Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Ad Hoc Committee on the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center
Meeting of April 8, 2014
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center met on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, 200 E. Market Street, San Antonio, Texas.
Larry G. Holt, committee chair
Martha Doty Freeman
Sandra J. Pickett
Michael C. Waters, ex officio
Sharon T. Carr, vice chairman
F. Lynwood Givens
Wm. Scott McAfee
Mark Smith, director and librarian
Edward Seidenberg, assistant state librarian
Manuel Alvarez, director, Information Resources Technologies
Jelain Chubb, director, Archives and Information Services
Donna Osborne, director, Administrative Services
Deborah Littrell, director, Library Development and Networking
Ava Smith, director, Talking Book Program
Craig Kelso, director, State and Local Records Management
Alana Inman, manager, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center
Tracy Kuhn Lash, executive assistant
Joe Thrash, Office of the Attorney General
Deb Austin, GALE
Hiram Kuykendall, MicroAssist
Joachim Strenk, MicroAssist
Susanna Garza, Educational Service Center 20
Martha Rossi, Educational Service Center 20
Susan Mann, Hillsboro Public Library
Gloria Meraz, Texas Library Association
Commissioner Holt called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.
- Approve minutes of February 10, 2014 meeting.
Commissioner Freeman moved approval of the February 10 committee meeting minutes. Commissioner Pickett seconded. Motion passed.
- Discussion of legal issues, and options related to sale of items.
Commissioner Holt noted that at the February 10 meeting, the committee had asked Joe Thrash to determine options TSLAC has regarding storing and selling privately held items at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty that would best suit the commission’s purpose and also protect the properties’ owners. Mr. Thrash said the agency does not have statutory authority to operate a gift shop but does have general authority to sell items to benefit the public library fund. However, to continue storing the privately-held items at the Center puts the commission and staff at risk because the owner, the Atascocito Historical Society, is not a recognized affiliated organization of the agency, he said. Because that relationship does not exist, the commission and agency staff would not have sovereign immunity should the items be stolen or damaged. Mr. Thrash recommended terminating this practice and having the items removed from the Center unless some other agreement can be created.
The committee discussed ideas such as purchasing the items for resale, ratifying the existing the 40+ year relationship between AHS and the agency and creating an agreement to hold the state harmless while maintaining the current situation. Mr. Thrash said the absence of the statute which allows the commission to operate a gift shop is the biggest impediment but if AHS were identified as an affiliate organization, the current situation could continue. Commissioner Freeman said in the short term, she does not wish to continue exposing staff and the commission to the risks associated with storing the items at the Center but would hope that there would be a long term discussion of the relationship of the AHS and the agency.
After further discussion, Commissioner Pickett moved that the agency enter into a more formal custodial relationship that would have hold harmless provisions including a termination date. Chairman Waters seconded but after Mr. Thrash said there is an underlying question of authority for the agency to store property on behalf of a group that is an unaffiliated nonprofit, withdrew his second. Motion failed for want of a second.
Commissioner Freeman moved to return the items to their owners. Chairman Waters seconded. Motion passed 3-1 with Commissioner Pickett voting no.
- Review of current and future plans for facility repairs and renovations.
Jelain Chubb updated the committee on progress in repairs and renovations at the Center including preparations to conduct a site plan of the Center property. Commissioner Pickett urged the commission to think hard about ways to partner with the Atascocito Historical Society without so many impediments. Commissioner Holt concurred and said this will spur the commission on to find ways to continue the partnership. Chairman Waters agreed and noted that the impediments were not of the commission’s creation and said he was very pleased to see the progress made at the Sam Houston Center. After discussion of the committee’s charge, Chairman Waters suggested the next committee meeting be held in Commissioner Holt’s headquarters city of Bryan to further discuss committee business. Commissioner Holt agreed. Ms. Chubb said the Atascocito Historical Society recently approved donations totaling $70,000 for repair work at the Cleveland-Partlow House, the Gillard Duncan House, and the Jean and Price Daniel Home and Archives.
There being no further business before the committee, Commissioner Holt adjourned the meeting at 10:19 a.m.