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HT Proud Moments: Downs-Jones Library and Communication Reopening

(AUSTIN, Texas) 3.22.13 Hundreds gathered for a proud moment in the life of HT’s 138 year history:  The reopening of the Downs-Jones Library and Communication Center held on Friday, March 22, 2013.


Ribbon Cutting



Library Students


Communication Communication Center

Featured in the 16,000 square-foot, split-level $2.3 million library renovation are open spaces, study and computer areas, main stacks, the circulation desk, a central master staircase with glass handrails, and the Ram Café on the main level.  The lower level also includes media services, a classroom, and additional reading rooms. Overall, the library is now equipped with an elevator, energy-efficient lighting with sensors, new heating and air conditioning units, upgraded windows units, advanced technological enhancements, and a new roof.

The Downs-Jones Library was completed in 1960 and named for Dr. Karl Everett Downs, President of Samuel Huston College from 1943-1948; and Dr. William H. Jones, President of Tillotson College from 1944-1952. The library offers a fully-integrated automated system for students, faculty, and staff access to thousands of bound books, more than 33,000 ebooks in various disciplines, and 250,000 ejournals, as well as access to leading news and opinion magazines.  As a participating library in Journal Storage (JSTOR), ProQuest, and TexShare (a state-wide resource sharing program), the Huston-Tillotson community is able to access electronic databases (full-text journal articles included), borrow books directly from other libraries, and request materials through interlibrary loan. Patrons also have access to the collection of African American newspapers online. In addition, the library houses a non-circulating archival collection, representing the institution’s history, administrative documents, papers (of the former Presidents of the institution), yearbooks, and memorabilia.  Finally, the National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures initiative awarded HT the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf collection. The collection consists of 25 books and three films. The “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion series features some of the materials included in the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys that will be part of the HT curriculum.

Officials reintroduced the Bachelor of Arts in Communication during the Fall 2011 semester.  The updated communication major integrates contemporary applications across multiple platforms for the next generation of media professionals. The new Communication Center, housed on the third floor of the Agard-Lovinggood Building, complements the major.  Funds from the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) facilitated by U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett were used to develop the communication degree program and campus location.

The major, under the University’s College of Arts and Sciences within the Department of Humanities and Fine Arts, is a 30-semester hour program of courses devoted to telecommunications technology, media, information, and program content that extends beyond what society has understood as media while preparing graduates with the ethical responsibility and the knowledge to discern their role in the future of media. An advisory panel of academic, broadcast, and industry professionals crafted the components of the new curriculum.

The new degree and center not only strengthen the University’s course offerings with a comprehensive multimedia degree path for students specifically interested in the subject but seeks to attract and place more minorities into the field.




See pictures and a video of the work in progress.