National Friends of Libraries Week Spotlight: Texas Library and Archives Foundation
This is National Friends of Libraries Week, October 17-24, 2020, and in honor of the occasion, I would like to acknowledge the great work of our own Texas Library and Archives Foundation (TxLAF) at http://www.txlaf.org/ TxLAF is a statewide nonprofit organization chartered to support the work of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Originally enabled by state law in the late 1990s and formed as the Friends of Libraries and Archives of Texas, the group recently went through a major reorganization under the leadership of President Andrea Lapsley of Houston to recharter as a Foundation.
The mission of the Texas Library and Archives Foundation is “to support the interests of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in order to collectively promote learning, literacy, and the preservation of Texas History. TxLAF realizes this mission by investing in Texas libraries through literary awareness events, grants, school programs, and book festivals celebrating continued education and our state’s rich documentary heritage. They support special archival exhibits here at the State Library and Archives, which holds millions of historic artifacts, both in Austin and at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty— from rare maps and films to historic letters. TxLAF also provides opportunities to volunteer for statewide literary events and fundraisers, uniting people who share a love of learning in their communities.
During 2020 alone, TxLAF has accomplished the following:
- Re-chartered from being a membership organization to a foundation, including new branding and creating an entirely new website—that launched today!
- Forty libraries received mini grants to participate in Lone Star Día, a statewide celebration of Children’s Day/Book Day and the power of books and reading to change young lives.
- More than 1,300 students in grades 4 to 12 across the state wrote letters about books that touched their lives in the annual Letters About Literature Texas contest
- Two Texas scholars received $2,000 TSLAC Research Fellowships in Texas History in partnership with the Texas State Historical Association.
- The Edouard Foundation received the Texas Library Association Benefactor Award for their support of TxLAF’s programs.
- Books to the Border received the Texas Center for the Book Literacy Award.
- A grant awarded by the Summerlee Foundation will create five new Texas Literary Landmarks starting in 2021 and doubling the current number of landmarks in Texas.
TSLAC staff and commission are very grateful to the support and encouragement of the Texas Library and Archives Foundation. Join me, along with TSLAC staff, patrons, customers, and friends, in expressing our warmest thanks to TxLAF for their ongoing vision and work in support of Texas libraries and archives!
And, of course, donations to the TxLAF in any amount are very welcome—look for that big new “Give Now” button on their new website.