Out of the Stacks and into the Catalog: Featured Collections and New Book Displays

By Maria Barker, Library Assistant

Although the Texas State Library and Archives Commission has “closed stacks” — meaning certain materials are pulled by staff and brought to researchers in the reading rooms rather than allowing patrons to publicly browse — there are tools to help unlock the information held within. Over years of processing materials and roving the stacks, staff members have identified a number of themes that go beyond their classification on the shelf. To highlight these hidden collections and to showcase the stream of titles coming into the library, about every six weeks staff create book displays in the Reference and Genealogy reading rooms for patrons to enjoy.

An aisle in one of the seven floors of closed stacks at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The New Books displays feature books that are new to our collections.  In addition to regularly reviewing and acquiring titles through our collection development efforts and depository commitments, the library also receives donations and suggested titles from the public. If you’re interested in the library’s donation policy or have suggested titles, please email ref@tsl.texas.gov.

The Genealogy New Books display is located in our Texas Family Heritage Research Center.

The Featured Collection contains books selected and arranged by library staff around a particular theme or event. The current display showcases the variety of Texas Children’s Books in our collection.  Previous displays include “Oh the Places You’ll Go- Texas Style”, an exploration of Texas’ vacation spots, a WWI centennial display, and a display focusing on Texas Music and Film.

In our reference reading room, located on the 1st floor of the Lorenzo De Zavala building, the Featured Collection display and New Books display sit side by side near the reference desk.

If you can’t visit our book displays in person you can find updates on the latest Featured Collection here, through the Out of the Stacks blog.

To see a list of new titles, visit the library catalog and click on “New Materials”.

The “New Materials” link is on the gray menu bar near the top of the webpage on the library catalog at www.tsl.texas.gov/catalog.

Click on a collection name to see a list of recently acquired material for that collection.

Click on a collection name to see a list of new material.

Click on a collection name to see a list of new material.

When you click on “TSLAC Genealogy” from the New Material Lists page, you are directed to a list of titles. Click on a title to see further details about our holdings and the catalog record.

Stay tuned for more library catalog features, tips and tricks, and walkthroughs in our upcoming posts!

To learn more about searching the catalog, check out our previous post, Out of the Stacks and into the Catalog: The Basics.

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