Killam Library Newsletter

Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library
Texas A&M International University
5201 University Boulevard
Laredo, TX 78041-1900
Volume 1 No. 2 

Holiday Issue 1999

Dr. Cass Heads Library Committee

Dr. Ray M. Keck, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, appointed Dr. Jeffrey D. Cass, Associate Professor in the Department of Language, Literature and Arts, to chair the University Library Committee in 1999-2000. This committee, which consists of a representative from each academic department, represents faculty interests and collaborates with the library staff to develop policies, services and resources that reflect the needs of the university. Some past accomplishments of this committee include contributing to the development of an interest profile for the automatic shipment of books, approval of a formula for allocation of the book budget by department, review and approval of faculty requests for media (videos, CD ROMs, etc) and allocation of collection expansion funds for new journals by college.

Members of the committee representing the College of Arts and Humanities are Jeffrey Cass, Language Literature and Arts; Jeffrey M. Brown, Psychology and Sociology; and Stanley C. Green, Social Sciences. Those serving the College of Business Administration are George Kostopoulos, Accounting and Information Systems; Michael J. Pisani, Economics and Finance; and Betty S. Rogers, Management and Marketing. Members representing the College of Education are Michael F. Desiderio, Curriculum and Instruction; Claudio Salinas, Professional Programs; and Miroslava Vargas, Special Populations. Those serving the College of Science and Technology are Juan M. Moran Lopez, Natural Sciences; and Charlotte Chase, School of Nursing. Representing the library faculty is Rogelio H. Hinojosa, Associate Librarian. These faculty representatives have been appointed to convey ideas from the faculty to the library and to share information about library developments with their departments.

What's In a Name?

When we asked the university community to help us find a name for our new online catalog, we were hoping for something short, catchy, and evocative of the nature of electronic information, our geographic situation, and ideally also our unique bilingual and bicultural heritage. It looked like a tall order at the time. But then we got the suggestion of RIO as an acronym for Research Information Online. This provides a brief and accurate description of what our catalog provides (not just books), it calls to mind our nearby river, and it is a Spanish word that most educated English speakers will recognize. We decided to call it RIO de Información, and when the automation librarians in College Station have added a number of other databases, including other libraries' online catalogs, as "tributaries," it will become quite easy to see its resemblance to a "river of information."
Library Hours

    Monday through Thursday:     7:30 AM to 10:00PM
    Friday:                                   7:30 AM to 5:00 PM
    Saturday:                             10:00 AM to 6:30 PM
    Sunday:                                12:00 Noon to 8:00 PM

These are regular library hours when class is in session. The Academic Enrichment Center will continue to close 30 minutes before the Library
closes. For SPECIAL HOLIDAY and INTERCESSION HOURS keep reading (see below)!

Circulation Desk -- 326-2112

Reference Desk -- 326-2138

Academic Enrichment Center -- 326-2130

Don't forget that there is a librarian assigned to serve as a liaison to the faculty in your academic area. You may call on the following library liaisons for help. Renee LaPerriere de Gutierrez (326-2404) serves as liaison to the Department of Social Sciences and to the School of Nursing. Darcy Carrizales (326-2118) is assigned to the College of Business Administration with assistance from Rogelio Hinojosa (326-2123) during the transition to special accreditation. Lyndra Givens (326-2119) serves the Department of Language, Literature and Arts and the Department of Psychology and Sociology. John Maxstadt (326-2116) provides liaison to the College of Education.


The Reference department provides 15-30 minute help sessions on electronic topics every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoon throughout the Fall Semester. This is your golden opportunity to learn the new online catalog, get current on the latest databases, update your web-surfing skills, or go in depth into sources in a subject area of interest to you. The schedule for regular session is as follows (every week):

Tuesday, 2 pm RIO Online Catalog
Tuesday, 6 pm Basic Internet

Wednesday, 2 pm Full-text Article Databases
Wednesday, 6 pm RIO Online Catalog

Thursday, 2 pm Advanced Internet (Web Site Evaluation)
Thursday, 6 pm SPECIAL TOPIC - a new special topic is announced every week.

If you want to schedule a special help session to fit your own schedule, please call Reference at 326-2138 or 326-2116. If you want to suggest a special topic or schedule a session on a topic of your own choosing, call us at the numbers given above. And always remember that the workers who staff the Reference Desk (326-2138) are there to help you with any research or information problem you may have, any time the library is open.

Collection Development Update

As we enter the second (and final) year of the Special Appropriation project for collection expansion, the arrival of new books, backfiles, audiovisual media , and other library materials is steady. This is truly an exciting time in the making of Killam Library. Faculty's active participation in every aspect of the collection development process has been essential.

We have continued to receive an average of one thousand books per week from September through November from our main vendor, Baker & Taylor. Additionally, we also purchased valuable collections and difficult-to-get materials directly from various sources. Some examples of this are:

As of this writing , it is estimated that about 26,000 new books have been received since December 1998. This represents an increase of approximately 11,000 new books since our last report, published in this newsletter (see Killam Library Newsletter, vol. 1, no.1, Fall 1999) . We are projecting that approximately 48,000 new books will arrive within the next twelve months. It is important to remember that, because of fiscal regulations, all orders for new titles must be placed by the end of August, 2000.

It is also convenient to keep in mind that new books are being purchased in three modalities:
    1. Firm orders: these are book titles selected individually by faculty members.

    2. Automatic Shipment Plan: these are recently published books that match a profile jointly developed with faculty members between 1997 and 1998.

    3. Retrospective Approval Plan: books are being purchased retrospectively (projected years: 1995-1997), based on titles selected by faculty from book
    lists received from our main vendor.

It is relatively common to find that some firm order books requested by faculty become out of print or become indefinitely out of stock. These orders get cancelled, but many of these titles are essential to having a strong collection. To reduce the number of such cancellations, we will start a new project before the end of the Fall 1999, and will start ordering out of print materials through specialized sources.

Delay in the sale of the bonds forced the library to slow down on book ordering, ordering of audiovisual media and placing orders for backfiles. The situation was fully resolved at the beginning of September.

All audiovisual media, and backfiles, authorized by the Faculty Library Committee have been ordered, but not all of them have been received. Also, and according to plan, new journals and other serial publications selected for subscription last Spring will start arriving in January 2000.

For detailed information on new books arriving, status of audiovisual media, new journals selected for FY 2000, status of backfiles, and for the latest library materials budget report, please refer to the following URL:

In it, you will find various buttons for each of the categories mentioned above. Just click on the button of your interest (e.g. Journal Orders), and you will be directed to the information you are searching for (e.g. new journals ordered for FY 2000). We want to encourage you to regularly visit this page to monitor the arrival of new materials, as well as to learn about procedures for ordering books, audiovisual media items, new journals, etc. We also include a long list of publishers' websites, which faculty members can use for selection purposes.

Let's keep working together on this very unique opportunity we have for quickly expanding Killam Library's collection and access to information.

Interlibrary loan services are growing by leaps and bounds!

As you know, if TAMIU doesn't own something, all students, faculty and staff have the option of borrowing materials from other libraries through our interlibrary loan service. If the item is located at Laredo Community College it can be directly checked out from them rather than using interlibrary loan. The ILL service is a valuable supplement to the collection of books and journals that we own and have electronic access to. The TAMIU community has been taking advantage of this resource in record numbers lately. Last fiscal year we borrowed almost 5000 items for our users, and we look like outdoing ourselves again this year. Last September we were proud of ourselves when we borrowed 780 items, but this year we set an internal record of 990 borrowed items! Last October we borrowed 940 items, but this year we're pretty sure we passed 1000 (we processed so many requests that we haven't finished tabulating last month's statistics yet).

Most people don't know much about the other side of interlibrary loan -- lending. Just as other libraries send books and articles to us, so we send books and articles to other libraries. It's only fair, after all. Normally a small institution like TAMIU doesn't lend out much because they don't have much to lend. But the TexShare Consortium (an association of libraries that work together) believes in "load leveling" so that big libraries like A&M at College Station and UT Austin don't do all the lending out. (If they do all the lending for the state, their own students never have access to their own books because the books are always lent out to other libraries.) Now that so many new books have been arriving through our acquisition plans, we have a lot more to offer our partners throughout Texas. Last October we sent out 270 books and journal articles, but this October we sent almost twice that many, 448! Last year we set an internal record of lending over 2700 items, but we remain net borrowers. We borrowed 2,300 more items from other libraries than other libraries borrowed from us. It's very rewarding to be able to help members of other colleges and universities considering that they've helped us.

How do we pull all this off? Our most important piece of technology is OCLC, an online database with more than thirty-five million records (lots bigger than, through which we can not only identify which libraries own particular materials but order them the moment we find them. Second most important is ARIEL, which uses a file transfer method similar to email to transmit and receive scanned images. Most of the journal articles we receive come through ARIEL. Actually ARIEL can handle any scanned image -- other libraries have transmitted the blurbs on the back of paperback books, and once somebody even put a mystery medical instrument on a scanner, and sent the image by ARIEL to a hospital library in California with a hand-scribbled request for somebody please to identify what the instrument was. Because ARIEL uses high-resolution scanning technology rather than the low-quality images typical of even the better fax machines, the instrument was easily identified from this image. More important than our technology, however, is our staff. We have a clerk who devotes her entire expertise to ILL, there are two full-time staff who also work in reference, where they acquire information-finding skills that are an unusual advantage for our ILL operation. Lyndra Givens, Reference/Interlibrary Loan Librarian, supervises ILL which also includes the support of one part-time and one student employee.

Library Catalog Now Available Through University Homepage

Killam Library's online RIO catalog (see above, "What's In a Name?") can be accessed from any campus or off-campus location through the TAMIU webpage. Just go to, move the pointer to Killam Library and click on Library Catalogs. The link will take you directly to the front page of the catalog. This will work from any computer that can access the TAMIU homepage. You can also access the catalog directly from any internet-connected computer by typing the URL

There have been some cosmetic and functional changes in the catalog database over the last few weeks - if you haven't seen it lately, it may be worth a look. Also, don't forget that there are library help sessions on how to search the new RIO catalog provided in Reference every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon (see above, "Remember!").

Here is a list of the other databases you can access through the TAMIU homepage from on campus (move your pointer to Killam Library and click Databases):

Web Sightings

The Web continues to make history by providing greater accessibility to historical information and resources. Local history and local history resources have benefitted especially by this increase in accessibility. Information and materials involving local and regional history, once more difficult to access due to their limited geographical focus, are now available anywhere in the world at the click of a mouse button. The following are merely a few sites to get you started.

The City of Laredo, courtesy of the Laredo Chamber of Commerce, provides "A Brief History of Laredo, Texas" at Webb County Archaeological Society's page,, is also useful. For those of you interested in more recent history, check out "Welcome to Los Laredos--Trade Center of the Americas." This site, put out by the Laredo Development Foundation at, is a wealth of demographic information for both Laredo and Nuevo Laredo.

In addition to sites created specifically as Web documents, the Web serves as a medium for making print documents available in full-text format. The McAllen (TX) Memorial Library offers access to an English translation of Capitan José Tienda de Cuervo's 1757 inspection of the Colony of Nuevo Santander established a decade earlier by Don José de Escandon: Included in the inspection are descriptions of the settlements and their inhabitants, who are listed by name.

Another resource initially available in print, A Shared Experience, is now available at . Produced by the Texas Historical Commission and the Caminos del Río Heritage Project, both the book and the teachers workbook are on the Web. This unique resource covers the history, geography, architecture, and environment of the Río Grande/Río Bravo from the Laredo area to the Gulf of Mexico. The Texas Historical Commission also has an Historic Sites Atlas: . Although a local search for Laredo was disappointing, a search by "Webb county" brought up some 719 records--most of which were for sites in Laredo--including national register listed sites, 682 neighborhood surveys, and information found on 27 historical markers.

Holiday and INTERCESSION Hours Special Extended Hours for Finals!

November 25- 27 CLOSED for Thanksgiving December 7, 8, 9 7:30 AM - Midnight
December 19 CLOSED December 10 7:30 AM -10:00 PM
December 20-22 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily December 11 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
December 23-January 2 CLOSED for Christmas December 12 12:00 AM - 10:00 PM
January 3-7 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily
January 8-9 CLOSED

Library Staff:

Rodney Webb
Library Director

John Hastings
Catalog Librarian

Rogelio Hinojosa
Acquisitions Librarian

Gary Masters
Automated Services Librarian

John Maxstadt
Head of Public Services

Lyndra Givens
Reference/Interlibrary Loan Librarian

Darcy Carrizales
Reference/Government Info Librarian

Renée LaPerrière
Reference/Special Collections Librarian

Killam Library Newsletter
The Newsletter is a publication of the Texas A&M International University Library and is distributed Library and is distributed by the staff of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library.
Send questions, comments and suggestions to Darcy Carrizales, Editor.

Web edition formatted (with apologies to Darcy) by R. LaPerrière de Gutiérrez.