Sterling C. Evans Library at Texas A&M University

Sterling C. Evans Library at Texas A&M University.

This month GPO would like to highlight the Sterling C. Evans Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Founded in 1876 as the state’s first public institution of higher learning, Texas A&M University is noted for having land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant designations. The university serves a population of more than 38,000 undergraduates and over 9,000 graduate students. Situated in Brazos County, the university is roughly 100 miles northwest of Houston and 200 miles south of Dallas. The library has been a selective depository since 1907 and currently serves the 17th Congressional district of Texas.

The Government Information librarian and depository coordinator for the library, Laura Sare, has been consistently active in promoting government information. Since joining the library in 2007, Laura has created displays on such varied topics as the Korean War, Comics in Government Documents, Spies and Intelligence, and Birds. In the virtual realm, she is responsible for the ‘Hot Topics’ web page about each display. Announcements about the display reach the entire campus community.

Her subject guides currently include news and information on the upcoming 2010 Census and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Information on government documents is integrated into instruction sessions and subject guides in the Evans Library as well as the Political Sciences & Economics Library and the Medical Library. The coordinator has taken advantage of the free promotional materials offered by GPO by distributing folders and fliers in instruction sessions to librarians and public service staff. Additionally, promotional FDL pocket cards were sent to area public libraries to further awareness. Within the depository community, Laura has published articles on issues dealing with collection maintenance and has presented at two depository library conferences, the spring of 2007 and 2009.

A notable accomplishment of the Texas A&M University Library is the digitization of the library’s complete set of the Geologic Atlas of the United States. These large scale publications (18.5”x20.5”) were published by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) beginning in 1894, with the last of the 227 folios published in 1945. Kathy Weimer, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Map and GIS Collections and Services, led the group project to digitize the folios.

The digitized set has a map interface that is available through Yahoo! Maps and Google Earth. When integrated with Google Earth, the Geologic Atlas folios can be viewed in Google Earth so that elevations are more clearly visible and the historical sites are referenced to their current locations. The folios have been ‘georeferenced’ for shapefiles (used in GIS systems), thereby applying the modern technology of Geographic Information System (GIS) data analysis and adding a new dimension to these remarkable historical documents.

For the efforts that this library has made to increase awareness of and expand access to government information, GPO would like to congratulate the Sterling C. Evans Library!