Only A Few Days Left to Apply for Texas Telehealth Funding!

Act now to take advantage of available funds set aside by TSLAC for Texas libraries to pursue telehealth projects.

Instructions for how to apply are here: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ldn/arpa/telehealth

Symbol of a library building embedded with a laptop displaying virtual doctor's visit

Want to set up a space at your library for your patrons to have virtual visits with doctors?  Funding from the Texas Telehealth Grant includes the following:

  • Networking equipment and cables
  • Computer hardware, software, and accessories
  • Furniture
  • Camera/video equipment/accessories
  • Portable ring lights/lamps
  • Sound baffles
  • Teleconferencing kiosk(s)
  • Mobile devices and related apps
  • Printers/scanners
  • IT support (computer/web)
  • Staff training
  • Medical supplies
  • Sanitation/infection prevention
  • Marketing and promotion

The maximum grant award will be $25,000 for a single library location and $50,000 for a multi-branch library. After notice of success, TSLAC will provide training to successful applicants to help finalize their grant budgets.

The deadline to submit applications is this Friday October 1, so APPLY NOW!

Check out these excellent resources to inform your applications:

Front cover of the SaferCareTX Pottsboro Playbook
Cover of Craig Settles' Library Telehealth Guide
First slide from "Establishing aTelehealth Center in Your Library" presentation

Second Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Window, Plus: Share Your ECF Thoughts With ALA

The second Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program Application Filing Window opens on September 28, 2021, and will close on October 13, 2021. This federal funding is for accredited public libraries to receive hotspots, lendable laptops, or Internet equipment and services for patron use outside of the library building.

Is ECF right for your library?

ECF does have requirements to be aware of:

  1. You must have an active FCC Registration Number, SAM.gov registration, and login to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) to participate.
  2. To receive ECF funds on internet access, you must comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) which, among other things, requires filtering on all of the library-owned computers.
  3. If you want to avoid having to filter, however, libraries do not have to be CIPA-compliant to get ECF funding for hotspot hardware and computers as long as they aren’t receiving ECF for internet access. You would NOT be able to use ECF for hotspot service (cellular data plan), however, without filtering. Note: Patron-owned computers never have to be filtered.
  4. Patrons receiving a circulated hotspot/connected device purchased with ECF will need to receive an eligible use policy from you and must sign and return a statement that says they lack the connectivity support at home.
  5. You need to maintain inventories of devices and services purchased with ECF support. Examples of what the inventories must include are: (a) device type, and; (b) name of the person the device was loaned to and the dates the device was loaned and returned.
  6. You must also maintain a record of the services purchased including: (a) type of service (e.g.,cable, fiber, wireless), (b) upload and download speeds; and (c) name of the person who received the service.
  7. You must retain records for at least 10 years from the last date of service or delivery of equipment funded by the ECF. This appears to mean that the information collected in the above Certification of need (# 2 above) and Inventories sections must be retained for 10 years.
  8. You are prohibited from selling or transferring equipment for three years after its purchase. After this, equipment may be sold, transferred, disposed of, donated, or traded.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please reach out to TSLAC’s library technology consultant Henry Stokes (hstokes@tsl.texas.gov).


What is your library’s experience with ECF so far?

The American Library Association is seeking information about the library experience with the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund program. If your library applied for ECF funding, strongly considered applying but did not apply, or is considering applying in the second application window (September 28- October 13) please fill out this short survey. Responses are anonymous and it should take less than 10 minutes to fill it out. ALA will use the aggregated data in their advocacy efforts with the FCC to seek improvements to the ECF program.

Please take a few minutes and fill out the survey. Deadline for responding is Wednesday, October 6.

Take ALA’s ECF Survey

2021 Texas Great Read Selection Marfa for the Perplexed Available Statewide as a Free e-Book

The Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission has chosen Marfa for the Perplexed by Lonn Taylor as the Texas Great Read for 2021. Every year, the Library of Congress asks each state Center for the Book to select a title that represents the state’s literary landscape to highlight at the National Book Festival. The event showcases the importance of books and reading. In 2021, the 21st Library of Congress National Book Festival will take place virtually September 17-26. 

Texas Center for the Book invites Texans to read Marfa for the Perplexed and to take part in a statewide book club by using the hashtag #TXGreatRead on social media. For more information on the 2021 Texas Great Read program, visit www.tsl.texas.gov/greatreadtexas

In celebration of its selection as the 2021 Texas Great Read, Marfa for the Perplexed is now available to Texas residents as a freely accessible e-book thanks to E-Read Texas, TSLAC’s statewide public library e-book program at www.tsl.texas.gov/greatread2021ebook

About the Book

Marfa for the Perplexed is literary nonfiction, essays, and Texas history all rolled into one. Readers meet artists, priests, ranchers, movie stars, chili aficionados, and more in the rugged borderlands of the Big Bend country. This compilation brings people and historical events of Marfa, Alpine, Fort Davis, Presidio County, Mexico, and the surrounding area to life. The book became very popular and during one interview when asked what surprised him most when researching the stories in the book, Lonn confessed that he had not realized “how deep the scars left by a century of segregation and suspicion between Anglo and Hispanic residents were, or how hard younger members of both groups are working to heal them.”

About the Author

Lonn Wood Taylor’s career took him to many different locations around the country before he resettled in the Big Bend area. He was Director and Curator at the Winedale Historical Complex in Central Texas, Curator at the Dallas Historical Society, and Deputy Director of the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe. In 1984 he went to Washington, DC, as the Historian and Director of public programs for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Described by the Washington Post as a “lively presence during his 18 years at the museum on the National Mall,” Lonn had a major role in preparing several of the museum’s permanent exhibits. One of his most renowned projects involved the history of the Star Spangled Banner which resulted in the book, The Star Spangled Banner: The Making of An American Icon. On the 200th anniversary of the battle that generated the anthem, Lonn was invited to appear on The Colbert Report, and, just in case Stephen Colbert asked, he memorized all four verses of Francis Scott Key’s song. His last work, Child of the Sun, a memoir of his childhood in the Philippines was published posthumously after his death in 2019.

In addition to Marfa for the Perplexed, the E-Read Texas collection currently includes more than 7,000 high-quality e-books from top publishers. While many of the e-books in the collection have limits on the number of simultaneous users, more than half the e-books are available for simultaneous use with no wait lists or holds. These titles are available to any resident of Texas via geolocation at https://e-readtx.biblioboard.com/home. Public libraries participating in the full E-Read Texas program can also access the entire collection of e-books via SimplyE, a free library app supported by the Amigos Library Consortia. Individuals are encouraged to visit their local library’s website to learn more about available digital resources.

Established in 1987, the Center for the Book seeks to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy and libraries. The Center builds partnerships with library professionals, educators, authors, publishers and booksellers who provide support to our shared mission of promoting a love of literature throughout the Lone Star State. The Texas Center for the Book is under the direction of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission at the Lorenzo De Zavala State Archives and Library Building in Austin, Texas.

FREE “Community Health Connections” Webinar Series on consumer health technology, marketing, and TexShare health databases

The Texas Woman’s University School of Library & Information Studies (TWU SLIS) has a free training opportunity for small rural public library staff in Texas. If you’re from an accredited Texas public library that serves a population of less than 25,000, and your job entails working with the public answering information needs (no MLS needed), then you are qualified to apply for participation in a FREE 5-part webinar series focused on consumer health, technology (e.g. telehealth) and community-based marketing. This includes training on the TexShare health databases!

As part of your participation in all five monthly webinars you will be supplied free of charge: webcams, a marketing text, and a poster to promote consumer health resources and support at your library.

Please apply for the webinar series by following the link below by the deadline of October 30. If you cannot participate yourself, feel free to recruit one of the library staff, assuming they meet the requirements listed above and can commit to participating in all five webinars. Participation will be limited to one staff member per library.

Link to application:  https://www.psychdata.com/s.asp?SID=193873

For questions, please contact Carol Perryman at cperryman@twu.edu.

Students Invited to Participate in 2021-2022 Letters About Literature Texas Competition

Banner for Letters About Literature Texas

The Texas Center for the Book’s website is updated for the 2021-2022 Letters About Literature Texas contest, a program that invites students to respond to authors of books or poetry who have touched their lives. The contest is open to Texas students in grades 4 through 12.

Participants select a book, book series, essay, play poem, short story of speech that has made a lasting impact on their lives. They then write a personal letter to the author that reflects how they have been changed, inspired or motivated by the work they selected. State winners receive $100 and will be honored at 2022 Texas Library Association Conference.

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for 4th-12th graders under the direction of the Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The submissions will open on Nov. 4, 2021, and all submissions for the 2021 contest must be submitted on the new online submission platform by Dec. 17, 2021, 5:00 p.m. (CST). A permission form is required for all students who will be younger than 13 on Nov. 4, 2021.

To learn more about the contest, how to submit and to view winning entries from previous years, visit: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature.

The website also features an Educator Resources page including a new TEKS guide, printable bookmarks and student handouts, participation certificates, key dates, permission forms, and a step-by-step teaching guide featuring writing prompts. The site also includes a Frequently Asked Questions page, student and teacher submission guidelines, letters from past winner, videos from authors, and the official contest rules

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month!

It’s September, which means it’s Library Card Sign-up Month!

What is Library Card Sign-up Month?

According to the American Library Association (ALA)’s website, Library Card Sign-up Month is “a time when the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide join together to remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning.”

For resources, ideas and information, check out ALA’s Library Card Sign-up Month website or the Press Kit website.

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month! Celebrate by getting your very own library card. Visit your library’s website for more information.
September is Library Card Sign-Up Month! Celebrate by getting your very own library card. Visit your library’s website for more information.

¡Septiembre es el Mes de inscripción para la tarjeta de la biblioteca! Celébralo obteniendo tu propia tarjeta. Visita el sitio web de tu biblioteca para más información.
¡Septiembre es el Mes de inscripción para la tarjeta de la biblioteca! Celébralo obteniendo tu propia tarjeta. Visita el sitio web de tu biblioteca para más información.

Upcoming TSLAC Webinar: New TSLAC Grant Programs

On Wednesday, September 1 from 2 to 3 p.m., join TSLAC staff for a live webinar to learn about three new competitive grant opportunities for libraries made possible by emergency pandemic funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA):

1. Texas Supports Libraries Grant Program is designed to help communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches.

2. Texas Telehealth Grant Program will award libraries with the equipment and resources needed to facilitate a telehealth project at their library facilities.

3. Texas Digital Navigators Grant Program will help libraries develop and implement a unique Digital Navigator program to help close the digital divide in their communities.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) will begin accepting grant applications for these programs on September 3, 2021. Awarded projects will run December 2021-August 2022.

Attend this webinar to learn more about these programs and determine whether they might meet the needs of your community.

Register here

Note: As this program is primarily informational in nature, there will be no CE credit awarded for this event.

Staff Highlight: Adriana Cavitt Cavazos

As part of our effort to make sure you know who the staff here at the Texas State Library are, we would like to periodically highlight staff members that you may at some point come in contact with! For our next staff highlight of 2021, I interviewed Adriana Cavitt Cavazos, Library Development and Networking (LDN)’s new Office Assistant!

Photo of Adriana Cavitt Cavazos
Adriana Cavitt Cavazos, Office Assistant

What are your job responsibilities at TSLAC?

I am the friendly and smiling person you will first see when you visit our office. I provide administrative support for the LDN Division; I assist the Resource Sharing workgroup with TexShare and TexQuest programs; I also assist in the maintenance of accurate workshop participant records, with the preparation of workshop materials; and LDN travel arrangements and reimbursements.

What projects are you excited to get started with?

Working with TexQuest and TexShare and assist managing, updating and cleaning up CRM Database.

What was the last book your read/movie you watched/podcast or song you listened to that you enjoyed?

The last book I read was The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This book is one of those you can’t put down. The story begins in 1945 when the main character Daniel is conducted by his father to a mysterious place in the heart of Barcelona: The Cemetery of The Forgotten Books where Daniel finds “The Shadow of The Wind”, a cursed book that will transform his life…..

What is something about you that people don’t know?

I retired with the Great State of Texas in 2018 after 21 years working with Texas Workforce Commission/Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

What drew you to this position?

I always wanted to work in a library environment and get to know their structure; when I found this job opening, I felt it was exactly what I was looking for. I am very happy to be here and to have a second run as a State Employee.

Apply Now for Federal ECF Funding for Hotspots and Devices

As previously announced in June, the window is now open for the next 44 days (June 29 to August 13)  for accredited public libraries to apply for the federal Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) in order to purchase hotspots, lendable laptops, or Internet equipment and services for patron use outside of the library building.

There is now an ECF official website that has training and a place to enter your email address to receive official announcements, including upcoming training opportunities.

Is ECF right for your library?

ECF does have requirements to be aware of:

  1. You must have an active FCC Registration Number, SAM.gov registration, and login to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) to participate.
  2. To receive ECF funds on internet access, you must comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) which, among other things, requires filtering on all of the library-owned computers.
  3. If you want to avoid having to filter, however, libraries do not have to be CIPA-compliant to get ECF funding for hotspot hardware and computers as long as they aren’t receiving ECF for internet access. You would NOT be able to use ECF for hotspot service (cellular data plan), however, without filtering.  Note: Patron-owned computers never have to be filtered.
  4. Patrons receiving a circulated hotspot/connected device purchased with ECF will need to receive an eligible use policy from you and must sign and return a statement that says they lack the connectivity support at home.
  5. You need to maintain inventories of devices and services purchased with ECF support. Examples of what the inventories must include are: (a) device type, and; (b) name of the person the device was loaned to and the dates the device was loaned and returned.
  6. You must also maintain a record of the services purchased including: (a) type of service (e.g.,cable, fiber, wireless), (b) upload and download speeds; and (c) name of the person who received the service.
  7. You must retain records for at least 10 years from the last date of service or delivery of equipment funded by the ECF. This appears to mean that the information collected in the above Certification of need (# 2 above) and Inventories sections must be retained for 10 years.
  8. You are prohibited from selling or transferring equipment for three years after its purchase. After this, equipment may be sold, transferred, disposed of, donated, or traded.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please reach out to TSLAC’s library technology consultant Henry Stokes (hstokes@tsl.texas.gov) who has begun an email list for any Texas libraries interested in ECF or future funding opportunities for hotspot/connected device lending (and there are more coming!). Let him know you’d like to be added so you can stay up to date with news and resources.

Give TSLAC Feedback About Two New Tech Funding Opportunities

TSLAC is planning to launch two upcoming Texas library technology grant programs—telehealth and digital navigators—both made possible by emergency pandemic funding. If you are from a Texas library, we’d love to get your input!

Opportunity 1: Telehealth

TSLAC is planning to provide a grant opportunity that would provide awarded libraries the equipment and resources needed to implement a telehealth program at their library facilities. Telehealth at the library is when Internet networks and computers are used to help facilitate visits between health care providers and library patrons.

Opportunity 2: Digital Navigators

TSLAC is planning to provide training, funding, and resources to awarded libraries to implement a Digital Navigators program for their community. Digital Navigators are individuals who address the whole digital inclusion process—home connectivity, devices, and digital skills—with community members through repeated interactions. A trained Digital Navigator will be able to assess a community member’s need, and competently guide them towards resources that are suitable both for their skill level and lifestyle.


You can now watch a recording of TSLAC’s webinar last week describing the two programs in development. In addition to an overview provided by staff from TSLAC’s Continuing Education and Consulting Department, you’ll hear from two pioneers in these areas: Dianne Connery of Pottsboro Library (TX) discussing her telehealth pilot, and Shauna Edson and Justin Strange of Salt Lake City Public Library (UT) discussing their Digital Navigators project. Please note: Although you can watch the recording as a guest without logging in to our online course page, you’ll want to be sure to log in and enroll in the course if you’d like to receive 1 hour of Continuing Education (CE) credit.

Are you interested in one or both of these opportunities? Do you foresee any obstacles to taking advantage of them? Are there reasons why they wouldn’t be a good fit for your library right now? Please let us know your thoughts by taking the following survey (less than 10 minutes) by Tuesday, July 6.

Survey link: http://s.alchemer.com/s3/Funding-for-Telehealth-and-Digital-Navigators

Thank you! We look forward to getting your input to ensure these programs best meet your library’s needs.

For questions about the telehealth program, please contact Henry Stokes at hstokes@tsl.texas.gov. For questions about Digital Navigators, please contact Cindy Fisher at cfisher@tsl.texas.gov.