Emory, Georgia Tech join forces with new library service center

Ann Borden

The state-of-the-art Library Service Center (LSC), created by Emory and the Georgia Institute of Technology to house a shared collection amassing millions of books and other materials, officially opened in March.

Stretching across 4.6 acres near the back of Emory’s Briarcliff Property, the climate-controlled, 55,000-square-foot facility was developed to create a seamless, unified collection of materials available to faculty, staff, and students at both campuses.

The LSC will house around 95 percent of Georgia Tech’s collections and much of Emory’s collections, with projections of reaching more than two million volumes by this summer. Items will be available for delivery to the main campuses at both universities.

Developed in collaboration between Emory and Georgia Tech, the joint project marks the latest chapter in a longstanding public-private partnership between the Atlanta-based institutions and offers advantages for both universities. Not only will the LSC provide optimal conditions for the secure, long-term preservation and storage of books and related materials—including film and microform collections—it brings key content from two major research university libraries under one roof, expanding access to a broad range of resources and freeing up campus spaces.

Speaking at the joint dedication ceremony, Emory President James Wagner praised the institutional partnership that gave rise to the project, noting that the new facility will benefit both Emory and Georgia Tech “in ways and with economies that neither partner could have achieved alone.” He added that it was on Emory’s Briarcliff Property that the universities joined forces more than 15 years ago to create EmTech, originally a biotechnology business incubation initiative to provide infrastructure for biotech start-ups and now the working name under which the Library Service Center is incorporated.

“Our collaborations are broad, deep, and multiple, growing largely out of the ways in which our institutions complement each other,” Wagner says.

Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson described the new facility as “the next chapter in the evolution of what libraries and information centers will be at each of our institutions, and it will help define the library of the 21st century.”

Expressing appreciation for both the institutional collaboration and a personal friendship with Wagner, who leaves Emory later this year, Peterson notes that “this partnership will miss you, but it will continue. And this facility will help ensure that it continues.”

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