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HHH: Coding (Next week is Hour of Code Week!)

2018 November 28
by Henry Stokes

Logo for Henry's High-Tech Highlights

Hi there, Henry here!  Next week, December 3-9, is Hour of Code Week – the largest learning event in history – and one where libraries should be taking center stage. So it seemed appropriate to put this month’s high-tech highlight on:  Coding


Why should you care about coding? reports that a whopping 93% of Texas parents want schools to offer computer science to their children.  And as there are 44,972 computing jobs open in the state of Texas (and over 500,000 across the country) in which the average salary is around $100,000, this should come as no surprise. And yet, the reality is that only 40% of Texas schools teach coding.

It’s not just today’s workforce. Coding will increasingly become integrated into all aspects of our lives, literally powering the future.  It’s behind every innovation and technology that I highlight: artificial intelligence (AI), robots, nanotech, VR, Internet of Things, etc.  I’ve  heard programming described as a kind of modern-day magic: a  special, behind-the-scenes language that can make things happen – almost like spells from a spell-book.  In the future, with coding becoming even more ubiquitous, kids will grow up knowing how to code and basically become wizards!  This was why I had to laugh when I saw a new Harry Potter coding kit from Kano that gives kids a chance to build their own magic wands to learn programming.

As, puts it: “Computer science is one of the few policy issues that can address both foundational education needs and workforce development demands for a state’s future workforce.”

Libraries with their focus on STEM/STEAM programming and maker spaces are the perfect space to offer programming about computer coding skills and address this state and national need, providing enormous value. To prevent the U.S. losing its competitive edge and falling behind on computer science, consider it your patriotic duty to introduce coding to your community, especially women and people of color.

If you are new to offering coding training at your library, the best place to get started is participating in Hour of Code. And I don’t just mean next week during the official annual event. You can provide HOC whenever you like, any time of year.

Logo for Hour of Code

What is it?

Hour of Code is a one-hour tutorial that the library provides to its patrons. No previous experience with coding is necessary for the teachers or learners.  Every step is spelled out and provided by Just start here at this simple How-To Guide.

To get a sense of what it’s like (and how fun it is), try out this first puzzle yourself that helps you create a Dance Party.

Many Texas public libraries are offering Hour of Code events next week. Here’s a few:

And one last thing: IMLS recently awarded three Texas public libraries: Atlanta Public Library, Honey Grove Library and Learning Center, and Stamford Carnegie Library (out of a nation-wide total of only 50 small, rural library recipients) a Code Club grant, which provides the training, resources, and skills to teach coding at their libraries. Congratulations!

Logo for Code Club


UPDATE 11/29/18: Google and ALA just announced they are teaming up on coding for public libraries with Libraries Ready to Code!

Libraries Ready to Code logo

  1. Google will be bringing their Grow with Google in-person workshops for job seekers and small businesses, library staff trainings, and ongoing support to libraries in all 50 states.
  2. Google will provide a $1M sponsorship to the American Library Association, creating a pool of micro-funds that local libraries can access to bring digital skills training to their community.  An initial group of 250 libraries will receive funding to support coding activities during Computer Science Education Week. Keep an eye out for a call for applications from the ALA as Grow with Google comes to your state.

Fast Company and Fox Business posted about it so far:


Further reading:

Need funding? Get your library on E-rate for up to 90% Internet discounts

2018 November 27
by Henry Stokes

E-rate is THE program for public libraries to get funding for technology.  Billions of dollars are put aside each year by the FCC for accredited public libraries to pay for faster Internet to their libraries. Not only does this mean happier patrons, it frees up funds so libraries can pay for other great things.

Free up funding graphic

And NOW is the perfect time to get started. For the next application cycle (for services starting in July 2019), you can get E-rate help from hired experts at E-rate Central entirely for free.

They’ll make the application process much easier and help ensure you submit the forms correctly and meet the deadlines.  It’s part of a special program that TSLAC provides called Libraries Connecting Texas (LCT).

We had tremendous success with LCT last year:  TSLAC helped 84 Texas libraries increase their bandwidth by an average of 927 percent.

Contact TSLAC now to get started:  But hurry: time’s running out to participate!


Need a one-pager to explain E-rate and the LCT program to stakeholders? Download this pdf.


Free CE and Training This Week – November 26-30

2018 November 25
by Christina Manz

The weekly listing is sourced from Wyoming State Library Training Calendar with free training online, and free Texas workshops, updated as new events are added. 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, Nov 26
Addressing Latino Health and Wellness Disparities Through Virtual Community Health and Wellness Workshops (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
This session will provide attendees with background information about the Latino community both in the United States and in Minnesota. An overview of current demographics and health issues will be covered. The presenters will then describe how they designed, implemented, and evaluated the virtual health and wellness workshop series*, covering mental health and wellness topics, targeting the Latino community in rural Minnesota towns. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 1-2 pm

Monday, Nov 26
Info2Go! EOR and E-rate – Are you ready for 2019? (Idaho Commission for Libraries)
Get ready for the next round of EOR and E-rate. What can you expect for 2019? What can you do to be prepared? Get all the details here. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 1:30-2:30 pm

Tuesday, Nov 27
Graphs, Charts, and Data Visualization – All Three in Your Next PowerPoint Presentation (Training Magazine Network)
PowerPoint graphs and charts are an excellent way to show information visually, allowing an audience to see the trend or result straight away. Graphs are a common component to most presentations, but they aren’t always used correctly. An effective graph can show a trend, support your message, explain a situation, and much more besides. Data visualization takes things further, to convey complex concepts in an elegant and relatable way. In this webinar we explain how to use and create PowerPoint graphs and charts effectively. We show the common mistakes people make and how to avoid them. Then teach you how to create live and non-live graphs, charts, and other data visualizations that will help engage your audience and get your message across. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 11-12 pm

Tuesday, Nov 27
Looking at Plastics: An Introduction to Caring for Plastics (Connecting to Collections)
Plastics are everywhere – they are an inescapable part of our lives both at home and in our collections. Plastics present a deceptive promise of permanence yet we know from experience that their preservation is not an easy task. Learn how to monitor and mitigate problems that may arise from the deterioration of plastics in your collection. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 1-2:30 pm

Tuesday, Nov 27
It’s Not Just About the Likes: Getting Strategic with Your Library’s Social Media (Texas State Library and Archives Commission)
You know how to use social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but how do you get followers to go beyond liking posts to sharing or even showing up for the programs or resources you’re promoting? Being strategic with your posts is an important first step. In this webinar you’ll learn strategies for social media engagement for libraries of all sizes, but with a focus on libraries without dedicated communications staff. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 2-3 pm

Wednesday, Nov 28
Understanding Grief After an Overdose Death (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
This webinar focuses on the dynamics of grief after a death caused by substance use. It also covers the stigma, stress, and trauma that can come with grief after a death from substance use — and it considers issues that begin to influence survivors’ experience of grief and loss long before a death occurs, such as struggling with a loved one’s addiction and the demands of caring for a chronically ill person. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 12-1 pm

Wednesday, Nov 28
Relationships in Early Education: It’s Basic! (Early Childhood Investigations)
This powerful webinar, by Luis Hernandez will offer insights and strategies to help early childhood educators build and enrich their relationships with the children, parents, and other staff members in their organizations. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 1-2:30 pm

Wednesday, Nov 28
How to Write More Effective Email and Web Content (InfoPeople)
In this webinar, we’ll offer specific guidelines that will help you communicate more effectively in an age where people read most of your content on a screen. We’ll look at before and after examples, and attendees will get a list of resources for learning more. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 2-3 pm

Thursday, Nov 29
10 Strategies for Success with Digital Fundraising (GrantSpace)
In this webinar, we will learn  how to make your website donor-ready, improve your donation pages, choose the right donor platform, create powerful email fundraising campaigns, promote monthly giving, use social media techniques to grow your email list, and invest in digital advertising to raise money online. We will also address organizational readiness and capacity as a factor in your success. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 12-1 pm

Thursday, Nov 29 Your One-Stop Resource to Help People Recover from Identity Theft (Federal Depository Library Program)
Come learn more about, the Federal Government’s free, one-stop resource to help people fix problems caused by identity theft. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 1-2 pm

Thursday, Nov 29
Librarian Evolution: Libraries Thrive When We Change (WebJunction)
Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” It has never been a better time to be a librarian—especially when we recognize and act on our power to help people in our communities build better lives through learning and literacy. To do that, our identity, our education, our organizations, and our work is changing. Learn how library staff are becoming change agents to help Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, the 2016 Gale/LJ Library of the Year, become an essential asset in its community. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 2-3 pm

Free CE and Training This Week – November 19-23

2018 November 18
by Christina Manz

The weekly listing is sourced from Wyoming State Library Training Calendar with free training online, and free Texas workshops, updated as new events are added. 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, Nov 19
Technology Competencies & How to Exceed Them (Geared towards all levels of staff) (Indiana State Library)
Explore available opportunities for continuing education, peruse useful sites for keeping up with technology, and develop a plan for taking charge of your own learning.  Topics covered will include planning for learning, time management, and state and national resources.  Ample time will be given for participants to search for relevant training and education opportunities that fit their individual needs.  For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 12-1pm

Tuesday, Nov 20
Online Tools that Help Nonprofits Learn, Listen & Engage (Firespring)
Learn how to make technology your friend. In his most revealing session, Jay takes you behind the curtain to show, in real-time, which tools he uses to manage his online presence and why. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 9:30-10:30am

Tuesday, Nov 20
Bozarthzone! Holiday Stressbusters (InSync Training)
What should be a season of love and joy often turns instead to tiring weeks of overspending, overindulging, disappointment and STRESS! Join facilitator Jane Bozarth for a look at common causes of holiday stress and ways to combat them. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 11-12pm

Thursday, Nov 22
Using Storytelling to Boost Your Nonprofit’s Communications (Charity Village)
Do you struggle with storytelling? Need help getting a handle on planning, developing and sharing your nonprofit’s stories? In this webinar, we’ll look at how you can approach storytelling in a focused and strategic way. We’ll review steps that will help you to develop content that is compelling and that supports your organization’s mission and goals. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 12-1pm

2019 Summer Reading Order Form Closes TOMORROW!

2018 November 15
by Bethany Wilson

The deadline to submit your order for FREE 2019 Summer Reading materials is TOMORROW! Please visit the order form below to make your selections and submit your order. Here is the link to the order form: 

You may view the 2019 CSLP artwork, including the posters, certificates, bookmarks, and reading logs, at your name is not on the list below, we have not received an order from you. Please place your order by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16. (list current as of 11/15/18 at 9:12 a.m.)

A.. H. Meadows Public and High School Library
Abilene Public Library Main Library
Alexander Memorial Library
Allan Shivers Library and Museum WOODVILLE
Allen Public Library
Alma M. Carpenter
Alpine Public Library
Alvord Public Library
Amarillo Public Library
Andrews County Library
Archer Public Library
Atlanta Public Library Atlanta
Atwell Public Library Hutchins
Aubrey Area Library Aubrey
Austin County Library System West End Library
Austin Public Library University Hills Branch
Austin Public Library
Azle Junior High Library
Azle Memorial Library Azle
Ballinger, Carnegie Library of
Bandera Public Library
Bastrop Public Library
Baylor County Free Library
Bedias Library
Bee Cave Public Library
Bellville Public Library
Benbrook Public Library
Betty Foster Public Library
Bicentennial City-County Library
Blanche K Werner Public Library Trinity
Bonham Public Library
Booker Public Library
Bowie Public Library
Boyce Ditto Public Library
Brazoria County Library System
Bridge City Public Library
Brownwood Public Library
Bullard Community Library
Buna Public Library
Burkburnett Library Burkburnett
Burkburnett Library Burkburnett
Burleson Public Library Burleson
Burnet County Library System Herman Brown Free Library
Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library
Calhoun County Public Library
Cameron Public Library
Cameron-J. Jarvis Troup Municipal Library
Camp Wood Public Library
Canyon Area Library
Caprock Public Library
Carl and Mary Welhausen Library
Carnegie City-County Library
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Chambers County Library System Anahuac
Charlotte Public Library
Childress Public Library
City of Onalaska Public Library
City-County Library
Cleburne Public Library
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Cochran County Love Memorial Library
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Collingsworth Public Library
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Dickinson Public Library DICKINSON
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Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Library
Dripping Springs Community Library
Driscoll Public Library
Dublin Public Library
Duncanville Public Library
Dustin M. Sekula Memorial Library
Duval County Library(San Diego) Benavides Public Library; Freer Public Library
E. M. Gilliam Memorial Public Library
East Branch Library (Irving Public) East Branch Library
Ector County Library
Ed & Hazel Richmond Libra Aransas Pass
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Fabens ISD Community Library
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ft. bend county library missouri city branch library
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Garwood Veteran’s Memorial Library
Genevieve Miller Hitchcock Public Library
Georgetown Public Library
Gibbs Memorial Library
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Gladewater High School
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Gladys Johnson Ritchie Public Library
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Irving Public Library System South Irving Library
J. H. Wootters Crockett Public Library
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Jackson County Memorial Library
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Jenna Welch and Laura Bush Community Library
Jennie Trent Dew Library
Joann Cole Mitte Memorial Library
Joe Barnhart Bee County Library
John Ed Keeter Public Library of Saginaw
Johnson City Library
Jones Public Library
Joshua School & Public Library
Justin Community Library Justin
Kaufman County Library
Kendrick Memorial Library
Kennedale Public Library
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Kilgore Public Library
Killeen City Library System Killeen
Kirbyville Public Library
Kountze Public Library
La Joya Municipal Library
La Marque Public Library La Marque
Lake Dallas Public Library
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Lakeshore Library
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Laredo Public Library Lamar Bruni Vergara Inner City Branch
Laredo Public Library Cybermobile Cybermobile
Lena Armstrong Public Library
Lena Armstrong Public Library
Leon Valley Public Library
Lewisville Public Library
Liberty Hill Public Library
Liberty Municipal Library
Library of Graham
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Longview Public Library Broughton Branch Library
Louise Branch Library
Lovett Memorial Library
Lucy Hill Patterson Memorial Library
Madison County Library
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Marion & Ed Hughes Public Library Nederland
Marion ISD Community Library
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Martindale Community Library
Mary Lib Saleh Euless Public Library
Maud Public Library
Mayor Joe V. Sanchez Public Library
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Medina Community Library
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Montgomery County Memorial Library System 7 Branches
Moore County Library System Killgore Memorial , Britan Memorial , Cactus Branch Library
Mount Pleasant Public Library Mount Pleasant
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Nacogdoches Public Library Nacogdoches
Nancy Carol Roberts Memorial Library
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Nellie Pederson Civic Library
New Boston Public Library
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Noonday Community Library
Oakalla Library
Olney Community Library and Arts Center
Olton Area Library
Orange Public Library
Palacios Library, Inc. Blessing
Palmview High School Library
Paris Public Library
Pasadena Public Library Pasadena
Pasadena Public Library Fairmont Branch Library
Petersburg Public Library Petersburg
Pharr Memorial Library Pharr Development and Research Center (South Branch)
Pilot Point Community Library Pilot Point
Pioneer Memorial Library
Plano Public Library
Pleasanton Library & Information Center
Poteet Public Library Poteet
Princeton Lois Nelson Public Library
Rains County Public Library
Rankin Public Library
Ransome Canyon Children’s Library
Reagan County Library
Real County Public Library
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Red River County Public Library
Richards Memorial Library F.M. Buck Richards Memorial Library
Richardson Public Library
Richland Hills Public Library
Rio Grande City Public Library
River Oaks Public Library
Rockwall County Library
Rosenberg Library
Round Rock Public Library
Round Top Library
Rowlett Public Library
Rusk County Library
Rusk County Library Mt. Enterprise Library
Rylander Memorial Library
Sammy Brown Library
San Antonio Public Library Molly Pruitt Public Library at Roosevelt High School
San Benito Public Library
Sanger Public Library
Schertz Public Library
Schleicher County Public Library
Schulenburg Public Library
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Seagoville Public Library
Shallowater School County Library
Sherman County Public Library
Smith Welch Memorial Library
Spicewood Community Library
Springtown Public Library
Spurger School Library SPURGER
Stamford Carnegie Library
Stephenville Public Library Stephenville
Sterling County Public Library
Sue Dossey
Sulphur Springs Public Library
Sutton County Public Library
Swisher County Library
T.L.L.Temple Memorial Library
Tawakoni Area Public Library
Taylor Public Library
Temple Public Library
Texline Public Library
The Colony Public Library
The Library at Cedar Creek Lake Seven Points
Tom Burnett Memorial Library
Tom Green County Library System
Tye Preston Memorial Library
Tyler Public Library
Unger Memorial Library
Universal City Public Library
Upshur County Library
Upton County Public Library
Utopia Memorial Library
Val Verde County Library Del Rio
Valley Mills Public Library
Valley Ranch Library
Van Alstyne Public Library Van Alstyne
Van Horn City County Library
Van Zandt County Library
Vidor Public Library
Virgil & Josephine Gordon Memorial Library
Waco-McLennan County Library
Watauga Public Library
Westworth Village Public Library
Wharton County Library Main Branch
Wharton County Library El Campo
Wharton County Library System East Bernard Branch Library
White Settlement Public Library
Whitehouse Community Library
Wichita Falls Public Library Wichita Falls
Wilson County Public Libraries
Wilson County Public Libraries Sarah Bain Chandler Public Library
Wimberley Village Library
Winkler County Library Wink Branch
Winters Public Library
Wolfforth Public Library
Yoakum County Library
Yoakum County/Cecil Bickley Library
Zula B Wylie Public Library Cedar Hill

Questions about this or other Texas Summer Reading Program topics?

Visit the Texas State Library summer reading page or contact us at, 512-463-5465, or 800-252-9386 (toll-free for Texas).

The 2019 Texas Summer Library Program is funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services through a grant to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (2018)

Highlights of the 2018 Young Adult Library Services Symposium

2018 November 15
by Kyla Hunt

Bethany WilsonFrom our Youth Services Consultant, Bethany Wilson!

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Young Adult Library Services Symposium in Salt Lake City, Utah. The theme this year was Zeroing In: Focusing on Teen Needs, and I found I had trouble choosing which programs to attend. They were all so relevant to what librarians are doing to advance teen services right now, and I was sad that I was not able to attend everything. The sessions I did attend were presented by highly motivated library staff and community partners that are moving mountains to change the landscape for teen services in their service areas. They were all truly inspiring.

Here are some highlights from the programs I was able to attend:

Part of the Story: A Model for Engaging Teen Voices in Community Conversations

Jennifer Johnson, Teen Services Manager with the York County Library in Pennsylvania talked about her experience developing a summer teen book club with a focus on youth voice and community engagement. Through the book club, Jennifer and the planning committee hoped to:

  1. connect youth and authors
  2. include teens in conversations around important community issues
  3. communicate the value of library services to community leaders

The book club spanned five weeks during the summer and included activities, discussions, and creative projects centered on the Melvin Burgess book, SMACK. SMACK is a gritty story about young runaways and their descent into addiction after they fall in with a group of heroin users. Teens were introduced to community partners who work directly with opioid users and participated in a Google Hangouts discussion with author Melvin Burgess.

The program culminated in a Teen Town Hall event with some of the community partners the teens had met during the program. They talked about their experience in the book club, detailed what they had learned, and answered questions. Jennifer detailed some of the challenges the program presented, discussed best practices, and answered questions for those wishing to launch similar programs in their libraries.

It’s True: Computational Thinking and Libraries are a Perfect Match

This session was highly interactive as presenters from ALA’s Libraries Ready to Code Initiative in partnership with IMLS and The University of Maryland College of Information established that while computational thinking cannot be taught, it can be learned through experiences and activities. Computational thinking is about understanding what a problem is, developing solutions, and presenting those solutions in a way that a computer, a human, or both can understand.

Participants were able to practice computational thinking skills by breaking into teams to develop an app to solve a social issue. As each group was facilitated through the process of designing the app, the different steps of the computational thinking process (Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Algorithms, Abstraction, Automation) were explained.

The computational thinking model would be a great facilitation tool for librarians who might need help guiding teens through a conversation to arrive at outcomes for a specific issue. It can also help develop social & emotional learning skills in several key areas.

Involving Teens to Create Effective Community Change

This program mapped the ups and downs Scott McLeod, Director of Volunteer Services and Melissa Malanuk, Coordinator of Teens Services of the Queens Library in New York experienced as they began changing the way they worked for and with teens in their library. They began the presentation by explaining that before they began their program, there was no continuous teen programming at the library. Teen voice was not included in programming development or teen space design and resulted in low to no teen presence in the library.

At the time, the creation of youth leadership councils to promote civics engagement opportunities for youth was heavily pushed by the mayor’s office and Scott and Melissa saw an opportunity to address that challenge by creating youth councils at the library. The presentation discussed the successes and failures they experienced as they transitioned from teachers to facilitators and the youth councils they created took on more and more responsibility for youth led initiatives in the library and in the community.

Scott and Melissa explained the importance of the development of facilitation skills and creating flexible meeting frameworks with established goals and outcomes. I appreciated that they did not just focus on their successes, but also detailed their failures and why those failures occurred. The detail they provided in the presentation prompted good dialogue among attendees and they were able to provide detailed answers to questions around logistics issues other librarians brought forward.

Restorative Practices: Practical Ways to Support Youth & Create a Culture Shift in Your Library

Librarians from Pima County Public Library in Tucson, Arizona presented on their success with a pilot project at one of their libraries in which restorative practice techniques were used to address challenging youth behaviors. The group had noticed an increase in suspensions at several of their branch libraries and felt that suspending a youth for behavior issues did little to build relationships with them, did not identify and address the root of the behavior issue, and ran counter to the library’s mission to serve youth.

Restorative practice is defined as a social science that studies how to build social capital and achieve social discipline through participatory learning and decision-making. The use of restorative practice helps to

  • Reduce crime, violence and bullying
  • Improve human behavior
  • Strengthen civil society
  • Provide effective leadership
  • Restore relationships
  • Repair harm

This information paired with the five universal truths of human interaction served as the basis for the creation of the Library Restorative Practices Team (LRPY). The goal of the team was to provide a restorative pathway to library services for youth that focused on educational opportunity and community building as an alternative to punitive measures.

The group detailed what they learned through their pilot project, the community relationships they built in the process, and the positive impact restorative practice has had on youth at the library. They also provided information on best practices for educating resistant administration or staff on restorative practice and the benefits to youth.

Friends with Benefits: Programming to Help Develop Social and Emotional Skills in Teens

Rebecca Philipsen and Joanna Nelson-Rendon of the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado brought a presentation full of great ideas for teen programming that provide enjoyment as well as opportunities to develop valuable social and emotional learning skills. Well-developed social and emotional learning skills have been proven to increase protective factors, which help buffer young people with high levels of risk factors from developing health and social problems.

The program began with a brief definition of the five core competency areas in which youth should build social and emotional capital (self-awareness, social-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, responsible decision-making), and then gave examples of fun activities that teens enjoy that also provide opportunities for social and emotional development. For example, a Dungeons & Dragons group at the library can serve as the vehicle youth need to develop skills such as teamwork, analyzing situations, communication, and a myriad of other crucial skills.

Questions for Bethany? Contact her at!

You’re Invited: Livestream Watch Party At TSLAC on Tuesday, November 13th

2018 November 1
by Cindy Fisher

Shape of Texas made up of small people

Jacob Villanueva/The Texas Tribune

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission invites you to our livestream watch party of the Texas Tribune’s Future of Rural Symposium on Tuesday, November 13th. If you’re not holding your own watch party, come watch it here with TSLAC staff at 1201 Brazos Street in the Tocker Learning Center from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

We’ll be livestreaming the event all day, so check out the schedule (below) and come for as much or as little time as you’d like. There will be treats and coffee and a bring-your-own brown bag lunch time discussion during the afternoon. We’ll have some low-key interactive ways to participate in addition to viewing the livestream. This is a unique opportunity to look at these important issues with fellow librarians – we hope you’ll join us!

9:15-10:05 a.m. Educating the Next Generation

  • Kim Alexander, superintendent of the Roscoe Independent School District
  • Jimmie Don Aycock, former state Rep. and former chair of the House Public Education Committee
  • Sylvia Leal, senior program officer for Education and Economic Development at the T.L.L Temple Foundation
  • Cheryl Sparks, president of Howard College
  • Moderated by Alana Rocha, multimedia reporter for The Texas Tribune

10:15-11:05 a.m. Investing in Infrastructure

  • Will Conley, chairman of CAMPO and a former Hays County commissioner
  • State Rep. Ben Leman, R-Anderson, and former Grimes County judge
  • State Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria and chair of the House Transportation Committee
  • Bill Stockton, executive associate agency director for the Interdisciplinary Research Group at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute
  • Moderated by Brandon Formby, urban affairs reporter for The Texas Tribune

12:45-1:35 p.m. The View from Rural Communities

  • Donnie Allred, Oldham County judge
  • Shelley Brophy, mayor of Nacogdoches
  • Alma Moreno, San Patricio County commissioner
  • Ramiro Rodriguez, mayor of Palmhurst
  • Moderated by Evan Smith, co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune

2:25-3:15 p.m. Building an Economic Future

  • Becky Garlick, executive dean of Blinn College
  • Arleene Loyd, executive director of the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation
  • Joe Outlaw, professor and extension economist in the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University
  • Ines Polonius, CEO of Communities Unlimited
  • Moderated by Alana Rocha, multimedia reporter for The Texas Tribune

3:25-4:15 p.m. Ensuring Rural Health

  • John Henderson, president and CEO of the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals
  • Susan Rushing, CEO of Burke
  • State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown
  • State Rep. J.D. Sheffield, R-Gatesville
  • Moderated by Marissa Evans, health and human services policy reporter for The Texas Tribune

NOW OPEN! FY19 Family Place Grant Application

2018 November 1
by Bethany Wilson

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is happy to announce the opening of the FY 2019 Family Place Libraries grant application! TSLAC is looking for qualified libraries to send to Family Place Training at the Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, New York. 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 ages 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.

The feedback we receive from our established Family Place Libraries is important to us, and we value your commitment to the program and your desire to see it grow. Based on your suggestions, I am happy to announce that TSLAC will also be offering established, qualified, Family Place Libraries the opportunity to apply for funding to  expand the Family Place program into one additional branch in your library system this fiscal year.

If chosen to participate in the 2019 cohort, new and expansion libraries can expect to send staff members to training either March 25-28 or May 6-9. Following training, TSLAC will reimburse participating libraries up to $6,000 to buy the supplies necessary to launch a successful Family Place Library location at their facility.

Applications are now open. The applications will close for submissions on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. The application is entirely online and can be accessed after logging into the TSLAC Grants Management System.

NOTE: If you do not have an account with the TSLAC Grants Management System or have questions about Family Place Libraries in Texas, please contact Bethany Wilson at, 512-463-4856 or 800-252-9386 (toll-free in Texas).

As you prepare to apply for the grant, please pay close attention to the appropriate Notice of Funding Opportunity document:

NEW Family Place Library Notice of Funding Opportunity

EXPANSION Family Place Library Notice of Funding Opportunity

Inside, you will find information on eligibility requirements as well as a scoring matrix that will provide guidance on the best information to include in your application to ensure the best scoring outcome. We also strongly suggest that you watch the free webinar: Applying for TSLAC Competitive Grants: What You Need to Know for FY 2018 to assist you as you make your way through the application. I’ll be releasing a new webinar specific to the Family Place grant in the coming weeks with additional information about the application process.

IMPORTANT!! When you reach the budget portion of your application, you are only required to fill in the line specific to Materials & Supplies. In the space for a description, please type in “Recommended Family Place Supplies.” The dollar amount should be $6,000. The links below will take you the GMS site so you can log in to begin your application:



If you have questions about Family Place Libraries 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.

HHH: Two Terrifying Technologies

2018 October 31
by Henry Stokes

Hi there, Henry here! In honor of this horrifying holiday, I’m highlighting a double dose of dreadful technologies sure to give you a scare. I couldn’t pick just one; both are bona fide bone-chillers, a couple current computer capabilities that will conclusively creep you out:


  1. Biometric verification
  2. Deepfake

1. Biometric verification,
what’s that?

This means using biological traits or measurements to help identify someone.  Fingerprinting is the analog version of biometric verification, but digital technology has developed to the point that we now have both voiceprinting and faceprinting.

There’s data (not gold) in them thar hills. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can recognize our unique voices, but it doesn’t just know our identity. There’s a lot of meaningful data, a scary amount of information, that can be figured out now from a person’s voice, such as:

  • age
  • health
  • emotional state
  • room density
  • what walls are made of
  • approximate location

And M.I.T. and others are figuring out how to replicate voiceprints.  Ponder that for a minute. Yikes.

(But be careful what you think: computer systems can now pick up what you say inside your head.)

There’s also data beneath the skin. Facial recognition is getting more and more ubiquitous. For the sake of convenience, all of the new iPhones released this year only have Face ID, with no Touch ID capability any more.  Voice or face authentication helps simplify access to buildings, resources, and services. At the library of the future, it could even be used to check out materials.

In China, face IDs are all the rage. Your face gets you a loan, you can smile into a camera to pay for something, and the police wear special smartglasses for ID recognition.  If you jaywalk in one place in China, your face is captured and connected to your social media identity, and then you get publicly shamed on giant billboards for all to see.



What will it mean that these digital IDs from your voice or face become necessary to function in a connected digital world?

2. Deepfake
, what’s that?

It’s now possible with the use of AI and deep machine learning to combine and superimpose existing images and videos onto source images or videos.  Sounds straightforward – but it has huge ramifications. What we think is our reality can be manipulated in an automatic manner right in front of our eyes. Seeing is no longer believing.

I think in this instance it’s better to show rather than tell. Here is an example of a deepfake video of Barack Obama being made to give an MLK speech:




AI can also fill in the gaps inside a photo or a video:



AI can watch a video and predict what will happen next:


And it can even, all by itself, go ahead and visually show a reconstruction of that prediction happening.

A positive use of this tech is AI monitoring security footage to detect anomalies.  Inside factories, for example, AI could notice and alert humans of machine faults and fatigued workers, contributing to efficiency and saving money and even lives.

To learn more about deepfake videos, watch this recent primer from the Wallstreet Journal:


Tech in Context:

What do digital ID systems and deepfake videos have in common? In the wrong hands – like those of criminals, hoaxers, scammers, and authoritarian regimes – they have the potential to be truly terrifying.

As a recent Wired article pointed out, digital ID systems are currently ripe for exploitation and abuse, threatening our freedoms and democracies. Ars Technica pointed out this month that  “Touch ID requires a physical, affirmative act of pressing a finger onto the scanner. But Face ID can be used from a few feet away, practically with just a furtive glance.” Where we used to be able to legally opt out of giving up our personal info locked inside our phones, we may now be easily forced to relinquish it by simply having looked up when our phone is placed in front of us.

Despite its many interesting and positive applications, AI’s new abilities to understand/predict/remake videos is understandably troubling, particularly in regard to hoaxes.  A deepfake video could be a form of identity theft – someone manipulating your likeness to make it look like you did something you didn’t do.


Library Role:

Should you as library workers be scared of these technologies?  Yes. But that doesn’t mean putting your head in the sand. Quite the opposite: it’s up to our profession to stay brave and keep our eyes wide open, doing all we can to better understand the potential pitfalls and dangers so we can protect our communities.  I see the library as part of the antidote to these techs’ terrors, a sort of Defense Against the Dark Arts.  It’s part of a library staffer’s job to inform patrons about privacy and security and to provide protection tools and resources.

As the Wired article urges, all must “advocate for the principles of data minimization, decentralization, consent, and limited access that reinforce our fundamental rights.” It falls especially to libraries to help voice this and perform the role of stewards and guides.

Libraries fight against misinformation, for free speech and other patron rights and protections.  The deepfake videos have the potential to add more disinformation and untrustworthy media into the world.

But what’s new about that? These are age-old problems for librarians and archivists.

I personally think we got this.

To leave you with, here’s a fun use of deepfake video technology.  UC Berkeley recently published this research, cleverly entitled, “Everybody Dance Now“, which actually shows how everybody will, well, be able to dance now.  On video, anyway…




Free CE and Training This Week – October 29 – November 1

2018 October 28
by Christina Manz

The weekly listing is sourced from Wyoming State Library Training Calendar with free training online, and free Texas workshops, updated as new events are added. 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, Oct 30
Rural America: Federal and Non-Profit Resources on Economic Development, Health, and Housing (Federal Depository Library Program)
This webinar will introduce three online resources dedicated to analyzing and providing data for rural areas: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency; The Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub); and The Housing Assistance Council. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 1-2pm

Tuesday, Oct 30
Book Tasting in the Library: A recipe for reading (Infopeople)
In this webinar, presenter Angela Maxwell will share examples of multiple book tasting events targeted at a teen audience. Attendees will have access to templates, as well as free online tools to implement their own book tasting event. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 2-3pm

Tuesday, Oct 30
Why a Digital Media Lab Belongs in Your Library (Texas State Library and Archives Commission)
Using digital media for self-expression, communication and creativity is a 21st century literacy.  Much like makerspaces, Digital Media Labs provide patrons with hands-on opportunities to build skills that can be transferred to school and the workplace, but can also bring out aspiring or seasoned hobbyists. In this webinar, two different librarians, Casey Dees of Tom Green County Library (San  Angelo, TX) and Kelly Brouillard of Lewisville Public Library (Lewisville, TX), will discuss their library’s digital media lab. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 2-3pm

Tuesday, Oct 30
The Boardroom 2018: Seven Habits of Effective Library Boards (State Library of Iowa)
This webinar proposes ideas for improving board productivity and community responsiveness.  Among the seven habits: foster respectful relationships, advocate for advancements, and create a culture of lifelong learning.  This wrap-up session Includes highlights from this year’s Boardroom series, helping to underscore the Seven Habits of Effective Library Boards. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 6-7:30pm

Tuesday, Oct 30
AI Bot ‘Professor/Librarian’ Delivers Lecture to Combat Fake News (San Jose State University iSchool)
Plutchik is the first artificial intelligence (AI) agent to deliver a fully automated lecture like a professor. This includes: delivering a talk in voice, changing slides, initiating videos, using appropriate gestures and facial expressions, and using 3D educational objects during a talk. Following the lecture, there will be time for the audience to interact with the bot asking any questions they like. Technology questions about the bot will be answered by Archivist Llewellyn. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 8-9pm

Wednesday, Oct 31
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 shaping a new reality for nonprofits. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 9:30-10:30am

Wednesday, Oct 31
NCompass Live: Teaching Digital Literacy in Your Library (Nebraska Library Commission)
We all know that librarians are the information superheroes of the world. It’s only natural that we would hold the key to digital literacy! When the topic is raised, people think of everything from learning e-readers, to practicing web safety, or building a website. This is all part of learning how to find, use, create and share digital content. The fun part is that digital literacy is always going to mean different things to different people. The trick is to find free resources library patrons will want to use. This webinar will help you prepare to teach digital literacy in your library. For more information and to register, visit:
Time: 10-11am