Texas State Library and Archives Commission


Tuesday, February 11, 2003


Minutes

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) was scheduled to meet on Tuesday, February 11, 2003, at 12:45 p.m. following the meeting of the Audit Committee, at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission building in Austin, Texas. Following the adjournment of the Audit Committee meeting, Chairman Pickett called the meeting of the full commission to order at 12:52 p.m.

Commissioners Present:


Sandra J. Pickett, Chairman


Chris A. Brisack


Elizabeth Sanders


Kenneth Carr, Vice-chair


Sandra Holland

Commissioners Absent:


Diana Cox





Staff Present:


Peggy D. Rudd, director and librarian


Edward Seidenberg, assistant state librarian


Manuel Alvarez, director, Information Resources Technologies


Ava Smith, director, Talking Book Program


Michael Heskett, director, State and Local Records Management


Deborah Littrell, director, Library Development


Donna Osborne, director, Administrative Services


Chris LaPlante, director, Archives and Information Services


Beverley Shirley, director, Library Resource Sharing


Erica McKewen, communications officer


Regina Miles, executive assistant





Guests Present:


Kathryn Sturtz, Alamo Area Library System


Lynne Handy, North Texas Regional Library System


Richard L. Hooverson, Texas Historical Records Advisory Board and


Texas State Genealogical Society


Martha Doty Freeman, Texas Historical Records Advisory Board


Gwen Land, internal auditor, Jefferson Wells International

1. APPROVE MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 15, 2002 AUDIT COMMITTEE AND COMMISSION MEETINGS.

Commissioner Brisack asked for clarification on the amount of the Talking Book Program gift that was announced at the November meeting. Peggy D. Rudd clarified that when the announcement was made in November, the amount was thought to be $137,000. It was later determined that the gift amount was $136,000. Commissioner Sanders moved to approve the minutes of the Audit Committee and Full Commission minutes; Commissioner Brisack seconded. Motion passed.

2. PUBLIC COMMENT.

There was none.

3. REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR AND LIBRARIAN.

Director and Librarian Peggy D. Rudd briefly discussed the Loan Star Libraries report. The report gave the status of Loan Star Libraries that have dropped non-resident fees and/or have joined the TexShare Card Program.

Chairman Pickett expressed her pleasure with the "Go Beyond the Internet with TexShare" Web site, and particularly, the "Top Ten Reasons TexShare Is Better Than Just Surfing the Internet" section, stating that it is helpful and to-the-point.

4. REVIEW AND APPROVE ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS GREATER THAN $500.

Peggy D. Rudd reviewed the following gifts:

The Talking Book Program received an unrestricted $136,000 donation deposited on November 21, 2002 from the estate of Col. Jesse Gorham Hill and wife, Rose. The Hills were married for 60 years, and Mrs. Hill was a patron of the Talking Book Program for 20 years. She was actively reading until just shortly before her death at age 90. Col. Hill's will specified only that the funds are to be used to support the program.

The Talking Book Program received an unrestricted $1,957.89 donation deposited on February 4, 2003 from the estate of Miss Celeste R. Caldwell. Miss Caldwell was a prominent citizen of Bryan-College Station, beloved for her wit and vivacity, and remembered for her wide-ranging philanthropic work. Her interest in the Talking Book Program stemmed from her father's poor vision in his later years. After her retirement, Miss Caldwell particularly wanted to help the blind and visually impaired throughout Texas and thought the Talking Book Program was a wonderful service.

Vice-Chair Carr pointed out a typographical error in the text of the second gift, and requested the final gift list reflect the correction. Vice-Chair Carr moved to approve the gifts with the correction; Commissioner Brisack seconded. Motion passed.

5. PRESENTATION ON THE MODIFICATION OF THE FY2003 AGENCY BUDGET.

Edward Seidenberg addressed the commission and discussed the requested 7% reduction in the FY2003 general revenue funding. The agency identified $1,640,200 of general revenue that could be reduced. This amount was nearly 40% larger than what the agency was asked to provide, making the reduction 9.7% total. Mr. Seidenberg listed the following ways the agency would achieve this reduction:

  1. Eliminating out-of-state travel for the remainder of FY2003.
  2. Reducing in-state travel. Mr. Seidenberg pointed out to the commission that this measure will include not processing meal receipts for one-day trips, which would affect staff, agency advisory board, and the commission.
  3. Restricting hiring of staff. Most current vacancies will remain unfilled.
  4. Reducing temporary services contracts.
  5. Limiting merit raises.
  6. Limiting capital purchases.

Mr. Seidenberg noted that in addition to these six actions, the agency has lapse money available that will be counted toward the total reduction. The total of all of these items brought the amount to $1,640,200. Mr. Seidenberg stated that the management staff worked very hard not to reduce any existing grants or contracts, and not to cancel any anticipated workshops. Also, while in-state travel will be reduced, staff will still be traveling to conduct workshops and training, and grant monitoring; however, travel will be scrutinized very carefully.

Vice-Chair Carr asked if the agency knows how the budget will be received in comparison to other agencies. Mr. Seidenberg stated that the agency has only received limited feedback, mainly from the agency's assigned Legislative Budget Board analyst who felt that what the agency had done was good.

Chairman Pickett stated that the work that had been done by agency staff was exemplary. Vice-Chair Carr moved that a resolution from the commission be created to commend staff on their work on the budget; Commissioner Sanders seconded. Motion passed.

6. PRESENTATION ON THE REVISED LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATIONS REQUEST FOR FY2004-2005.

The agency was instructed by the Legislative Budget Board to prepare a revised Legislative Appropriations Request with a total of approximately $24 million of general revenue for the biennium. Mr. Seidenberg reviewed the following components of the budget request:

  1. Strategy 1.1.1 TexShare Library Consortium: There is an approximately $8.2 million total (combined FY04-05) reduction from what the agency originally asked for, and what the agency is currently requesting. A large portion of that comes from a loss of funds from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund, which amounts to approximately $10.3 million. The agency added $1 million in anticipated revenue from fees that would be collected from libraries, and federal funds from other projects were also moved into this item. The result was an approximate $8.2 million total FY04-05 reduction.
  2. Strategy 1.1.1 Other Library Resource Sharing Programs: Approximately $90,000 would be cut per year from these programs.
  3. Strategy 1.1.2 Texas Library Systems: This program would be reduced by approximately $500,000-600,000 per year. This includes grants to library systems as well as staffing and costs of administering the program. In this budget, system grants are expected to be $7.5 million in 2004 and $7.55 million in 2005.
  4. Strategy 1.1.2 Loan Star Libraries Grants: There would be an approximately $250,000 reduction per year.
  5. Strategy 1.1.2 Technical Assistance & Grant Programs: In this project, there are in-house services and grant services. This item would be reduced by $722,693 in FY2004 and $563,814 in FY2005. Most of these reductions come from eliminating the cooperation grant program and the special projects grant program, and moving that federal money into the TexShare Databases.
  6. Strategy 1.2.1 Talking Book Program: This program would be reduced by approximately $102,900 per year. The majority of this money comes from salaries.
  7. Strategy 2.1.1 Archives and Information Services: There would be a $60,000 reduction per year. The majority of the savings would be realized by holding two positions vacant.
  8. Strategy 3.1.3 State and Local Records: There would be a reduction of approximately $130,000 per year through reduced staffing.
  9. Admin/IRT: There would be a reduction of approximately $60,000 per year. Overall, this would total an approximate $11 million (approximately 19%) budget reduction over the course of the biennium. Mr. Seidenberg added that the agency has an Exceptional Item Request for TexShare Databases in the amount of $4.6 million per year of the biennium to be appropriated to the agency directly from the Telecommunications Infrastructure dedicated fund. In addition, there is a rider in the Texas Reads/New Millenium License Plate fund that would appropriate license plate revenue of $7,500 per year. Chairman Pickett asked if the $4.6 million per year were approved, would that amount equal what was originally requested. Seidenberg responded that, no, it is still a 25% reduction from the original amount. He added that the service we could provide would still be adequate, sizeable and substantive, and would provide approximately 80-90% of the resources that Texas libraries are currently receiving. Chairman Pickett recommended that the agency emphasize to the Sub-Committee on General Government that the agency's request for this essential item was minimized. Commissioner Brisack asked for clarification of the base budget total average percentage; Mr. Seidenberg provided clarification of the percentage amount. Vice-Chair Carr asked if the loss of the two frozen Archives positions would adversely affect the existing archiving of documents. Mr. Seidenberg responded that it primarily would not. Ms. Rudd elaborated, stating that the process of cataloging state documents will be slowed, and though minimal, there will be an impact on public service. Mr. Seidenberg added that the archivists may need to assist with photocopying, primarily when they are doing public service work. With regard to TexShare databases, Vice-Chair Carr asked whether TSLAC would retain what it had already purchased if TSLAC did not renew a contract for a particular item. Ms. Rudd responded, stating that the databases are leased for a one-year period, and at the end of the period, if TSLAC is unable to pay for renewal of the contract, access would be forfeited. Ms. Rudd added that the Electronic Information Working Group has been working very hard to retain as many of the resources as possible. Vice-Chair Carr requested that the State Library staff extend his thanks to the Working Group. Vice-Chair Carr moved to approve the Legislative Appropriations Request for FY2004-2005 and expressed his appreciation for the State Library staff's work on the budget, as well as the efforts of the Working Group; Commissioner Brisack seconded. Motion passed.

7. REVIEW AND APPROVE CONTRACTS GREATER THAN $100,000.

Beverley Shirley addressed the commission and requested approval of the contract with the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge in an amount not to exceed $969,603, contingent upon the State Library's continued ability to expend FY2003 budgeted amounts. Ms. Shirley pointed out that this money was awarded in FY2002. Ms. Shirley provided background information on the contract (Library of Texas - Resource Discovery Service Implementation Contract). She added that, due to potential budgetary constraints, a portion of the contract amount-approximately $500,000-might be redirected should it become necessary and if the grant would allow for such a redirection. She is currently communicating with the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge about a more limited contract with an amendment which would allow for redirected spending of the $500,000. If the contract was limited by $500,000, the service that would be impacted is the acquisition of the necessary hardware, software, and support services to enable the additional libraries to provide access to their catalogs in the Library of Texas Resource Discovery Service. Ms. Rudd provided additional background information regarding this impacted service.

Vice-Chair Carr asked how many and what size libraries would be impacted, with or without the $500,000. Ms. Shirley stated that without the $500,000, the service would be implemented in a limited geographic area and would also include some technologically sophisticated areas. She stated that with the $500,000, the service could be brought to some medium-size libraries as well as a handful of more sophisticated small libraries.

Commissioner Sanders moved to approve the contract with the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge, not to exceed $969,603, contingent upon the ability to expend FY2003 budgeted amounts; Vice-Chair Carr seconded. Motion passed.

8. DISCUSS AND APPROVE AUDIT COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING THE INTERNAL AUDIT OF THE HUMAN RESOURCE AND PAYROLL FUNCTION.

Audit Chairman Sanders moved that the commission approve the Audit Committee recommendations regarding the Internal Audit of the Human Resource and Payroll Function; no seconded needed. Motion passed.

9. AUTHORIZATION TO PUBLISH PROPOSED RULE REVIEW OF CHAPTER 7, LOCAL RECORDS.

Michael Heskett addressed the commission and requested authorization to publish the proposed Rule Review of Title 13, Chapter 7. Commissioner Carr moved to authorize publication of the proposed Rule Review; Commissioner Brisack seconded. Motion passed.

10. CONSIDER AUTHORIZATION TO ADOPT NEW RULE 13 TAC 6.97 REGARDING THE USE OF ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES BY STATE AGENCIES AND ADOPTING THE GUIDELINES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS AND SIGNED RECORDS.

Michael Heskett addressed the commission and requested authorization to adopt new rule 13 TAC 6.97. No comments were received after the proposed text was announced in the Texas Register. Commissioner Brisack moved to authorize adoption of new rule 13 TAC 6.97; Commissioner Sanders seconded. Motion passed.

11. CONSIDERATION OF ADJUSTMENTS TO LOAN STAR LIBRARIES GRANT AWARDS FOR SFY03.

Deborah Littrell addressed the commission and requested approval of the recommendation to revoke grant awards to Caldwell, Midlothian, and Highland Park public libraries. Caldwell and Midlothian did not return their Plan of Action for SFY03 by the deadline (January 2003) and Highland Park declined their award for this year.

Vice-Chair Carr asked for further clarification on the difference between Highland Park's actions in the grant process versus Caldwell's and Midlothian's. Ms. Littrell responded, stating that Highland Park provided early written notification that they would not participate in the grant process, whereas Caldwell and Midlothian failed to submit plan of action forms during the grant process.

Commissioner Holland moved to approve the recommendation to revoke the grant awards; Commissioner Brisack seconded. Motion passed.

12. CONSIDER APPROVAL OF THE LOAN OF ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTS TO THE STAR OF THE REPUBLIC MUSEUM.

Chris LaPlante addressed the commission and requested approval to lend the printed broadside version of the original Texas Declaration of Independence to the Star of the Republic Museum for the period of late February through May 2003. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is in compliance with the requirements specified in the commission's loan policy. Commissioner Brisack asked if the museum is part of Blinn College. Mr. LaPlante responded that, yes, it is a part of the college.

Chairman Pickett stated that it is good practice that the commission is notified of these types of requests and that by doing so, the commission stays informed of what is housed in the archives; Vice-Chair Carr agreed. Vice-Chair Carr moved to approve the loan; Commissioner Holland seconded. Motion passed.

13. REPORT ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE TEXAS HISTORICAL RECORDS ADVISORY BOARD.

Martha Doty Freeman addressed the commission. At its last meeting, the Board reviewed and discussed its mission statement as well as Board member responsibilities. In addition, Ms. Freeman reviewed the on-going activities and action items for 2003-2004. Ms. Freeman added that the Board is appreciative of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission's assistance with creating a Texas Historical Records Advisory Board Web site.

Richard Hooverson addressed the commission and discussed Senate Bill 85, relating to "excepting military discharge records from required public disclosure and limiting the persons to whom the information may be disclosed."

[At this point in the meeting, Chairman Pickett left the meeting to appear, along with Peggy Rudd and Ed Seidenberg, at a scheduled hearing before the Sub-Committee on General Government. The commission meeting was turned over to Vice-Chair Carr.]

Mr. Hooverson provided background information on the use of DD Form 214 (certificate of release or discharge from active duty), and commented that the Texas State Library and Archives Commission could be helpful to archivists, genealogists and other stakeholders by working with legislators on the phraseology of bills like Senate Bill 85.

Mr. Hooverson also discussed another bill that would close certain records fifty years from the date filed or seventy-two years from the date of birth. Mr. Hooverson again stated that the Texas State Library and Archives Commission could be helpful to stakeholders by working with legislators to develop language for such bills. Mr. LaPlante noted that he has prepared draft letters for the Director and Librarian to send to the chair of the House committee where the bills will likely end up. The letters support the policy of access after fifty years from the date of filing.

Commissioner Sanders asked if agency staff are notified of these types of bills when they arise. Chris LaPlante stated that Michael Heskett monitors and tracks agency-relevant legislation, and shares that information with staff. Mr. Heskett noted that he and Mr. LaPlante are also currently tracking legislation pertaining to the confidentiality of applications for marriage licenses.

Donna Osborne noted that as state employees, agency staff are not allowed to lobby for or against items. Mr. Hooverson responded that it would be helpful if TSLAC shared information with legislators and advised them of public sentiment without taking a position for or against.

Vice-Chair Carr recommended that agenda item 14 (and 15) be deferred to a later meeting in the absence of Chairman Pickett and Director and Librarian Peggy Rudd. Commissioner Sanders moved to adjourn the meeting; Commissioner Brisack seconded. Motion passed.

With no further business, Vice-Chair Carr adjourned the meeting at 2:32 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Peggy D. Rudd


Director and Librarian

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