Helen K. Bailey

Master of Science in Information Studies
Certificate of Advanced Study in Library and Archives Conservation
University of Texas at Austin, School of Information

Home    Book Treatments    Paper Treatments    Models    Enclosures    Projects    Contact

Preservation Assessment of the McKinney Engineering Library at the University of Texas

This research survey was conducted in the spring of 2009 as a term project for the graduate course INF 392F: Protection and Care of Records Materials, instructed by Karen Pavelka at the University of Texas at Austin School of Information.


The McKinney Engineering Library is the primary academic library servicing the student body of the UT School of Engineering.  The School has approximately 7,000 students including 5,000 undergraduate students and 2,000 at the graduate level, and 350 faculty members.  The library’s student patrons are characterized by Susan Ardis, the Head of the McKinney Library, as being motivated, organized and responsible patrons with a great deal of respect and appreciation for the library’s services. 

According to the library’s website, “The Richard W. McKinney Engineering Library collects in areas of interest to academic engineers and actively supports teaching and research from the undergraduate through the doctoral level.  The fields of architectural, biomedical, civil, electrical and computer, environmental, geotechnical, mechanical, petroleum, and aerospace engineering are covered extensively through the collection of over 165,000 volumes which includes over 1800 current serial subscriptions." The library’s holdings include serials, textbooks, monographs, and electronic media.  The library also offers equipment for checkout such as DVD players, cameras, calculators, and flash drives. 

The library has been in its current location in Ernest J. Cockrell Hall since 1974.  It was the first library on campus to move to an entirely electronic cataloging system and is a US patent deposit library, giving it access to physical and electronic databases of US patents.  It is considered to be one of the top academic engineering libraries in the country.

Survey Goals

The goal of this assessment is to identify the library’s current preservation policies and practices and determine whether they are meeting the needs of the collection and providing the best environment for the library materials and patrons.  Because the McKinney Library is a circulating library geared toward a specific subset of students in the university, its mission is to provide high-demand materials and services to its patrons.  Therefore, all recommendations made based on the findings in this survey will focus on supporting this use-driven mission.

Download a PDF of the complete assessment.

© 2008, Helen Kuncicky Bailey. Creative Commons License Updated June 3 , 2010.