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Library and Its Collections

Student browsing in the stacks

A collection of 45,000 books is focused primarily in broad areas of art and design, with an emphasis on a diversity of cultural practices, art history, and contemporary art and artists. Exhibition catalogs are integrated into the circulating collection.

There are more than 5,000 videos/DVDs which circulate.

Currently the library subscribes to 150 periodicals and maintains bound issues of scores of titles going back to the 1940s.

The Library also subscribes to several online databases which include the full text of thousands of additional periodicals as well as e-books and images.

Among the holdings are a special collection of 3,000 artists' books which include works by important contemporary artists such as Ed Ruscha, Joseph Beuys, and Vito Acconci.

Image collections are handled within the Visual Resources Center. In 2001, the OtisDID (Digital Image Database) presentation software was installed and is now in use by most art history professors. The art history image bank to support teaching now numbers 30,000 images.

The Library also maintains the Otis Collections Online, a web database of digital images by, for and about the Otis Community, which includes the Otis Archives and images of the Artists' Books Collections, as well as student and faculty work.

The Otis curriculum supports an Information Literacy requirement. Faculty collaborate with the Library to implement research components in specific courses, the sum total of which assures that students demonstrate competency in the location and evaluation of information resources. The Library maintains this website with interactive tutorials and pathfinders for the purpose of teaching information literacy. It also serves as a gateway to resources for students and faculty. Otis librarians conduct tours, speak to classes, and teach students one-on-one.