJ Museum Parking Lot 38, adjacent to Sid Richardson Hall #2.
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Who answers my reference questions?

3259 views   |   1   4   |   Last updated on Jul 20, 2017    Ask a Librarian

Library staff at University of Texas at Austin will provide answers to your reference questions. Subject-specific questions may be referred to a subject specialist.
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Do I need any special software to use the chat service?

3048 views   |   0   4   |   Last updated on Jul 20, 2017    Ask a Librarian

You do not need to install any special software to IM with a librarian. The online text box/widget enables you to contact a librarian directly from out web page. However, if you do have an IM account, you can add the Libraries to your buddy list and use an IM client to contact the Libraries.
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How long will it take a librarian to answer my question?

3018 views   |   1   4   |   Last updated on Jul 20, 2017    Ask a Librarian

Email is checked several times a day, Monday - Friday, 8am-8pm. Responses are usually sent within two business days, excluding weekends and University holidays.

Questions are answered in priority order:

  1. Questions from currently enrolled UT students, faculty, and staff
  2. Requests for information about UT Austin libraries and special collections holdings and services
  3. Requests for information about the University
  4. Request for information about Texas
  5. Requests for other information

IM requests will be answered during service hours. At peak times, users may have to wait for the next available librarian. IM sessions typically take 15 minutes or less. If your question requires more time, the librarian may ask if they can research your question and send a response to your email address.

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Who may use the Benson Latin American Collection?

3014 views   |   0   4   |   Last updated on Jan 03, 2018    Benson Latin American Collection

Anyone can come to the Benson Latin American Collection to use our collections. Use of materials in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Room requires a government issued photo ID, and the circulating collection is available for anyone to browse anytime the library is open. 
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What happened to the PCL Locker Service?

2982 views   |   0   5   |   Last updated on Oct 31, 2017    Visitors

PCL Locker Service to End August 15, 2017
The lockers on the 3rd floor of PCL will be removed from PCL before the start of the Fall 2017 semester. The online application services for lockers has been discontinued effective immediately.

Current locker holders have been notified via email to have their property removed before August 15, 2017. Any remaining items left in a locker will be removed from the locker, processed, and disposed of in accordance with UT System regulations on the disposition of abandoned property. Day use lockers are available via several Rec Sports locations, please see for more information.

Why are the lockers going away?
·         Many lockers have become damaged over the years and the replacement costs are substantial
·         The number of lockers requested have gone down each year
·         The maintenance of the lockers has become unsustainable over time
·         Once the lockers are removed, study tables and seating will be placed in this area

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What information should I provide when making an appointment with the Archive

2934 views   |   1   4   |   Last updated on Oct 31, 2017    Alexander Architectural Archive

Please be prepared to provide Archive staff with:

  • Name of the architect or firm.
  • Name of original client.
  • Location of the property.
  • Date of design or construction.
  • Any previous research: where you looked and what you found.
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May I browse the Archive's holdings to see what they contain?

2867 views   |   1   5   |   Last updated on Oct 31, 2017    Alexander Architectural Archive

No one, including the staff, may browse the Archive under any circumstances. Finding aids are available to help you discover what is in a collection.
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May I look through Archive drawings on my own?

2862 views   |   0   4   |   Last updated on Oct 31, 2017    Alexander Architectural Archive

Archive staff will assist you with looking through the drawings. Archive staff are highly trained in the handling of these often large and fragile documents.
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May I make a donation to the Benson Latin American Collection?

2825 views   |   0   5   |   Last updated on Jan 04, 2018   

Thank you for considering a donation. If you would like to donate books or other physical materials, you can bring them to the library or you can contact us via email or call (512) 495-4520 with questions. To make a financial contribution, please see Supporting the Benson Latin American Collection.
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Why may researchers visit the Archive by appointment only?

2801 views   |   0   4   |   Last updated on Oct 31, 2017    Alexander Architectural Archive

  • Appointments allow staff to provide quality and personalized service.
  • Materials often requires conservation treatment before they can be viewed by scholars.
  • Materials often need to be paged from offsite storage locations.
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