In recent months, The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has engaged in several very positive partnerships with a variety of non-profit organizations to be able to extend new support to our client groups across the state.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we were contacted by the Brownstone Book Fund, a private foundation, about donating books to libraries impacted by Harvey and its aftermath. The Brownstone Book Fund lets selected libraries select from a list of high-quality children’s books that are ordered from the Brodart Company. The books are delivered directly to the library and the library can opt for fully processed books with cataloging. Through this program, 85 Texas libraries received 100 new children’s books—8,500 brand new children’s books in all to Texas libraries.
In December, the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas, TSLAC’s own friends group, received a grant of $75,000 from the Still Water Foundation to conduct a consultation to assist four library systems in West Texas in moving to greater sustainability. The Friends, in consultation with TSLAC staff, have selected Lee+ Associates to work with the four West Texas library systems to provide their report on how they can move toward achieving their stated goals. Lee+ will also produce a toolkit of resources to help other library systems in Texas move from where they are to where they wish to be in terms of services and sustainability.
Another partnership with the Edouard Foundation has provided a total of $18,000 in two years to the FLAT to support two projects of the Texas Center for the Book, the statewide Read Across Texas program in 2017 and the upcoming Lone Star Día program in 2018 in partnership with another non-profit partner, First Book. Through these programs, dozens of libraries in Texas will receive books to support programs encouraging reading, literacy, library use, and community engagement for children and adults across Texas. The Edouard Foundation grants also supported the creation of the first Research Fellowships in Texas History – a “scholar-in-residence” program that provides a stipend to researchers working with TSLAC’s archival holdings. The first two Research Fellowships be announced at the upcoming annual meeting of the Texas State Historical Association, another highly valued non-profit-sector partner.
Finally, TSLAC has been a key partner of the Glasshouse Policy Institute, a non-profit organization that works to create forums for policymakers and stakeholders to develop solutions to public issues. In particular, Glasshouse is working with TSLAC to explore policies around broadband in Texas communities, a matter of high interest to the statewide library community. Glasshouse is working to plan a series of policy discussions across the state in 2018, the first of which will be held at the Hewitt Public Library on March 22.
Partnerships with these non-profit organizations have allowed TSLAC to offer services and pursue projects that would not otherwise have been possible. We are also grateful to the ongoing support of the Friends of Libraries and Archives of Texas for their active and enthusiastic support. We are very appreciative of the talented and committed board members of FLAT and FLAT members and donors who support TSLAC’s work in these and many other projects.