Recognizing the value of public libraries to all Texans in spite of the challenging economic climate, the Texas Legislature passed and Governor Rick Perry signed the Adopt-a-Library bill, which empowers the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) to "encourage investment in and donations to public libraries in this state." Rep. Ryan Guillen (District 31) authored the bill.
Through this website, TSLAC urges Texas library users and advocates to adopt their local public library.
What do we mean by "adopt"? Celebrate, cherish, promote, visit, love, donate.
A monetary donation, however small, to your local library would be a welcome gesture of support for an institution that serves communities across our state with professional guidance and abiding generosity. Currently, there are 562 main public libraries, with 316 branch libraries, totaling 878 public library places in Texas that could benefit from your support.
"The cumulative impact of cuts to public library funding at the state and local levels since 2008-2009 has led public libraries to continuous budget-rebalancing and tough choices regarding continuity of services," stated the American Library Association in its State of America's Libraries Report 2012.
The economic woes enveloping our nation are indeed making themselves felt at the local level, on Main Street, in that place where the Internet access - like the books, DVDs, CDs, Blu-Rays, programs, services, and more - are free.
The concern is not so much that these communal resources won't be free anymore; it's that they won't be there anymore. The volume of information in print, audiovisual, and other formats is exploding. Meanwhile, Texas public libraries are feeling the crunch of tighter budgets, downsizing staff, services, and resources to keep their doors open.
How to Adopt
- Support your library. Celebrate it. Cherish it. Promote it. Visit it. Love it. And if the spirit moves you to make a monetary donation...
- Find your library. Using the database below, you can locate both your local library and its director/manager.
- Contact the library director/manager. Because donation practices differ at each library, email or call the library director/manager for guidance on how to get the donation process started. The director/manager's contact information is provided in the database search results.
- Share your adoption story. TSLAC would love to know how you've adopted a library! We maintain active Facebook and Twitter pages. Feel free to post a photo, share a link, or leave us a message on our Facebook wall. You could also tweet with us and use #AdoptATexasLibrary or #IAdoptedATexasLibrary to join the conversation. We'll do our best to share your story with everyone!
Also, consider adopting an advocate of public libraries. Texas public libraries receive partial support from professional organizations such as the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas and the Texas Library Association at the state level; as well as the Public Library Association and the American Library Association at the national level. These groups provide conferences, training sessions, grants, advocacy efforts, and more to public libraries and their staffs. Your support at the state and national levels is welcome!