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Free CE and Training This Week – January 22-26

2018 January 21
by Christina Manz

Our weekly listing of free training online and free Texas workshops is updated as new events are added – throughout the week! See what’s happening on the CE calendar. Confirm the date and time when you register, or follow links for archive information. Events listed in Central Time.

Monday January 22, 2018
Making Readers: How the Maker Movement Can Impact Literacy (Idaho Commission for Libraries)
We have all heard how making and makerspaces can encourage STEM learning. But what can they do for literacy? This webinar will address ways that literacy and making can go hand in hand to enhance your program offered at the library. By focusing on transliteracy skills and including maker activities with literacy activities, librarians can better influence the traditional literacy skills they have always targeted. Presenter: Megan Egbert, Meridian Library District.
Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Tuesday January 23, 2018
5 Trends Shaping a New Reality for Nonprofits (Firespring)
Advancing technology, social enterprise and shifting demographics are changing how nonprofits communicate, engage, operate and serve. While these shifts are creating unprecedented opportunities for nonprofits, they also present new challenges as we learn to navigate this new and ever-evolving landscape. Join Jay Wilkinson as he reviews five major trends that are shaping a new reality for nonprofits.
Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Social Media and Volunteer Engagement (VolunteerMatch)
This webinar will offer an introduction to including social media in your volunteer recruitment and retention plans. You’ll see examples of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as blogs that other nonprofits have successfully used to draw attention to their organizations and volunteer opportunities.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Mirror, Mirror, Who Do You See in Your Books? Reaching Diverse Readers (Booklist)
Join AASL and Scholastic Books for this free, one-hour webinar where you’ll hear about forthcoming diverse titles. You’ll also hear from authors Icy Smith, Ellen Oh, Irene Latham, and Carole Boston Weatherford about how they put themselves into their work to engage all readers. Go beyond Diversity 101 – learn how to take action and become a partner in the conversation about meeting the needs of all readers.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Federal Government Databases and Websites: A Surprising Source of State and Local Data (Federal Depository Library Program)
This webinar will present an exciting variety of state and local resources which can be found by searching Federal Government websites. Resources range from health and nutrition to science and education, as well as legislative and judicial information. Websites which can provide a surprising wealth of state and local resources include, the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP),, ERIC, and PubMed. Participants will learn strategies for searching for state and local resources using Federal Government databases and websites.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Introduction to the 2017 Texas Public Libraries Annual Report (Texas State Library & Archives and Commission)
Texas State Library Program Coordinator Stacey Malek provides participants with an overview of the Texas Public Library Annual Report for Local Fiscal Year 2017. This will include an overview of accreditation. Her colleague, Valicia Greenwood, does a quick demonstration of the online report.
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

Wednesday January 24, 2018
You Can Do I.T. – Teaching Technology in Libraries
(TSLAC workshop – San Angelo, Tom Green County Library.)
You asked for it! Here’s your chance to learn best practices for teaching technology to your library patrons in a one-on-one setting or in groups.  You’ll leave feeling more confident in your ability to help patrons with technology and connect with colleagues by sharing idea, tips, and technology woes with another.
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

7 Steps for Getting Started in Major Gifts (Nonprofit Hub)
There is huge potential for impact when you connect your organization to individuals with the capacity to make a significant gift. If you wish you could be raising big gifts for your organization but you don’t know where to start, then this webinar is for you! In this webinar, Kathie Kramer Ryan will outline 7 steps you can take to start (or improve!) a successful major gifts program. You’ll learn what 5 elements to have in place before starting a major gifts program, how to find major gift prospects to support your mission, the best ways to thank your donors so they keep on giving, and much more.
Time: 11:30-12:30 p.m.

30- Minute Tips and Timesavers (Blackbaud)
Join our webinar series, 30-Minute Tips and Timesavers, with Chris Geady, Blackbaud solutions expert. Each month he’ll cover a different topic to help you use your software more effectively and reduce the time you’re spending on outdated processes.  Each webinar in the series is 30 minutes or less and is free to join! If you can’t make it to one of the webinars, on-demand versions will be available for you to watch when it’s most convenient for you.
Time: 12-12:30 p.m.

FDLP LibGuides for Libraries (Federal Depository Library Program)
This webinar will introduce users to the new FDLP LibGuides tool. Attendees will learn how to find and use GPO created guides, request topics for future LibGuides, and how to create and submit to the FDLP Community guides.
Time: 12-1:00 p.m.

Where Do I Go from Here? Engage Volunteers in New Ways (VolunteerMatch)
This webinar will help you think about new strategies and help you evolve your program to include new roles and responsibilities for volunteers, pathways for more involvement and leadership positions in your program, how recognition plays a role in retention, and the importance of including continuing education and professional development to keep your volunteers engaged. Tools to help you evaluate your program implement new ideas will be provided.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Google This! The Research Process Revisited (edWeb)
Do students confuse a single Google search with research? How do students research? Is there a “right” way? What are their research strengths? What are our instructional challenges? How can we best teach the inquiry process? Is there a “best” way? In this edWebinar, Michelle Luhtala and guest Tasha Bergergson-Michelson will answer these essential questions.
Time: 4-5:00 p.m.

Friday January 26, 2018
You Can Do I.T. – Teaching Technology in Libraries
(TSLAC workshop – Fort Davis, Jeff Davis County Library.)
You asked for it! Here’s your chance to learn best practices for teaching technology to your library patrons in a one-on-one setting or in groups.  You’ll leave feeling more confident in your ability to help patrons with technology and connect with colleagues by sharing idea, tips, and technology woes with another.
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Free CE and Training This Week – January 15-19

2018 January 14
by Christina Manz

Our weekly listing of free training online and free Texas workshops is updated as new events are added – throughout the week! See what’s happening on the CE calendar. Confirm the date and time when you register, or follow links for archive information. Events listed in Central Time.

Tuesday January 16, 2018
Advocacy, Ethics, and the Law for Librarians (Washington State Library)
Presented by Rob Mead, State Law Librarian for Washington, this is an introduction to public advocacy and lobbying for librarians within the context of Washington law. As professionals, how can we make sure our voices are heard on issues of freedom, equity, truth, and justice? What is ethically required of us? Where are the legal (and political) danger zones?
Time: 11-12:00 p.m.

How Libraries Can Help Job-seekers with Linda Bruno, Part I (Utah State Library)
In this first segment, we discuss resume assistance and in the second segment, we discuss helping with interviewing skills.
Time: 11-12:00 p.m.

American FactFinder: An Introduction (U.S. Census)
Recommended for new users of American FactFinder (AFF) or occasional users who need a refresher, this introduction to AFF will teach you how to conduct basic searches using Community, Guided or Advanced Search capabilities. In Advanced Search, you will get an introduction to how to use Search Overlays, save, download and print your tables, and basic mapping usage.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Blended Learning: What Works (InSync Training)
If you are involved with blended learning design in any way – or want to be – you need tools, resources, and a blueprint to move forward. To ensure the success of modern blends, it is necessary to lay a strong foundation to manage the change from more traditional models. This session, a preview to Jennifer Hofmann’s new publication, What Works in Talent Development: Blended Learning (ATD, February 2018), will help you to set the stage for more effective programs.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Wednesday January 17, 2018
Bigger on the Inside: Programming for Small Spaces
(Programming Librarian)
Is your library’s event space feeling a little cramped? Do you worry that your library doesn’t have enough space to do the programs you want to do? Join us for this free one-hour webinar for ideas and inspiration for hosting exceptional programs at your library, even with the most limited space.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Introduction to Proposal Writing (GrantSpace)
Are you new to proposal writing or want a quick refresher? If so, you don’t want to miss one of our most popular classes!
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Promoting Social and Emotional Learning in Preschool: Programs and Practices that Work (Early Childhood Investigations)
This webinar will provide an overview of effective preschool social-emotional learning (SEL) programs and practices that have emerged in high-quality, rigorous research studies.
Time: 1-2:30 p.m.

USGS Library Materials for Earth’s Age (Federal Depository Library Program)
The USGS Library provides reference services and instructional sessions to library users on finding print, digital, and online library materials. This webinar will focus on how to find and use the USGS Library’s materials related to geological time (rock age) and terrain (rock type), USGS field and laboratory methods for determining time and terrain, as well as education tools available from the USGS and other geoscience stakeholders.
Time: 1-2:30 p.m.

Thursday January 18, 2018
The New Adult in the Library: What They Want, and What Libraries Can Offer (Texas State Library & Archives and Commission)
What do new adults, or adults aged 18-29, want from libraries? What should libraries offer this age group? In this webinar, we will explore the characteristics of new adults and the services new adults would like to see in a public library. You will leave the webinar with the ability to appropriately offer programming for new adults, including financial literacy instruction, career services programs, and speed dating nights. Kyla Hunt is the Library Management Consultant for the Texas State Library & Archives Commission, and is the author of Library Programs and Services for New Adults, published by ABC-CLIO in 2017. E-mail to borrow this title from the Texas state Library Science Collection.
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

How to Better Serve Your LEP Audience by Meeting the Federal Requirements (DigitalGov)
In this online training, presenters from the Department of Justice (DOJ) will provide an overview of national origin discrimination and offer practical tips for overcoming language barriers and language access program planning. This session is designed to provide federal, state, and local government agencies with a primer on their legal obligations to limited English proficient (LEP) individuals under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and, if applicable, Executive Order 13166. This training is geared towards federal, state, and local government official who interact or plan to interact with LEP individuals, and for recipients of federal funds, nonprofit organizations and other language access stakeholders.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

When a Patron Needs More Than a Book: Transformation Has No Due Date (Colorado State Library)
Join us as we explore services that make all the difference. Together we will share stories of extraordinary library moments and identify common ways library staff help people grow and learn in transformative ways. Walk away with an understanding of how libraries change lives and gain ideas for what you can do to provide more meaningful library services. Together we will discover how to shift libraries from places of transaction into spaces for interaction, and transformation.
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m.

The Opiate Crisis: What Libraries Can Do (InfoPeople)
This webinar discusses the history and depth of the opiate problem in this country and how it has come to the attention of libraries and their staff. Dr. Steve Albrecht will focus on how library staff members at all levels can recognize the signs and symptoms of opiate users who are either under the influence or in withdrawal (which makes them act erratic, irrational, threatening, and even violent).
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

Friday January 19, 2018
The Conversation with Steve Bell: Academic Libraries and Higher Education Continues (The TLT Group)
A conversation with Steve Bell about academic libraries and higher education.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

TexShare: EBSCO Micro Sessions (15 minutes!)

2018 January 12
by Kyla Hunt

Thursday, January 25, 2018        3:00 PM CST
Advanced (Guided Style) Searching with Field Codes
Learn how to search multiple fields at one time with Guided Style searching. In this micro session, we’ll discuss the benefits of using this type of search page as well as where you can find field codes associated with a specific database. We’ll also cover Boolean operators. This is the go-to starting point for savvy researchers!
To register, click here Session #318 192 491

Tuesday, January 30, 2018         10:00 AM CST
Get the Most Out of Limiters and Expanders
Google (keyword) searching is fine, but what about all those available search options? Limiters like Cover Story, PDF and Language often get overlooked – expanders, too! We’ll discuss how these can quickly help users retrieve the results they are looking for!
To register, click here Session #316 729 617

Tuesday, February 13, 2018       3:00 PM CST
Quick Ways to Access Publications and Journals
Want to get your hands on a periodical or journal fast? There are a few ways you might not have thought of before – and we’ll share them in this micro session. We’ll also discuss ways to promote specific journals by putting links on your library page to give easy access to your patrons – and increase usage!
To register, click here Session #314 060 459

Friday, February 23, 2018           10:00 AM CST
How Do Those Subject Files Really Work?
There are subjects and then there are subjects. In this micro session, we’ll demonstrate how to use both the Subject authority file and the Subject index. We’ll also discuss the difference between Subject headings and Thesaurus: Subject headings where available.
To register, click here Session #317 687 585

Thursday, March 8, 2018            10:00 AM CST
Favorite Features in 15 Minutes: Legal Information Reference Center
This resource is so easy to use and intuitive, you may already know everything about it. Or do you? Join us for this quick session where we’ll demonstrate how your patrons can quickly create legal documents. Or browse one of several NOLO Press books on a variety of topics. Patrons can even browse forms by
U.S. state. Join us and pick up a few new tips on this great DIY resource.
To register, click here Session #311 052 236

Friday, March 23, 2018                10:00 AM CDT
Save Time with Search and Journal Alerts
Alerts are great benefits of having a personal My EBSCOhost account. Learn how to quickly create journal alerts so users know when their favorite magazine is available online. Search alerts help researchers save time by notifying them when new articles that match their search criteria have been downloaded and are ready to view.
To register, click here Session #317 411 990

Tuesday, April 10, 2018               3:00 PM CDT
Favorite Features in 15 Minutes: Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center
Hobbies & Crafts is a great resource year round – not just around the holidays! Find MakerSpace ideas to promote in your library. Check out instructional videos on a variety of topics. Browse the extensive A- Z list for ideas or search by category. Come away with some great tips on how to save your patrons some $$ with this fantastic resource!
To register, click here Session #319 297 944

Thursday, April 19, 2018             10:00 AM CDT
I Didn’t Know I Could Do That! Ways to Customize Your Interfaces using EBSCOadmin
In this micro session, we’ll discuss ten common functions that can be conducted in EBSCOadmin to enhance the user experience. Curious to know what they are? Join in and find out!
To register, click here Session #313 300 544

Friday, May 4, 2018                      10:00 AM CDT
My Favorite Features in 15 Minutes: Explora
Research is made easier with Explora, EBSCO’s kid-friendly interfaces. We’ll talk about Topic Overviews and what resources can be searched in the different interfaces (in case you didn’t know, there’s an interface for elementary school and another for secondary schools.) These are great resources for parents in your community that are home-schooling their kids!
To register, click here Session #313 135 638

To register for live sessions or view recorded sessions, click below.

Questions? Contact:

Russlene Waukechon
TexShare E-resources Coordinator
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
800-252-9386 (toll-free)

Steam @ Your Library at the Abilene Public Library

2018 January 9
by Kyla Hunt

Passing on for the Abilene Public Library!

Steam @ Your Library

Monday, March 5, 2018, 9am – 4pm

Abilene Public Library

To Register: or 325-437-2665

Steam @ Your Library

Free CE and Training This Week – January 8-12

2018 January 9
by Christina Manz

Our weekly listing of free training online and free Texas workshops is updated as new events are added – throughout the week! See what’s happening on the CE calendar. Confirm the date and time when you register, or follow links for archive information. Events listed in Central Time.

Tuesday January 9, 2018
Let’s Talk About Race in Storytimes (Washington State Library)
Storytime is the perfect place to model an open and welcoming environment for your whole community. No one should feel left out or erased from a larger narrative by never being able to see their themselves or their race reflected in storytime. How can we as librarians practice talking about race and model inclusion for our community? How can we work in training our storytime colleagues to not be afraid of delving deeper in creating an affirming and inclusive storytime environment? How do you gain institutional support that social justice advocacy should be included in storytimes? At this webinar, we will have a conversation in hopes it will lead to practice in tangible ways to model storytime inclusion.
Time: 11-12:00 p.m.

Crowdfunding 101 (Firespring)
Learn how your organization can use crowdfunding to raise the bar on your fundraising initiatives. Dana Ostomel, Firespring’s authority on crowdfunding, will walk you through the lifecycle of a campaign, from creation through appreciation, emphasizing how to engage new audiences. Come ready to ask about the campaigns you have in mind so we can answer all your questions.
Time: 12-1:00 p.m.

The New Volunteer Manager’s Toolkit (VolunteerMatch)
New to volunteer management? Looking for a refresher on the basics? This webinar will walk you through the three primary Rs – recruitment, retention and recognition. We’ll discuss the most popular program components such as interviews, orientations, volunteer handbooks, and more. And, we’ll talk about the importance of managing risk for your program and your organization. All attendees will also receive a sample packet with examples of program documents and program assessment checklists to help you evaluate your existing program.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Morris Award Finalists, 2018 (Booklist)
Join Booklist for this exciting Q&A with four of YALSA’s 2018 Morris Award finalists: Nic Stone (Dear Martin), S. F. Henson (Devils Within), S. K. Ali (Saints and Misfits), and Akemi Dawn Bowman (Starfish). This is a free, hour-long webinar moderated by Books for Youth Editor, Dan Kraus. YALSA’s Morris award honors a book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Using the Standards to Further Your Instructional Leadership (American Association of School Librarians)
Librarians are leaders. Join Jeanie Phillips and Ellen McNair, members of the AASL Standards implementation task force, as they unpack critical aspects of instructional leadership. We’ll talk about aligning your superpowers as a librarian with the new standards and the needs of your school community. We will collaborate to discover opportunities, strategies, and leverage points, so you can flex your instructional muscles to impact your entire school community.
Time: 6-7:00 p.m.

Wednesday Jan 10, 2018
Collaborative Summer Library Program 2018 | Early Literacy/School Age (Indiana State Library)
Get started planning your 2018 Summer Library Program from the comfort of your library by attending this Collaborative Summer Library Program 2018 “Libraries Rock!” themed webinar.  You will be introduced to the theme, the artwork, and the manual for children from birth through Grade 6 based on the CSLP 2018 theme, “Libraries Rock!”
Time: 9-10:00 p.m.

PubMed for Librarians – Introduction to PubMed (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
PubMed for Librarians: Introduction to PubMed® is a synchronous, online session that includes hands-on exercises. Attend this class to learn about the difference between PubMed and MEDLINE, how to run a basic PubMed search, assess your search results, analyze search details, customize PubMed with My NCBI, search for a known citation; plus, brief introductions to MeSH, automatic term mapping, search tags and subheadings.
Time: 12-1:30 p.m.

Introduction to Finding Grants (GrantSpace)
Are you new to the field of grantseeking? Discover what funders are looking for in nonprofits seeking grants and how to find potential funders.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Collaborative Summer Library Program 2018 | Teen/Adult (Indiana State Library)
Get started planning your 2018 Summer Library Program from the comfort of your library by attending this Collaborative Summer Library Program 2018 “Libraries Rock!” themed webinar.  You will be introduced to the theme, the artwork, and the manual for teens and adults based on the CSLP 2018 theme, “Libraries Rock!”
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Citations Needed: Build Your Wikipedia Skills While Building the World’s Encyclopedia (WebJunction)
Librarians have the power to make Wikipedia better and more reliable. Once you understand how this collaborative, community-driven encyclopedia works, you’ll see the value of contributing your expertise and knowledge. Wikipedia Library’s annual #1lib1ref (“One Librarian, One Reference”) campaign provides a simple and fun way to get started. This global initiative invites all library staff to improve the verifiability of information on Wikipedia by adding at least one reference during the campaign, which runs from January 15 through February 3, 2018.
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

Thursday January 11, 2018
Livin’ on the Edge! Making Technology a Reality For Your Library (Texas State Library & Archives and Commission)
Did you know as a Texas public library, you have a virtual technology consultant at your fingertips, free of charge? Come hear how two library directors from both urban and rural populations have used the online tool Library Edge to create a roadmap for their library’s technology improvements. Library Edge is so much more than a survey and can make a huge difference in the way your stakeholders (city council, library board, patrons) see and support your library. This short presentation will be following by Q&A so bring your questions and even your skepticism; we’re betting we win you over by the end.
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

Tips & Tactics for Time Management & Organizational Skills (Utah State Library)
Feeling overwhelmed by deadlines as well as pressure from the many different demands on your time? Librarians and library staff members frequently report that they feel stressed by the need to multi-task, to keep up-to-date, and to manage tight schedules. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done on time. How can you work more efficiently and effectively and feel in control of your time? Will you ever see the top of your desk again? This workshop will provide practical strategies for gaining control of your time and setting priorities.
Time: 11-12:00 p.m.

Engaging the Volunteer of the Future (VolunteerMatch)
This webinar will start with a review of some of the things that we know about what volunteers are looking for in an opportunity. It will then help you use this information to start designing volunteer opportunities and determining who is the “right” volunteer for your program. You’ll also learn how “word of mouth” plays such a large role in attracting volunteers to your organization and how social media makes this even more important.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Making the Grade: Debating School Performance Ratings (Alliance for Excellent Education)
This webinar will present findings from Rating the Ratings, followed by a conversation on the merits and downfalls of summative ratings between ratings-proponent Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and ratings-skeptic Phillip Lovell, vice president of policy development and government relations at the Alliance for Excellent Education.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Presenting the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Shortlist: With Jennifer Egan, David Grann, and Nancy Miller (Booklist)
Join Booklist editors and Carnegie Selection Committee members Donna Seaman and Annie Bostrom for this free, hour-long conversation about the six books shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. In addition to discussions of each book and appropriate read-alikes, the program will feature Jennifer Egan and Nancy Miller, editor of Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine, in conversation with Donna Seaman and David Grann in conversation with Annie Bostrom.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Creative Coding Rotation Stations for K-5 Classrooms (edWeb)
Looking for some hands-on collaborative activities that meet computer science and digital fluency learning outcomes? Want ways to appeal to various learning styles and skill levels? In this edWebinar, you will learn about ways to create coding “rotation stations” in your K-5 classroom! From classroom environment to instructional design, you’ll hear about the ways to implement this flexible classroom practice, whether on a daily or weekly basis.
Time: 4-5:00 p.m.

Friday January 12, 2018
Community Engagement and Fundraising (American Libraries Live)
Libraries serve their communities above all else, and it’s crucial that librarians work not only with people in the community but also with institutions and businesses.Please join us for a panel discussion where we’ll bring in a variety of perspectives from communities of different types and different sizes and answer your questions about how you can form partnerships that help you achieve your goals.
Time: 12-1:00 p.m.

Learn More: Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Great Stories Club (Programming Librarian)
In this free, 60-minute webinar, staff from the ALA Public Programs Office and Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services will discuss the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Great Stories Club (TRHT GSC) pilot program and application process. Webinar topics will include: A review of the grant requirements and benefits; Instructions for the online application process; Information about how this grant opportunity can connect with your library’s literacy, outreach, and equity, diversity and inclusion goals.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Family Place Libraries Grant Opportunity CLOSES this Friday!

2018 January 8
by Bethany Wilson

We are drawing nearer to the application close date for the FY18 Family Place Libraries opportunity. If you are interested in submitting an application for the grant, please do so by close of business on Friday, January 12th, 2018.

The purpose of this grant is to create a welcoming, family-centered environment that empowers caregivers of young children as they become their child’s first teachers. This grant will provide funding for the equipment and training necessary for each library to:

  • Host workshops for children 0-3 and their caregivers.
  • Develop an interactive space for this age group to play and learn in the library.
  • Forge strong partnerships with community organizations serving young children and their families.

If chosen to participate in the 2018 cohort, libraries can expect to send two, full-time staff members to training either April 23-26 or May 7-10. Following training, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission will provide funding support in the amount of $6000 to participating libraries to buy supplies necessary to launch a successful Family Place LibraryTM location at their facility.

The application is entirely online and can be accessed after logging into the Texas State Library & Archives Commission Grants Management System.

NOTE: If you do not have an account with the Texas State Library & Archives Commission Grants Management System, please contact Bethany Wilson, Youth Services Consultant, at 512-463-4856 or and I will get you set up.

If you have questions about Family Place LibrariesTM in Texas or need assistance with the application process, please contact Bethany Wilson at , 512-463-4856, or 800-252-9386 (toll-free for Texas). This project is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.


BTYBB: Distance Learning

2018 January 4
by Henry Stokes

Move over, books! Because high speed Internet, or broadband, will be doing a lot more heavy lifting in libraries where education and learning is involved. What happens when we’ll be able to transmit huge amounts of data in real-time between the library and another location with no lag?  The answer is: Crazy, Amazing Learning Opportunities!Image of library getting powered by broadband with words "Brought to you by Broadband"

For my third entry in the “Brought To You By Broadband”, or BTYBB series (I previously covered Job Search/Training and Consumer Health), I’m shining a spotlight on the distance education potential of providing broadband access at the library.

Logo representing Distance Learning

     Distance Learning

Here are some examples of how high speed Internet in libraries is contributing to distance learning in sometimes unexpected ways:

> Virtual Reference : With streaming videoconferencing technology (which relies on broadband), librarians can offer reference and information services to their patrons who are in remote locations.  Put the ‘home’ back in ‘homework help’ – a live librarian can help a student who is literally working from home

> Streaming Videos &  Software Tutorials in the Cloud  : Videos have become an often preferred vehicle for learners to receive instruction. Live webinars (like the ones TSLAC provides), pre-recorded/archived presentations, even quick how-to tutorials from YouTube, will not load without a fast connection. As part of the TexShare Databases program through TSLAC, public libraries can provide free access for their patrons to LearningExpress Library, a resource packed with interactive, self-paced, online tutorials on common business software applications, test prep tools, and job skills videos – which are even usable on patron’s mobile devices!

> Live Events : Libraries have often invited community partners to help them conduct live events at the library location. With video conferencing, guest speakers will no longer have to be present, but rather streamed in live, for an interactive talk, performance, training, or discussion.  This has a lot of potential to bring in speakers and trainers that wouldn’t normally visit less accessible communities in person.  Chattanooga Public Library, which has a gigabit connection, has been at the forefront in this area, showcasing what their high speeds allow them to do. They’ve had live musicians perform in their library accompanied via videoconferencing by other musicians in a whole other state, as well as  avant-garde art installations.

> Use of MOOCs and Learning Circle Model : Libraries are entering the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) world, creating actual physical spaces in the library for students to participate in MOOCs, and contributing to the development of local ones.  With increased bandwidth, these MOOCs can include more videos in their offerings, enriching the learning experience.  Kansas City Public Library, another library that is fiber-connected, received a 2017 IMLS grant to expand their Learning Circle Model which will be shared with the larger library community.  This kind of online group collaborative learning is only possible with high speed Internet connectivity.


> Virtual Reality: The technology of VR is about to hit it big, making a huge impact on our society. It has great potential to dramatically transform education for the better. For it to work, however, broadband needs to be the backbone. Libraries can be at the forefront of this new technology, introducing their patrons to VR and enhancing their educational programming. To jump-start this inevitable (and far from virtual) reality of the near-future, the California State Library recently partnered with one of the major VR hardware companies to launch the Virtual Reality Experience Project, which provides VR to public libraries across the state.  We’ll be seeing a lot more examples of libraries using VR for distance education very soon, so keep a look out – or alternatively, get on the ground floor yourself and start playing around with VR at your own library – as Arlington Public Library and others have done!

> Research-grade microscopes – and beyond! : Chattanooga utilized their gigabit bandwidth to live stream a research-grade microscope from 1,800 miles away in Los Angeles to a Tennessee high school.  The microscope in California has a 4K camera normally used to make Hollywood movies, and the students can literally control it from within their classroom, zooming in and out as they please, studying microscopic life in a firsthand, tactile and visceral way.  Such technology could be brought to the library. Libraries could ‘check out’ access to such a microscope to their patrons. They wouldn’t have to house the microscope themselves – only the access to the software to control and view it.  And, of course, they would have to provide a fast enough connection to make such a feat possible.

What other amazing feats are just around the corner? How will libraries leverage new and upcoming technologies to continue being the educational powerhouses they have reliably been for centuries?

The answer is : with broadband!


In conclusion, it’s a pretty simple formula:

Libraries + Broadband + New learning tools  = A better educated community

So how can libraries keep their speeds up, particularly when demand is just going to get higher and higher? The federal discount program – E-rate – has been pivotal in connecting libraries and enabling them to afford broadband. It provides billions of dollars each year for libraries. Money is just put on the table for libraries to use – Don’t let it just sit there!

It’s understood that broadband in Texas libraries means better educated Texans. This year, the State of Texas Legislature appropriated $1 million to TSLAC to support Texas public libraries in using E-rate for the next two years to secure faster connectivity. The Libraries Connecting Texas project can help your library stay up to speed. But act now! The window is closing and we’re only accepting 100 libraries.


Logo for the Libraries Connecting Texas project

Ready for Input : 2017 Texas Public Libraries Annual Report!

2018 January 4
by Valicia Greenwood

Texas LibPAS (, the data collection portal for the Texas Public Library Annual Report, is now open for reporting local fiscal year 2017 information, including library revenue, expenditures, collection, circulation, service and e-resource information. Although the firm submission date is April 30, 2018, we encourage libraries to submit their information before March 31st, to allow State Library staff time to review the reports and work through accreditation issues in advance of the June LSA advisory board meeting.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission participates in a national public library data collection system and the data is used for the creation of a composite report on the public libraries of the United States, and for state-to-state comparisons by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Additionally, some data elements in this report are used to accredit public libraries in the state of Texas. Accredited libraries can take advantage of the TexShare card and database programs, the State competitive grants, statewide interlibrary loan, and E-rate – the federal telecommunications discount program.

On the Annual Report webpage, you will find links to

  • Sample Annual Report worksheet,
  • Population and MOE Planning Tool,
  • Information on reporting downloadable items,
  • Benefits of accreditation and more!

We are presenting an informational webinar about the Annual Report on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 2:00-3:00 p.m.: Introduction to the 2017 Texas Public Libraries Annual Report. Register by following this link:  If you are not available at that time, register and the link for the archived webinar will be sent to you.

Emails were sent out this week reminding library directors of their Texas LibPAS log-in information. If you have not received the email, or you have questions about the Texas Public Libraries Annual Report, please contact Valicia Greenwood or Stacey Malek by email or call within Texas toll-free 800/252-9386.

FREE Young Adult Workshop Series is Open For Registration

2018 January 3
by Bethany Wilson

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission welcomes YALSA Continuing Education Consultant, Linda Braun as she presents the “Engaging with Teens in Your Library” workshop series for Texas librarians. This workshop is for all librarians and library staff who work with teens or are interested in bringing teens into the library.

About the workshop:

There is a shift in the ways in which library staff work with and for teens which includes a focus on: relationship building, facilitation of learning, impact and outcomes, and community engagement.  In this interactive session Linda W. Braun, YALSA’s CE consultant, will help participants review and re-envision the world of library teen services. These are services with the goal of helping teens develop the skills, knowledge, and social emotional development needed for success in life.  At the end of the session attendees will have tools and knowledge for a revitalized approach to teen services and be able to begin integrating new and expanded ideas into their communities right away.

The workshops are free of charge and will be hosted in twelve locations around the state in the months of February, April, and August. Please visit our website using the link below for more details about the workshop, to find the location nearest to you, and to sign up to attend.


If you have questions about the workshop, please contact Youth Services Consultant, Bethany Wilson, at 512-463-4856 or

10, 9, 8… Countdown the Top 10 reasons to join the Get Involved Collaborative in 2018

2018 January 2
by Kyla Hunt

New Year

#10.  Locate resources from your public library colleagues who are creating effective volunteer engagement tools, practices and strategies! Search the database of Get Involved resources and enhance your success in volunteer engagement.

#9.  Free up staff time to concentrate on new projects they never get around to with the assistance of highly skilled volunteers.

#8. Connect with highly skilled volunteers hiding within your community. This Texas small town librarian found volunteer tech support within her 5,000 service population.

#7. Become a resource to your community by adding the Get Involved Widget to your library home page. The widget is a box you can put on your website to encourage your library patrons to volunteer with your library or to get involved with other community organizations. Once your library user enters their zip code they will be whisked to our custom Get Involved hub to find library and literacy volunteer opportunities.

#6. Find photos to increase volunteer recruitment.  Free to use professional photos for all kinds of volunteer roles in the library. Remember, online recruitment results are 3x greater when accompanied by an action photo. Find photos of volunteers in action here.

#5. Engage virtual volunteers near or far to share their skills with you. Learn how this small Texas library engaged a virtual graphic designer from another state.

#4. Request a VolunteerMatch Premium subscription. To assist public libraries in recruiting and engaging high-skilled, high-impact volunteers, “The Get Involved Collaborative” will fund VolunteerMatch subscriptions for up to 200 Texas libraries. Your VolunteerMatch Premium subscription will continue until the end of the Get Involved grant  – through October 31, 2019. Contact for an account.

#3. Expand and increase your library’s capacity to provide early literacy outreach. Here is just one example of how your library volunteers can make a difference in your community.

#2.  Increase support of your library’s programs and services within the community when volunteers better understand what you do.

 And the #1 reason to join the Get Involved Collaborative is…..

1. You will learn to engage today’s volunteer and watch them transform into some of your strongest library supporters and advocates!

Happy New Year!

To learn more about how your 2018 can include highly skilled volunteers contact Jennifer Peters at