Texas State Library and Archives Commission
June 4, 2018


The Texas State Library and Archives Commission met on Monday, June 4, 2018, in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, 1201 Brazos Street, Austin, Texas.

Commissioners Present:

Michael C. Waters, Chair

Sharon T. Carr, Vice Chair

F. Lynwood Givens

Larry G. Holt


Commissioners Absent:

Martha Wong



Staff Present:

Mark Smith, Director and Librarian

Donna Osborne, Chief Operations and Fiscal Officer

Jelain Chubb, Director, Archives and Information Services

Craig Kelso, Director, State and Local Records Management

Jennifer Peters, Director, Library Development and Networking

Ava Smith, Director, Talking Book Program

Steve Rapp, Director, Information Technology Services

Macy Hurwitz, Communications Officer

Tracy Kuhn Lash, Executive Assistant

Sarah Jacobson, Manager, Records Management Assistance, SLRM

Guffie Robinson, Operations Supervisor, Talking Book Program

Melanie Saegert, Imaging Specialist, SLRM

Peggy Price, Education & Outreach Coordinator, ARIS




Alice McAfee, Office of the Attorney General

David Shatto, Law Clerk, Office of the Attorney General

Tamara Schiff, Texas Sunset Advisory Commission

Abby Pfeiffer, Texas Sunset Advisory Commission

Courtney Hjaltman, Office of the Governor

David Shoemaker, Office of the Governor

Louellen Lowe, Legislative Budget Board

Laurie Mahaffey, Central Texas Library System

Arthur Mann


  1. Welcome, introductions, and general announcements.

    Chairman Waters called the meeting to order at 8:37 a.m., noted that a quorum was present and that approval of agenda items would require consensus of three commissioners. He welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked for introductions. Alice McAfee introduced David Shatto, OAG law clerk and a student at Baylor Law School. Chairman Waters welcomed Louellen Lowe of the Legislative Budget Board and Tamara Schiff and Abby Pfeiffer of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Mark Smith welcomed Courtney Hjaltman of the Governor’s Budget Office and introduced Peggy Price who recently joined the Agency. Noting the presence of laptops at every place on the dais, Chairman Waters said commissioners were using a combination of printed and electronic commission materials but future commission meetings will be all electronic starting with the next meeting on August 1. He said the Commission had a training session on Sunday, June 3, and thanked Steve Rapp for his work on that session.
  2. Approve minutes of the April 3, 2018 Commission Meetings.

    Vice Chair Carr moved to approve the minutes of the April 3, 2018 Commission meeting. Commissioner Holt seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

    Mark Smith introduced Agency Employees of the Quarter, Sarah Jacobson, Guffie Robinson, and Melanie Saegert.

  3. Public Comment.  There was no public comment at this time.

  4. Conflict of interest disclosures. No conflicts were disclosed.

  5. Review of consent agenda: non-substantive corrections in other agenda items such as spelling, numbering, punctuation, grammar, or other revisions. No corrections were noted.

  6. Status of 2018 internal audits.

    Donna Osborne provided an update on internal audits conducted in FY18 noting that the Agency is currently undergoing a post payment audit by the Comptroller of Public Accounts. Because the contract with the internal auditors, Garza and Gonzales, was not eligible for renewal, Agency staff will begin the procurement process for new internal auditors. This will require approval from the Governor’s Budget Office, Legislative Budget Board, and State Auditor’s Office. Ms. Osborne said staff hope to have the contract in place by September 1, 2018 so auditors can begin to implement the FY18 Internal Audit plan approved by the Commission on November 6, 2017. Commissioner Holt inquired if the Agency is out of compliance with any state requirement and Ms. Osborne said the Agency is not out of compliance at this time. No action required.

  7. Review and approve acceptance of gifts and grants greater than $500.

    Donna Osborne requested approval of the following gifts:

    • A $1,000 donation from Mrs. Lois Wathen of Corrigan in appreciation of the Talking Book Program.
    • A $500 donation from Ms. Dora J. Tickner of Magnolia to help replace lost or damaged books in the Talking Book Program.
    • A gift of $5,324 from CCATT Holdings LLC representing the annual donation from the company that manages the cell tower located on TSLAC's property on Shoal Creek Boulevard in Austin.

    Vice Chair Carr moved acceptance of the three gifts. Commissioner Givens seconded. In response to a question from Commissioner Holt about whether the agency publicized the gifts, commissioners agreed that publicizing gifts when possible would encourage further gifts. Ava Smith said the Talking Book Program’s newsletter periodically announces acceptance of gifts and Chairman Waters noted that such gifts to the agency are tax deductible. Motion passed unanimously.

  8. Review and approve contracts greater than $100,000, and contract renewals and amendments.

    Jennifer Peters requested approval of American Chemical Society database contract renewal in the amount of $2,162,250.50 for the contract period July 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019 noting that the Agency collects the fees from subscribing universities and pays the vendor but expends no agency funds. Vice Chair Carr moved to approve the renewal. Commissioner Holt seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

    Ms. Peters requested approval of contract renewal with Counting Opinions for the Public Library Data Collection Online Tool in the amount of $152,500 for the contract period from September 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019. Vice Chair Carr moved to approve the renewal. Commissioner Givens seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

    Ms. Peters requested approval of a new contract with OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. for WebJunction Online Resources which provides training resources for libraries. The contract amount is $15,450 for the period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. Vice Chair Carr moved to approve the contract and Commissioner Holt seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

    Ms. Peters requested approval of a contract renewal with the Urban Libraries Council for the Edge Initiative, an online assessment toolkit for public libraries. The renewal term is from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 at a cost of $80,000. Vice Chair Carr moved to approve the renewal and Commissioner Givens seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

    Ms. Peters requested approval for renewal of the TexSelect contract with EBSCO’s product Flipster, which provides libraries access to digital magazine and scholarly/trade subscriptions. The contract is at no cost to the Agency with a contract period from August 15, 2018 through August 14, 2019. Vice Chair Carr moved to approve the renewal and Commissioner Holt second. Motion passed unanimously.

  9. Review and approve Agency Strategic Plan.

    Mark Smith requested approval for the Agency Strategic Plan 2019-2023 and said no substantive changes had been made since the plan was presented to the Commission at its April 3, 2018 meeting. Chairman Waters said he would vote affirmatively for the plan as written but pointed out that in the Agency Mission Statement, constituents and patrons are referred to as “Texans” but in the Agency Philosophy this group is referred to as “people.” TSLAC serves a diverse population and not just in Texas, he said. Chairman Waters suggested staff track what states and countries patrons come from when they register to use Agency services, much in the way hospitals track patient demographics. Mark Smith said that patrons are asked but not required to provide that information. Commissioner Givens recalled that the Commission had a long discussion during the crafting of the statements, that the Commission is not trying to be exclusive but that the Agency is not chartered to serve people outside of Texas. Commissioner Holt said he agreed that the Agency serves a diverse population but that the Agency’s legal charge and funding is based in Texas and that he likes the word ‘Texans.” Chairman Waters said he did not wish to change the wording only to make a point. He requested including statistics on volunteers that serve the Agency in the workforce information and also asked to clarify the Commission’s meeting schedule. After further discussion, Vice Chair Carr moved to approve the Agency Strategic Plan with the additions and Commissioner Holt seconded. Chairman Waters called for a roll call vote. Motion passed unanimously.

  10. Discussion of 2020-2021 Legislative Appropriations Request.

    Mark Smith said he is anticipating that the Agency’s Legislative Appropriations Request for 2020 – 2021 will be due in early August and that a zero-based budget by strategy will be required for the agency to prepare, although instructions have yet to be received. Staff will work on the budget over the summer and bring the entire LAR to the Commission for approval at its August 1 meeting. He presented the following list of six exceptional items for the Commission to consider:

    1. Safeguard state records and ensure transparency of state government by increasing records storage space - $30.8 million – includes $4.4 million for a short-term solution to storage needs and $26.4 million to increase archives and records storage to achieve a 25-year solution for state records storage.
    2. Connect Texas communities with state information resources - $554,800 – a multi-year outreach program to be more proactive outside of Austin in Texas communities that includes purchase of a vehicle and 2 FTEs.
    3. E-resources for workforce, education, and economic development - $4.6 million – to support the purchase of e-book resources for Texas public, academic, and K-12 libraries.
    4. Strengthening agency computer security - $1,621,714.
    5. Targeted salary increases to recruit and retain the Agency workforce to deliver mandated services - $400,000.
    6. Ensure responsiveness to public information requests -  $380,000, to provide the Agency two additional positions to keep up with the Agency’s unusually high level of Public Information Act requests. One position would be an attorney who would interact with the OAG on PIA requests and contracts.

    Director Smith asked the Commission to consider and advise staff on these items noting that the Commission will vote on the priority order of the exceptional items at the August 1 meeting.

    Referring to item 6, Vice Chair Carr recalled the large number of PIA requests received when Governor Bush ran for President and asked if the Agency would show the difference in PIA requests during an election year versus non-election year statistics. Director Smith said there are events that drive up the number of PIA requests received by the Agency such as an election year but the Agency consistently receives an unusually high number of requests. He noted that last year staff logged 970 hours responding to requests and this year staff hours are already over 1,000.

    Commissioner Holt said he was especially interested in learning how the attorney position in that exceptional item would fit into the agency organization and interface with the OAG. Mark Smith said that he and Alice McAfee had discussed this at great length. Ms. McAfee explained that the OAG Administrative Law Division works mostly with agencies that do not have attorneys on staff as is the case with TSLAC but also assists those with attorneys.  The OAG works with and helps onboard any new General Counsel and will continue to assist them as needed.  Commissioner Holt asked how much of the attorney’s time would be devoted to the PIA process and who would supervisor the position. Director Smith said that the attorney’s first priority would be the PIA requests but would also review contracts and serve as the liaison with the OAG in both areas. Ms. McAfee said the PIA request process is complicated, has a lot of steps, and deadlines, and if the Agency had an attorney on staff, it would help with that process. Director Smith said the position would be located in the executive office and would report to the Director and Librarian.

    Chairman Waters said he served on another state commission with an in-house attorney and it worked well. He also noted that many state commissions have in-house attorneys and Ms. McAfee concurred. In response to Commissioner Holt’s question, Director Smith said the Agency has never had a General Counsel and would follow normal agency procedures for posting and hiring the position if granted by the Legislature.

    Commissioner Holt suggested that due to the depth of knowledge needed, the sensitivity and nature of the work, and to attract and retain a good candidate, a higher classification than General Counsel II as proposed by staff would be justified. He said this dovetails with the other LAR exceptional item for targeted salary increases to retain highly professional staff.

    After further discussion and clarification about the PIA process within the Agency, Commissioner Holt thanked Chairman Waters for allowing him time to learn more about the process related to this exceptional item.

    Commissioner Givens said he considers the storage space and cybersecurity items as priorities and would like to see the item targeting staff salary increases moved to a higher priority. Chairman Waters said the Commission will vote on priorities of the items at the August 1 meeting. Commissioner Givens said he thinks the Agency probably needs the General Counsel but suggested staff refocus and strengthen the argument to support it.

    Regarding the item for storage expansion at the Records Center, Chairman Waters recommended staff sharpen up the numbers in the area of return on investment for the state so that other state agencies and the Legislature will support it. He said this item is the gorilla in the room since it is a lot of money but if the Agency doesn’t act, the State Records Center will be out of space and state agencies will pay more for storing records and commented that it will be good to save the taxpayers money. Responding to a question from Commissioner Givens about what impact not expanding will have on the Agency, Mark Smith said the State Records Center would be closed for business since there will be no room for additional records. Commissioner Givens noted that it will be more expensive for state agencies to use private vendors. No action required.

  11. Discussion of proposed budget for additional FY 2019 federal funds Librarian.

    Mark Smith said the Agency received an increase of $450,928 in federal funds for FY 2018 and with $261,417 in previously unallocated federal funds, the Agency has $712,345 in unallocated funds, He provided a list of projects and initiatives for those funds and asked for input noting that federal funds are spent in the year after receipt so these funds will be spent in FY19. In previous years unallocated funds were used to reimburse libraries for interlibrary loan expenses across the state but that program is currently well funded, he said, and wanted the Commission to have an opportunity to consider other initiatives. He explained that federal funds must be used in support of the five specific goals in the Agency’s LSTA Five Year Plan which are increase access to shared library services, access to internet-based resources, literacy and educational attainment and library services that support that, library services that support workforce readiness and community needs. He said the LDN and TBP divisions are 100 percent eligible for LSTA funding and ARIS is partially eligible for funding. SLRM is not eligible for LSTA funding.

    Director Smith said that staff have been working to develop an outreach project that would include a vehicle that could travel to rural areas of the state and bring all agency services within that vehicle. Often staff from different divisions travel separately to the same areas at different times, he said. This project would allow staff from all divisions to bring agency resources to assist local communities with library development and technology, records and archival management issues as well as increasing promotion and awareness of the Talking Book Program services. In this way, agency outreach would have greater impact and coordination of services as well as leveraging the investment that the state has made in ways that Texans may become more aware of TSLAC services and use agency services more robustly.

    He presented the following list of suggested uses for the unallocated federal funds:

    • $275,000 to support the development of an outreach project to take TSLAC services to communities across Texas, featuring a vehicle outfitted to provide access to agency services, a technology showcase, and a training lab.
    • $170,000 to expand a popular IT training program, You Can Do IT, for Texas library staff and a Prison Outreach Project as a pilot to reach a previously unserved population in need of information resources to reintegrate from incarceration to work, school, and society.
    • $106,000 to shift Talking Book Program staff from state to federal payroll to allow filling positions, alleviate budget pressures, and provide modest salary increases
    • $74,000 for administrative costs to support more programs and services in all LSTA-eligible programs
    • $61,417 contingency for ILL planning
    • $25,928 contingency funds

    At this point in the meeting, Mark Smith introduced David Shoemaker of the Governor’s Budget Office.

    Chairman Waters called a break at 9:56 a.m. and reconvened the meeting at 10:12 a.m. returning to discussion of Agenda Item 11.

    Chairman Waters said no vote will be taken on these items but since Director Smith has requested feedback from the Commission, he encouraged commissioners to comment. Chairman Waters said the items are very positive, the money would be well spent, and that that they reflect very good thinking and creativity.  Chairman Waters asked about the prison pilot project and what discussions had occurred with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Director Smith said during the course of a research project conducted for the Agency by a University of Texas Capstone student, TSLAC staff and officials of the Windham School District met and discussed library services to the prison population which is served by the Windham district. The Capstone student researched the potential for providing library services to prisoners and what other states provide in this area. He said the Agency has never had a library development project addressing prison populations and learned through the research that serving prisoners can only be done through the Windham district and that the Wyndham director is very interested. One of the obstacles is that the prisoners in the Texas system do not have internet access so the question would be when to provide service – during incarceration or after release.  Staff will look at both options.  Responding to a question from Vice Chair Carr, Director Smith said the project does address the workforce development issue in the LSTA Five Year Plan.

    Commissioner Givens said he likes the projects.

    In response to a question from Commissioner Holt, Director Smith said the vehicle for the outreach project is estimated to cost $200,000 with $75,000 set aside for outfitting. He said the vehicle could also be used for disaster response and for technology training. At one time, he said, bookmobiles were considered outmoded but there has been a resurgence in popularity and a lot of interest in using the bookmobile concept to bring other services to populations as the Houston Public Library does with its mobile technology labs.

    After further discussion, Chairman Waters said the Commission clearly supports these items. No action required.

  12. Report of the Director and Librarian

    Mark Smith provided a written report on agency activities and initiatives for the commission and added the following notes and announcements:

    • Saturday, June 9, the Agency will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the newly renovated museum space at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty, which the Commission toured in February.  He and Vice Chair Carr will attend and participate in the ceremony.
    • The agency is nearing the end of its Sunset review with the draft Sunset report expected in the coming weeks.
    • Director Smith traveled to Washington D.C. in May to attend the ceremony for the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal Awards because the Georgetown Public Library was one of the four library winners this year. The El Paso Museum of Art received one of the medals in the museum category.
    • He invited commissioners to visit Archives a la Carte, the current lobby exhibit which is a collection of TSLAC archivists’ favorite items including the famous Journeay violin.
  13. Discussion of future commission meeting dates.

    The Commission discussed future meeting dates and set Friday, February 8, 2019, and Monday, April 15, 2019 as meeting dates, both to be held in Austin.

  14. Report on agency needs for records and archives storage space.

    Mark Smith said since the April 3, 2018 commission meeting, staff have been working with the Texas Facilities Commission exploring short and long-term solutions to address the storage space issues for the State Records Center and the Archives. He reminded the Commission that staff had proposed a short-term solution of leasing storage space and a long-term solution to expand the State Records Center for records and archival storage. In meetings with TFC, staff learned that commercially leased space is more expensive than originally calculated. However, he said TFC proposed allowing the Agency to use 20,000 square feet of vacant state space in Southeast Austin, so staff toured the facility located on Promontory Point. The space has not been actively used beyond furniture storage for a number of years and would require considerable work including adding an HVAC system, removing the floor and ceiling, rearranging non-loadbearing walls, and adding shelving and other features, he said. TFC estimates the cost to retrofit the space at $3.2 million and SLRM staff estimate an additional $1.2 million for shelving and other costs. Director Smith said this would solve short-term space needs for up to five years and that there would be no cost for rent to the Agency.

    For the long-term plan, staff re-evaluated the cost and space needs and were able to reduce the expansion footprint at the State Records Center to 60,000 square feet, he said. The cost, however went up since the last discussion, and is now estimated at $26.4 million which would includes 100,000 cubic feet of archival storage space for the Agency. Director Smith acknowledged that it is a high price tag but it will serve the records and archival storage needs for the state for the next 25 years. He said staff are trying to be as economical as possible and will continue to hone the numbers but he said staff do not want to be in the position of underestimating the cost as occurred when the Zavala Building was renovated 10 years ago and there was a shortfall in funds. He said staff want to be as realistic as possible with costs. One of the issues adding to the cost is that archival storage space is more expensive requiring lower temperatures, special lighting, humidity control, compact shelving, and some cold storage. He noted that both projects are bundled into one exceptional item for the Agency’s Legislative Appropriation Request as discussed previously in the meeting.

    Craig Kelso said this is a combined effort between SLRM and Archives and noted that the project would allow staff to move 45,000 cubic feet of archival boxes from the State Records Center to the new archival storage space to be built which would provide additional space for records storage. He said for a short term solution, he thinks the Promontory Point location would be the most beneficial to the Agency should the expansion occur at the State Records Center during the time frame needed. He reported that Houston ISD is a new customer at the State Records Center and is sending microfilm for storage and contracting with SLRM for an imaging project.

  15. Authorization to post rule review pursuant to Texas Government Code §2001.039 of 13 TAC Chapter 3, State Publications Depository Program; Authorization to repeal 13 TAC §3.4; Authorization to propose amendments to rules 13 TAC §§3.1-3.

    Jelain Chubb requested approval to publish notice of a rule review of 13 TAC Chapter 3, State Publications Depository Program, 3.1-8, to repeal 13 TAC 3.4, and authorization to propose amendments to rules 13 TAC 3.1-3 in the Texas Register for comment. Vice Chair Carr moved to approve the request. Commissioner Holt seconded. Commissioner Holt asked if the rule review would not have happened but for the requirement that agencies review their rules periodically. Ms. Chubb said that while it is a good practice to review rules, the proposed changes in these rules are to allow state agency electronic publications in the Texas Digital Archive. Motion passed unanimously.

  16. Authorization to post rule review pursuant to Texas Government Code §2001.039 of 13 TAC Chapter 9, Talking Book Program; Authorization to propose amendments to 13 TAC Chapter 9.

    Ava Smith requested approval to post rule review of and amendments to 13 TAC §§9.1 – 18 for the Talking Book Program as well as authorization to post proposed amendments to 13 TAC §9.1, §9.2, §9.3, §9.4, §9.7, § 9.8, and §9.11. She said most of the amendments are not substantive but striking or substituting language referring to old technology. Responding to a question from Vice Chair Carr about why loan periods were changed, Ms. Smith said it is because of the division’s new automation system. Vice Chair Carr moved approval and Chairman Waters seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

  17. Report on agency financial information

    Donna Osborne presented a report on agency financial information and responded to questions on the report. No action required.

  18. Executive Session under the Open Meetings Act. The commission may meet in Executive Session on any item listed above if authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 551.   The Commission did not meet in Executive Session.

    There being no further business to come before the commission, Chairman Waters adjourned the meeting at 11:07 a.m.


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