LSTA Grant Recipients for Fiscal Year 2010
West Texas Library System (WTLS), in collaboration with Northeast Texas Regional Library System (NETLS) $113,644
The “Shared Integrated Library System (SILS) Model Project” will fund bringing seventeen new libraries into a shared Integrated Library System (ILS) that will be established for up to fifteen WTLS public libraries using leveraged funding from other sources. The goal of the SILS Project will be to provide library users across the region with access to an integrated online library catalog searchable from home, school, or office. The new libraries to be supported for this Project are 7 public, 2 community colleges, and 1 special library from WTLS, as well as 7 public libraries from Northeast Texas Library System (NETLS). The Project will provide a state-of-the-art open source network to facilitate and encourage efficient and cost-effective lending of library resources between participating libraries and eventually through a statewide ILL system.
Central Texas Library System (CTLS), in collaboration with Alamo Area Library System (AALS) $61,000
The “Joint AALS-CTLS Automation Project” will be jointly developed, coordinated, and managed by Alamo Area Library System (AALS) and the Central Texas Library System (CTLS). It will provide a model for enhancing local patron access to electronic and printed resources in predominately rural communities by leveraging public and private dollars to benefit the patrons in the two library systems. The grant uses federal dollars as seed money to improve local residents’ access to high quality electronic services through the sharing of hardware, software, technical support, backup protocols, a common ILL management system, and vendor user-community support groups, as well as helping libraries make the case for increased local support for these services once the grant year is over. Both regional systems are involved in the planning and data migration of 6 public libraries to a web hosted automation system and in the retrospective conversion of two of the project libraries prior to installation of the system.
Special Project Grants
Central Texas Library System (CTLS) $50,000
CTLS will fund the second year of “Ready to Read” (RTR), an early literacy project based on Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR). RTR takes an organized approach to impact the school readiness of disadvantaged children by providing early literacy classes to parents and teachers. CTLS’s 2009 RTR project involved 20 public libraries in 10 counties partnering with 3 Head Start agencies. Parent and teacher surveys to date indicate that parent/child book sharing is more enjoyable, the library is seen as a valuable early literacy partner, families without library cards plan to get one and that teachers appreciate the easy-to-use literacy ideas. In 2010, CTLS plans to take RTR to 15 new public libraries in 11 counties: Blanco, Brazos, Caldwell, Fayette, Grimes, Hays, Lee, Leon, Madison, Robertson and Washington, in partnership with 3 multi-county Head Start agencies.
Dallas Public Library $75,000
The Dallas Public Library’s intent is to create new Family Literacy Programs and expand a highly successful literacy instruction program for parents and K-3 children at three branches with large Hispanic populations. The “La Familia Leyendo Juntos; The Family Reading Together” Project will offer English reading and writing skills instruction for 75 adults and 75 children. The program will offer four hours of class time per week, with two hours per week devoted to parents and children doing projects together to increase literacy skills, and two hours per week of separate learning. The parent and children time together is important because the parents and children have a strong desire to do well in front of one another and show off the skills they have learned. In addition, the program allows for increased adult participation because parents will not need to make separate arrangements for childcare while they are in class.
North Texas Regional Library System (NTRLS) $75,000
This is the second-part of a three-phase Project titled “Expanding Accessibility,” which enables NTRLS member libraries to serve all members of their communities, particularly individuals with special needs and disabilities, more appropriately. The three phases are Identifying Needs, Removing Barriers, and Enhancing Services and Accessibility. Focus in 2009 was on Identifying Needs. In 2010, NTRLS will continue assistance with Phase One while helping libraries move to Phase Two: Removing Barriers to Accessibility. This will include providing universally accessible websites and online services; providing workshops on ways to remove barriers to serving the special needs sector and move toward Universal Accessibility; allowing testing of assistive hardware and software before purchase; negotiating with assistive technology providers to reduce product pricing for public use at member libraries; and building partnerships with groups and vendors who serve the special needs sector.
Harris County Public Library $20,000
The “Teen Tech 2.0: Technology Training on the Go” Project will establish two mobile laptop technology training labs to offer special information technology programming and instruction after school for teens and tweens. The mobile labs will be used to turn the community meeting rooms at four library branches--Aldine, South Houston, Galena Park and Jacinto City--into computer classrooms after school each day. Instruction will be developed to teach teens and tweens to navigate the Internet safely, to develop skills and knowledge of web applications for educational and personal use, to encourage creative use of technology, and provide access to high-speed Internet. Twenty notebook PC’s for each laptop lab will rotate back and forth between two of the libraries each month. When not in use for after school classes, the laptops will be used for training other groups or made available for customers to check out and use inside the library.
Weatherford Public Library $56,468
The “Parker County Library Association” Project will serve Parker County, a growing, mostly rural area west of and adjacent to Tarrant County. In 2009, LSTA funding supported the combination of library systems into an Integrated Library System that serves three of the four public libraries in the county: East Parker County Library, Inc. in Aledo, Springtown Public Library, and Weatherford Public Library, as well as a countywide courier system and the coordination of resource sharing. The focus of the second grant year will be to maintain the fledgling federated system created in the first grant year, provide continued training, and to make it a truly countywide federation by adding the Azle Public Library's holdings and patron information to the database shared by the other three Parker County libraries. In addition, Millsap ISD will open a new elementary school library that will be open for public use which will be added to the consortium and fill a noticeable gap in library services in the western part of Parker County.
Texas A&M University-Commerce $72,866
The “HeirLoom: Something Worth Saving, Something Worth Sharing” project began to preserve and protect the oral histories and archives of WWII veterans and has grown into a LSTA-funded collaboration between the James Gee Academic Library and rural libraries and historical associations in northeast Texas, and received initial LSTA funding in 2009. For 2010, the Project will expand to include an important population in this region that has not shared oral histories and archives. Although African-Americans represent approximately 40% of the population of northeast Texas, there are scant archives related to African-American history of the communities. The HeirLoom collaboration will increase the participation of African-Americans in the library or historical association's collection, preservation, and sharing of local community history.
North Texas Regional Library System (NTRLS) $75,000
NTRLS is seeking to help member libraries in its large service area (74 public libraries, 2.5 million population) build stronger communities through literacy instruction with the “Libraries for Literacy – Learning Express Consortium” Project. The project, which received LSTA funding in 2009, seeks to help system libraries begin and strengthen their literacy endeavors. For the second year, NTRLS requests funds for the creation of a position to oversee the project, which will include a grant program that will provide online literacy tools, the establishment of linkages across libraries through the Libraries for Literacy website, and the development of literacy workshops, toolkits and informational sessions. NTRLS also seeks assistance for its partner libraries for a subscription cost to an online literacy provider, Learning Express.
Houston Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center Library $15,565
The project titled “Bridging the Gap: Healthcare Need to Healthcare Access” focuses on the health information needs of the un- and under-insured citizens of Harris County, and involves the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center (HAM-TMC) Library and staff from the Harris County Public Library (HCPL) system. A series of programs presented by healthcare professionals, assistance and instruction from medical librarians and public librarians, along with access to professionally produced webcasts, podcasts, and a website will combine to promote effective information seeking behavior in the population of Harris County. In addition, the staff of HCPL will be provided with a training manual to help them become effective health information resource advocates in their communities.