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STI Center resources still available to employees following move to UHCL

Upon entering the Main Library of Johnson Space Centerís Scientific and Technical Information Center (STI Center), one might wonder where all the books have gone.

As of May of this year, the Main Libraryís book collection has moved to its new home at the University of Houston, Clear Lake (UHCL).

In an effort to cut expenses, the NASA Strategic Resources Review directed NASA centers to investigate partnerships with local institutions and schools. After evaluating the options, JSC selected UHCL for a partnership.

Officials from both JSC and UHCL developed a 10-year library services agreement in October of 2002, which allowed JSCís Main Library book and hard copy journal collections to transfer to the schoolís library.

Under the agreement, UHCL will supervise the JSC book and journal collection, conduct interlibrary loan requests, and allow complete access to the UH System Libraries to all JSC badged employees.

The move to UHCL provides plenty of advantages -- for instance, JSC was able to save institutional funding. Plus, UHCLís library offers extended hours and access to its own library services to all JSC badged personnel. More importantly, the move returns approximately 13,000 square feet to the STI Center and allows space for other organizations.

This is not the first partnership between UHCL and JSC. The school houses the JSC history collection and offers undergraduate and graduate studies to employees, as well as computer engineering research.

The STI Center Main Library, located in room 100 of Building 45, still offers a large selection of reference materials including books, NASA reports on microfiche, and an archive of JSC and NASA documents, some of which are in the process of becoming electronic.

The library is staffed with knowledgeable reference librarians and people ready to assist with any search.

The STI Center at JSC is comprised of three libraries -- the Main Library, the Bioastronautics Library and the International Space Station Program Library -- each offering something different.

The Bioastronautics Library recently moved to room 201 of Building 37. Previously located in room 182, the new area offers more space for bookshelves and seating. The Bioastronautics Library consists of medicine and life sciences information.

The International Space Station Program Library, located in room 1718 of Building 4 South, is dedicated to Space Station documents.

How do I findÖ?
With the physical contents of the library missing, employees may inquire how to research or obtain information. The answer is simple: access to a vast amount of materials is available right at their fingertips.

JSC employees can easily access the STI Center Web site at http://stic.jsc.nasa.gov/. Employees may search the STI Centerís online databases for a variety of materials. Several books and journals have made the transformation to electronic format, allowing users to view the article or information online.

Electronic resources -- including bibliographic databases, electronic journals and books available online, and various Internet resources -- are all available through the STI Center Web site. General electronic resources include 105 total databases, more than 1,700 electronic journals, and 289 full text electronic books.

The STI Centerís Web site is updated and maintained regularly. The library is currently designing a way to offer free help online known as WebX. The system will allow people to chat with librarians online about any problems or inquires they might have.

Government documents can also be retrieved through the STI Centerís Web page. NASA, JSC, and other divisions such as the Military provide limited access to certain information. Of course, links to such confidential areas are restricted and do require passwords.

Individuals may perform a basic search through the NASA Galaxie database for a book. If the search is unsuccessful, then users may proceed to the UH online library catalog, which they have access to from the STI Center home page.

If users cannot find exactly what they are searching for, then the UH library has a chance of attaining it. Through the interlibrary loan program, the UHCL library is provided access to books and journal articles from an assortment of libraries worldwide. Once discovered, the item is sent to the universityís library, where individuals may pick it up.

When in doubt, contact the Main Library for assistance at (281) 483-4254, or Earlene Reed, STI Center Technical Monitor, at (281) 483-0396.

A convenient courier service between UHCL and JSC eliminates the need for JSC employees to drive and pick up their items. However, employees may attain the desired materials in person if they prefer. JSC even offers parking tokens, which allow the individual to park in the UHCL campus parking lot. Still, employees must acquire a library card directly from UHCL and register in order to engage in the loan process.

As a registered user, individuals are issued a UHCL Library card and PIN number, admission to the UH online catalog, prepaid copier service privileges, as well as access to all of the libraryís electronic resources. A registration form is available online at http://nola.cl.uh.edu/jsccirc.html but it must be submitted in person.

The library provides even more convenience to the individual by allowing books and other materials to be returned to onsite drop boxes -- one located in the parking lot across the street from Building 45; the other, in the Building 45 breezeway -- rather than returning the item to the university.

For more information, including access to the official STI Center website, visit: http://stic.jsc.nasa.gov/ Other questions may be directed to Kristin Ingram, Chief of Information Science Branch, at (281) 483-7610.


Clay Duggan
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(281) 483-9268

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Updated: 07/14/2004