First, I want to say welcome to the thousands of students, faculty, staff members, family and friends who came to our beautiful new building, Crosland Tower, in its first year of operation.

I hope you enjoyed your time with us, whether you came to the Library to study, take a class, receive guidance from our many experts, or take in the unbeatable skyline of campus and Atlanta from our seventh-floor terraces. I can say without reservation we enjoyed our time with you.

I also want to extend thanks to the many campus partners who aided the Library in our amazing transformation. We could not have done any part this project alone and have enjoyed the opportunities for collaboration throughout the year. It is truly incredible to see everything a team of committed, competent, empowered professionals can accomplish.

Please take a look at what the Georgia Tech Library accomplished this year. I think you will find we are just getting started.

In 2019, the Georgia Tech Library adopted a number of concepts utilized outside of higher education, including customer-focused service models, in its commitment to research and learning excellence. The ultimate goal? To become the model research library of the 21st century — connected, responsive to changes in academic needs, and dedicated to the stewardship of analog information in a digital age.


The Library opened its doors Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in the refurbished Crosland Tower, completing the first phase of its ambitious Library Next project.

The tower, closed for renovations since January 2016, features nine stories of archives, classroom, study, and studio space for Tech’s students, faculty, and staff. Included are spaces and technology for data visualization, high-performance computing, multimedia studies, collaboration, and iterative design.

“Tech’s dream of a Library designed for inspiring future scholarship and learning is finally coming true,” said Dean of Libraries Catherine Murray-Rust.

Over the last 36 months, crews removed the brick facade of Crosland Tower, built in 1968 to house a rapidly growing collection of books. Originally, the building was meant to keep out sunlight harmful to the books, housing stacks on seven-foot high, reinforced floors.

In its new iteration, Crosland Tower boasts soaring, multifloor atriums mirroring the midcentury modern architecture of Price Gilbert Memorial Library, now under renovation until 2020.


My students and I felt so welcomed and comfortable in the Innovation & Ideation Studio, and this space afforded my students a much more productive [environment] in which to engage in prototyping, design work, and play-testing — all of which, ultimately, contributed to their ability to create even more successful projects for my course. This partnership underscored, for me, the fact that the library ... has so many helpful pedagogical resources, and this reminder has made me want to further partner ... for my future courses.
Graduate students remain by far the heaviest users of print materials, followed by faculty. Undergraduates borrow slightly less than faculty, with staff, members of other institutions, and alumni using print materials least.
Graduate students rely most on the general collection and our interlibrary loan program. Core materials (those chosen by the school to represent the most important texts available in the field) and materials from our shared collection with Emory University account for about 30 percent of use, with our in-house science fiction collection used least. These trends continue for faculty and undergraduate use. Naturally, users outside Georgia Tech use the core collection least.


The multimedia instruction and research support for innovative projects during my time teaching Writing and Communication at Tech has been the best of my career so far in higher education. Having taught at many institutions in different regions, ranging from flagship state universities to liberal arts colleges, I can recognize and fully appreciate the cutting-edge collaboration available for new teaching approaches provided by the library at Tech.
As explored earlier [LIBRARY AT A GLANCE], use of e-resources dwarfs use of the physical collection. Because of user privacy issues, we cannot separate undergraduate and graduate student use of the resources for this study. However, it becomes clear that student use of electronic resources — especially by the colleges of Engineering and Computing — is a huge part of the day-to-day business at the Library.
Person-to-person and course-integrated instruction are huge components of the Library’s definition of success. Each year, we teach hundreds of for- and not-for-credit courses in everything from data visualization to multimedia production to research impact.
Interestingly, undergraduates use the Library most to borrow small items like cameras, laptops, and other multimedia equipment — almost as much as graduate lending combined. Gadgets being a large part of physical collections is a trend that continues, to a lesser extent, for graduate students. For undergraduates, physical material use then shifts to course reserves, where graduate students and faculty both rely on interlibrary loan, the general collection, and our partnership with Emory to fulfill their scholarly needs.
As always, the faculty and staff of the Library are here to help. Whether it’s in-depth research or simple consultations, we see thousands of students and faculty a year.


Students frequently use the Archives’ science fiction and university history collections for class projects, while the textile industry and architecture collections draw in many external researchers.

In the instruction sessions, students handled rare books, some as many as 450 years old, as they considered the ways in which people have recorded, stored, and shared information over time. Others looked for parallels in Tech faculty research in the mid-twentieth century and today, forging relationships with current faculty in their field of interest.

Providing on-site access to these unique collections allows the Archives to fulfill a need in research and scholarship not available elsewhere in the Library or on campus.


Thanks so much for spending time with us and teaching us about podcasting [as part of your multimedia offerings]. Podcasting is an important tool for our group. We are a combination of academics and practitioners, and we work with a variety of clients. Our academic credentials are great — we have a great reputation. But we have to put our thought leadership into a more digestible form for our nonacademic clients.

retroTECH 2019

In 2019, the Library was part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded cohort of six organizations — the Guggenheim Museum, Living Computer Museum + Labs, University of Arizona, University of Illinois, and University of Virginia — exploring the key challenges to providing long-term access to software- dependent cultural heritage.

The cohort aims to broaden participation in software preservation, and the projects undertaken by the members will advance digital preservation practice and inform field-wide understanding.

retroTECH has also been able to create a proof-of-concept for retroTECH Online — an online emulation environment through which patrons can utilize emulated software from retroTECH’s collections for teaching and learning, explore the stories surrounding that software, and foster a virtual retroTECH community.

Lastly, the project team is using oral history and emulation to tell the stories of several software innovations created by Tech community members — from the graphic simulation that helped with Atlanta’s 1996 winning Olympics bid to Game Boy Advance games coded by current students learning computer science.


The Library exhibits program facilitated the development and installation of 12 exhibits over the course of 2019.

Collaborative partners on these projects included the College of Sciences, the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, the Office of the Arts, College of Design, School of Physics, and the School of Music.

In collaboration with the Office of the Arts, the Clough Art Crawl evolved into a biannual event that featured the work of more than 200 Georgia Tech students.

A partnership with the College of Sciences and the School of Literature, Media, and Communication developed the Astounding Elements exhibit in the Library’s new Science Fiction Lounge. The exhibit featured original research by Tech student Lily Glass and featured a Library-hosted program culminating the year-long celebration with an exhibit of interactive versions of the periodic table displayed in the Library’s Ideation and Innovation space.


This year, the Library’s technology teams embarked on a number of projects vital to the success of the Library of the future. Among these were the implementation of a new website, the launch of a library self- checkout app, completion of the Crosland Tower computing project, and execution of a multi- departmental service portal.


In January, team members launched the Institute’s first Drupal 8 site, utilizing the new campus branding standards. It features a responsive design and meets all accessibility guidelines. The launch was on schedule and under budget, and the site received a Silver W3 Award in the Website Features-User Interface Category.


Using a grant from the Price-Gilbert Foundation, in June the Library launched a customized book-borrowing mobile app. This solution, compatible with any iOS or Android Device, is powered by Meescan, a cloud-based solution provided by Bintec Inc.


Beginning in August, the technology team began identifying the numerous customer-facing services provided to the Tech community.

Most, if not all, of these services were previously handled exclusively through a network of email and web-based forms forwarded to service owners.

By implementing a Jira Service Desk issue tracking system, the team allowed Library leadership to fully understand trends in service delivery.


The Library’s research branch has provided a service that is totally superior and puts us way ahead of the competition of other organizations that do not have this capability. It is extensive and can be conducted very rapidly. The topics that have been requested have been extremely varied and very technical. The bottom line is that without this superior service we would not be able to obtain and keep our technology edge.


The Library’s portfolio process focuses on the tactical, daily execution of Library and Institute strategic initiatives. After implementing a new portfolio management process in October 2018, engagement from Library employees has risen dramatically, including new ideas for improvement and innovation.
Created By
Jason Wright