FAQ

FAQ

CTR Library Services FAQ

Reference Services

Are staff available to help with reference questions?
What other services do you offer?

Borrowing Library Materials

What types of materials do you have?
Who is allowed to check out library materials?
How long can I keep borrowed library materials?
Can I renew past the initial loan period?
Do I have to go to the library to pick up or return print materials?
What are the policies regarding fines?
What if the library doesn’t own what I’m looking for?

Online Services

Can I download copies of research reports?
Can I use computers in the Library?
Can I find your material through The UT Libraries catalog?
Will my search of your catalog find words within the full text of reports?

General Questions

How can I contact the Library?
What are my public transit or parking options when visiting?
Is my use of the CTR Library subject to the Texas Public Records Act?


Reference Services

Are staff available to help with reference questions?

Yes. Due to the sometimes heavy volume or in-depth nature of the questions, please allow for a reasonable amount of time for a response. Our goal is to answer questions within the same day.
See http://ctr.utexas.edu/library/about-the-library/ for more information.

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Borrowing Library Materials

What types of materials do you have?

We have:

The CTR library is an official repository for the TxDOT research program, including TxDOT-funded research reports from TTI, TechMRT, UTEP, and other universities.

See our Stacks Guide for a closer look at our special collection.

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What if the library doesn’t own what I’m looking for?

We welcome your suggestions for books, CDs, or journals that the library should purchase for a well-rounded research collection.

If you are looking for an electronic copy of an item that we have in print, we may be able to scan it for you if the request is allowed per copyright laws.

We may also be able to help you obtain items through Interlibrary Loan.

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Who may check out Library materials?

Faculty, staff, and students at The University of Texas at Austin, Texas Department of Transportation staff, and CAMPO staff may borrow materials. We can even send the items to your office by Interdepartmental mail.

The library is open to the public and anybody can view materials in the library. We keep spare copies of CTR, TxDOT, and some TRB reports so these items can be available for unaffiliated patrons to take. We have comfortable seats for in-library reading.

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How long can I keep borrowed library materials? Can I renew my loans?

The loan period for all eligible borrowers is semester-long. Please return materials at the end of the semester or renew the loan by phone, e-mail, IM, or in-person.

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Do I have to go to the library to retrieve or return print materials?

If you have an office at TxDOT or on UT Campus, we can send materials to you via state interagency mail or UT campus mail. You may also return materials this way (please use an Interdepartmental envelope & send to the attention of “CTR Library”).

Please return CTR Library materials directly to CTR. We are not affiliated with The University of Texas Libraries or other departmental libraries on campus. We have separate catalogs, book returns, staff, and service areas. If you return our items elsewhere, they may be sent to Lost & Found instead and lost to us forever.

If you need to return materials in person while the library is closed, there is a box for the Library in the CTR mailroom.

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What are the policies regarding overdue fines?

We use the honor system. There are no fines for overdue materials at the CTR library.

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Online Services

Can I download copies of research reports?

Yes. Most CTR and other university/TxDOT research reports are available as PDFs (download the latest version of Adobe’s free PDF Reader here). Links to the PDF files are provided in our catalog.

We have on-going projects to increase the online availability of all public domain materials that are in our collection. For items that are not yet available online, please contact us. We work in accordance with national copyright law and guidelines.

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Can I use computers in the Library?

Yes. We have one public access computer in the library. TxDOT and other visitors can gain Guest access by creating a Guest UT EID (electronic identification). Please speak with CTR Administration if you are unable to create an EID before arriving.

Free Wi-Fi is readily available for UT faculty, staff, students, and guests who have already created a UT EID.

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Can I find your material through the UT Libraries catalog?

No. We are separate libraries with separate catalogs. Our materials can be found using our online catalog.

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Will my search of your catalog find words within the full text of reports?

To provide the most relevant search results, the CTR Library Catalog first only searches the publication’s bibliographic information. This includes subject terms, abstract, and Table-of-Contents (when available). For most topics this narrower focus is preferred over a full-text search because it provides the most relevant search results.

If you are interested searching the text in reports published by the Center for Transportation Research and other universities involved with the TxDOT research program, after you receive your results in the catalog, look for the tab called “PDF Text.”

screenshot of catalog results tabs

 This will search the full-text of selected reports that were “born digital” or were OCR digitized (Optical Character Recognition). OCR technology on scanned documents is not perfect—a failed search for a word within the document does not necessarily mean that it is not there. Also, not all digitized reports have been OCR processed, so a computer will not be able to search text within those reports.

Tip: If you’re having trouble finding useful materials on a topic, use the Transportation Research Thesaurus to see if there are more commonly accepted terms to try.

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General Questions

What are my public transit or parking options when visiting?

Directions and parking information are available at http://ctr.utexas.edu/contact/.

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Is my use of the CTR Library subject to the Texas Public Records Act?

The Texas Public Records Act (amended, 1999) section 552.124 exempts library records from disclosure. Use of the library is confidential. Library records will only be disclosed under court order, subpoena, or warrant as outlined in the state statute, Texas Government Code, Section 552.124 and the surveillance provisions included in The USA PATRIOT ACT (Public Law 107-56).

Note that registered users can add public comments to a publication record in the catalog and in that case their username will be published with the comment.

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