Texas State Library and Archives Commission
June 3, 2019
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission met on Monday, June 3, 2019, in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, 1201 Brazos Street, Austin, Texas.
Michael C. Waters, Chair
Larry G. Holt, Vice Chair
F. Lynwood Givens
David C. Garza
Arthur T. Mann
Mark Smith, Director and Librarian
Gloria Meraz, Assistant State 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
Michael Ford, Director, Information Technology Services
Tracy Kuhn Lash, Executive Assistant
Susan Floyd, Communications Officer
Rebekah Manley, Coordinator, Texas Center for the Book
Oscar Muñoz, Desktop Support Specialist, ITS
Sarah Jacobson, Manager, Records Management Assistance, RMA
Danielle Plumer, Statewide Resource Sharing Coordinator, LDN
Steve Kantner, Digital Asset Coordinator, ARIS
Rosalind Hunt, Office of the Attorney General
Laurie Mahaffey, Central Texas Library System
Wendy Woodland, Texas Library Association
Susan Mann, Hillsboro Public Library
Judith Dullnig, Women’s Storybook Project
Jill Gonzalez, Women’s Storybook Project
Daniel Graves, Weaver and Tidwell
- Welcome, introductions, and general announcements.
Chairman Waters called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting. Mark Smith introduced Steve Kantner, a TSLAC Employee of the Quarter.
- Check presentation to the Women’s Storybook Project.
Mark Smith introduced Judith Dullnig and Jill Gonzalez of the Women’s Storybook Project, a nonprofit which connects women incarcerated in Texas prisons with their children through reading, and Rebekah Manley. Ms. Manley said that through a nomination from the Texas Center for the Book, the Women’s Storybook Project was named a recipient of a 2019 Library of Congress State Literacy Award and she presented Ms. Dullnig and Ms. Gonzalez with a $2,225 check.Commissioner Tocker said he is familiar with the nonprofit and praised it because it provides rehabilitation and literacy. In response to commissioners’ questions, Ms. Dullnig and Ms. Gonzalez described the nonprofit’s mission and said it is a win-win program because the women have to qualify for the program and program participation leads to many positive results. Vice Chair Holt said the organization is a bright point of light and Chairman Waters noted that Ms. Dullnig in addition to founding the nonprofit is also a volunteer in the organization and he thanked her for giving her time and volunteering.
Approve minutes of April 15, 2019 Commission Meeting.
Commissioner Mann moved to approve the minutes of the April 15, 2019 commission meeting as corrected. Commissioner Wong seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Public Comment. No public comment was given.
Conflict of interest disclosures. No conflicts were disclosed.
Audit follow-up report and updates.
Daniel Graves updated the commission on internal audit activity and answered commissioners’ questions. He said that since becoming the agency’s contracted internal auditor, Weaver and Tidwell has been working to complete a year-long internal audit in six months that included performing follow-up on previous internal audits. His team will perform a risk assessment and prepare the internal audit report required by the State Auditor’s Office. He said a full report will be presented at the August 12 commission meeting. No action required.
Report on maintenance and safety upgrades at the Sam Houston Center.
Jelain Chubb provided an update on the status of current maintenance and safety upgrades at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty and answered questions from the commission. Chairman Waters noted that the state budget although not yet signed by the governor includes $1 million for additional safety and maintenance upgrades at the Center. Ms. Chubb said she would bring a plan of action for those funds to the August 12 commission meeting. Responding to a question from Commissioner Wong, Ms. Chubb said she anticipates the work to be completed by 2021.
Review and approve acceptance of a gift greater than $500.
Donna Osborne requested approval of a $5,324 gift from CCAT&T Holdings LLC, an annual donation from the company that manages the cell tower located at the State Records Center. During discussion, commissioners asked staff to investigate whether the General Land Office has been receiving rent payments and asked Rosalind Hunt to research the title and ownership rights to the agency’s property on Shoal Creek Boulevard. Commissioner Tocker moved to approve the donation and Commissioner Mann seconded. After discussion, a roll call vote resulted in motion passing unanimously.
Donna Osborne requested approval for a gift of $95,265.14 from the Atascosito Historical Society. Commissioner Garza moved to approve the gift and Commissioner Wong seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Donna Osborne requested approval of a gift of $1,000 from the Parker Charitable Foundation. Commissioner Mann moved to approve the gift and Commissioner Wong seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Review and approve contracts greater than $100,000, contract renewals, and amendments.
Mark Smith said that the 86th Legislature approved the agency’s request for $4,400,000 to address immediate records storage needs as part of the supplemental appropriations budget, making the funds available immediately upon the governor’s signature. He requested approval for a contract not to exceed $3,400,000 with the Texas Facilities Commission to begin retrofitting 20,000 square feet of space in a state-owned building in Southeast Austin to provide 60,000 cubic feet of storage, allowing TSLAC to continue to be a solution for state agency records storage for another five years. Commissioner Givens moved to approve the contract and Commissioner Wong seconded. Motion passed unanimously. The commission asked staff to invite TFC to attend the August 12 commission meeting to discuss this project.
Mark Smith requested approval to amend an interagency contract with the Texas Facilities Commission for work at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center by extending the contract through August 31, 2020 and reallocating funds in the amount of $277,078 for additional renovations of the historical buildings at the Center in Liberty. Commissioner Mann moved to approve the amended contract and Commissioner Wong seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Jennifer Peters requested approval for a contract not to exceed $237,500 with Amigos Library Services to launch a pilot to host and configure SimplyE, an open source e-book application, for small and medium-sized community libraries. In the two-year contract, Amigos would install and host the application for up to 225 libraries that choose to participate. Mark Smith said this is a very important project that will be funded with federal money. He said that for two legislative sessions the agency had unsuccessfully sought state funds to meet the demands for a statewide e-book program. This project will involve the smallest libraries in the state and by the end of the year he expects 100 libraries to be participating. Commissioner Wong moved to approve the contract and Commissioner Tocker seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Jennifer Peters requested approval to renew a contract with Counting Opinions in the amount of $30,750. This is the third of four possible renewals with the company that provides the reporting tool used to collect data from all public libraries in Texas on various aspects of library operations, collections, and services. The data is used to compile the Texas Public Libraries Annual Report and in the annual accreditation of public libraries. Commissioner Tocker moved to approve and Vice Chair Holt seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Report on outcome of the 86th Legislative Session.
Mark Smith provided a written report on outcomes of the 86th Legislative Session noting that the main outcome is the agency’s reauthorization for an additional 12 years. He thanked the commission for its support during the session and noted assistance from former commissioners as well. He also thanked agency staff for their hard work during the session especially Gloria Meraz and Donna Osborne. Additionally, he thanked the Texas Library Association particularly Wendy Woodland and Susan Mann for their activities and support during the session.
At this point in the meeting, Chairman Waters called for a break at 9:59 am. reconvening the meeting at 10:10 a.m.
After the break, Director Smith reported on budget outcomes for the agency and other bills impacting the agency. Of the agency’s exceptional items requested, he said the legislature only adopted $400,000 for targeted staff salary increases and about $240,000 to fund an agency general counsel position. He noted had not yet been signed by the governor. He said two riders for library projects were added to the budget: $750,000 for the East Arlington Public Library and $1.9 million for construction projects in the Rio Grande Valley. Staff are trying to get information from the Legislative Budget Board and the Comptroller as to the role TSLAC will play in overseeing those funds he said, since staff were not consulted about these items during the session. Vice Chair Holt asked if the state is normally in the business of constructing local libraries and Gloria Meraz said that it is not unusual for the state to do something like this. She recalled that in the 1990s the agency received federal funds for library construction.
Director Smith said the agency did not receive the funds requested to expand the State Records Center but reported that a rider was included in the agency budget to study alternative records storage facilities outside of downtown Austin. He said agency staff would be revisiting a study conducted three years ago that addressed that issue with the assistance of the Texas Facilities Commission to meet the deadline of December 2019. The Supplemental Appropriations bill included $4.9 million to fund retrofitting a location on Promontory Point to address short-term storage solutions for the agency, he said.
The agency’s Sunset legislation, HB 1962, which passed on the last possible day of the legislature, includes authority to advertise certain services and to sell reproductions of archival materials. The bill also allows TSLAC to establish advisory committees in rule, gives Regional Historical Records Depositories more control and ownership of their local records, streamlines the way in which local governments report to the agency, and requires TSLAC to conduct a more extensive training program for commissioners. He said Senator Kirk Watson amended the bill to include language requiring the agency to transfer an easement at the State Records Center to the city of Austin. The latter is essentially the same language as HB 2978 which did pass but in the event the governor vetoes that bill, that provision would survive because of its placement in the TSLAC Sunset bill, he said.
Director Smith said that two bills that passed transfer authority over legislative records from TSLAC back to the legislature, the agency’s Sunset bill and HB 4181. Of the two, HB 4181, which staff expect to be the rule of law if the governor signs it, would have a much broader impact on legislative records, he said. HB 4181 pertains very broadly to all records of the legislative branch and its agencies and extends legislative privilege to records that currently don’t have legislative privilege, he said. Legislative privilege would makes those records off limits to certain types of inquiries from the public, he said. Although the bill doesn’t specifically require that records be physically transferred to the Legislative Reference Library (LRL), it does take all the duties assigned to TSLAC and transfer them to the LRL unless the LRL chooses to do otherwise, he said. Other issues such as obtaining an attorney general’s opinion, discussions with the LRL and formulating an operating plan in the wake of the legislation have not yet been determined, he said.
Director Smith walked the commission through other legislation that staff followed during the session and answered questions. Chairman Waters said the commission is very pleased that the agency’s exceptional item for targeted salary increases was included in the budget because the staff deserve it. No action required.
Discussion of status of request for an easement at the State Records Center.
Mark Smith reported that the Legislature passed HB 2978 by Rep. Donna Howard which directs the state to grant an easement to the City of Austin at the State Records Center. Additionally, Senator Kirk Watson amended the agency’s Sunset bill, HB 1962, to include the same language. Responding to a question from Commissioner Wong, he said that there will be no money received by the agency for the land and that he does not know if the agency as owner of the land has any rights to the property. He said the bill includes precise measurements for the easement and does not mention the agency. The bill assigns the General Land Office to the responsibility of transferring the easement and also provides for reimbursement to the GLO for any costs incurred in connection with granting the easement, he said. Responding to questions from Commissioner Wong, he said that the metes and bounds should not interfere with State Records Center expansion and even though the legislation does not provide funds for fencing the property, staff are considering fencing to avoid interference with agency delivery vehicles.
Report of the Director and Librarian.
Mark Smith provided a written report on agency activities and initiatives and responded to questions about his report. He informed the commission that Ava Smith who is the Director of the Talking Book Program announced her retirement for the end of 2019 and wanted to acknowledge her good work for the agency. He noted that the TSLAC Talking Book Program is regarded as one of the best in the National Library Services network and won the Library of the Year award in 2012. He said Ms. Smith has overseen major projects during her 18-year tenure including the program’s conversion to digital talking books, migration to a new automation system and expansion of the Talking Book recording studio. Chairman Waters said the commission appreciates everything Ms. Smith has accomplished and congratulated her. Commissioner Wong thanked Ms. Smith and said she has many friends who benefit from the program. Commissioner Givens complimented Ms. Smith on the excellent program and noted that he has seen NLS announcements in the media that make it appear that the national program is independent of the agency’s program and suggested that Congress may then think that the state programs are redundant. Director Smith agreed and stated that the Talking Book Program is a really cost-effective program for the state and a true partnership with the Library of Congress with each partner providing different elements for the program. No action required.
Demonstration of online resources available via TexShare.
Jennifer Peters presented a demonstration of online resources available through the agency’s TexShare program and answered questions from the commission. No action required.
Final approval of records storage and imaging fee schedules for FY 2020.
Craig Kelso requested approval of the fee schedule for records storage and imaging services at the State Records Center for FY20. Vice Chair Holt moved to approve the schedules and Commissioner Mann seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Authorization to re-adopt 13 TAC Chapter 7, Local Records.
Craig Kelso requested approval to re-adopt 13 TAC Chapter 7, Local Records. Commissioner Wong moved to approve the request and Commissioner Givens seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Authorization to re-adopt 13 TAC Chapter 2, General Policies and Procedures.
Mark Smith requested authorization to re-adopt 13 TAC Chapter 2, General Policies and Procedures. Commissioner Mann moved to approve the request and Commissioner Wong seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Discussion of future commission meeting dates.
Mark Smith reviewed future meeting dates which currently are August 12, November 1, and for 2020, February 6 and 7. After discussion, the commission opted to postpone setting other 2020 meetings dates until the August 12 commission meeting.
Report on agency expenditures summary.
Donna Osborne presented a written report on agency expenditures. No action required.
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 go into executive session and there being no further business, Chairman Waters adjourned the meeting at 11:17 a.m.