There is much going on at TSLAC these days. Here are a few highlights to bring everyone up to date.
On Monday our commission met to consider a very lengthy agenda. They approved 45 competitive grants totaling just under $2 million. They approved a staff request to spend up to $2,000,000 on e-book content for the E-Read Texas statewide e-book project. The commission considered and approved an allocation of $1 million for safety and maintenance improvements on the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty for the coming biennium. These were just a few of the items on the commission agenda this week.
We have been working to recruit a new agency general counsel, a position requested and approved in the Legislative session that ended in May. TSLAC has never had its own in-house counsel so we are looking forward to the assistance in an array of legal questions, starting with helping us handle our heavy load of public information act requests and contracts. We have made a selection and will announce our new counsel in a few days.
We have signed two contracts with the Texas Facilities Commission to help resolve our challenge of running out of space for records storage. The first will start the process of retrofitting 20,000 square feet of space in a state-owned warehouse in Southeast Austin. This short-term fix approved by the Legislature with an emergency appropriation of $4.4 million, will provide 60,000 cubic feet of storage space for state agency records. The other TFC contract was to launch a study as directed by the legislature to study options for long-term storage of records. We had asked the Lege for $26.4 million to address a 20-year solution for archives and records storage. We hope this study will provide Texas lawmakers the information they need to decide when we ask to address this vital need of the state again next session.
The Texas Center for the Book named its 2019 Great Read for this year’s National Book Festival. The selected book is What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, by Chris Barton, illustrated by Ekua Holmes. (Beach Lane Books, Simon and Schuster, 2018). We created a fun video to share more about this beautiful book about an amazing Texas: https://youtu.be/JWw1Vp30K3M
And we continue to roll out our new E-Read Texas statewide E-book project which has gotten wide coverage in Texas media. For those libraries who are Biblionix Apollo libraries, please watch for the e-mails to tell you how to be among the first libraries in the state to participate in this new project.
That’s it for now, but I look forward to telling you about other great projects soon.