Students Invited to Participate in 2020-2021 Letters About Literature Texas Competition

Letters About LIterature banner

The Texas Center for the Book has announced the 2020-2021 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 opens November 4, 2020, and is open to Texas students in grades 4 through 12.

Participants select a book, book series, essay, play poem, short story, or 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 travel assistance for the 2021 Texas Library Association Annual Conference.
 
All submissions for the contest must be submitted through the online submission platform by December 17, 2020, 5:00 p.m. (CST).  permission form is required for all students who will be younger than 13 on November 4, 2020.

To learn more about the contest, how to submit and to view winning entries from previous years, visit www.tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature. The website also features an Educator Resources page including 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 winners, videos from authors, and the official contest rules.

For more information on Texas Center for the Book initiatives, a project of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, visit www.tsl.texas.gov/centerforthebook or contact Ms. Manley at rmanley@tsl.texas.gov or 512-936-2505.

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 CE and Training This Week – Sept. 7-11

Weekly listing sourced primarily 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, Sept. 8 (12-1:30 p.m.)

Race, Power, and Curation: Black Women’s Suffrage Digital Collection Launch Event (Digital Public Library of America)

The event will feature a keynote by Dorothy Berry, the Digital Collections Program Manager at Houghton Library, Harvard University, on the importance of curating Black Collections and centering Black Stories intentionally during this transitory period of American history, as well as other speakers.

For more information and to register, visit: https://tinyurl.com/yylbjqhh


Tuesday, Sept. 8 (1-2 p.m.)

Love Letters: Romantic Reads for Your Shelf (Booklist)

Who needs dating when you have books? Allow us to make the introductions to some dreamy titles that are sure to make you swoon from Sourcebooks, HarperCollins Publishers, and Macmillan Library! Plus, we’ll hear from collection development librarian Beth Atwater and author and librarian Amy Alessio, rounding this out to be the best date ever!

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.booklistonline.com/webinars


Tuesday, Sept. 8 (1-2 p.m.)

Nonprofit Cybersecurity: Tools to Get Started (IdealWare)

As IT has become an increasingly important dimension of nonprofits’ core operations, the dangers that IT security holes pose to non-profits has also risen dramatically, and continues to do so each day.  In this webinar, the Lead of Tech Impact’s Security Team will outline the most common classes of IT-based threats that the non-profit community faces, and discuss strategies and tools for reducing the risk that any given organization might face from these threats.

For more information and to register, visit: https://techimpact.org/events/


Tuesday, Sept. 8 (1-2 p.m.)

Understanding Soft Risk in Volunteer Engagement (VolunteerMatch)

We all worry about the hard risks that can have an impact on our volunteers and the work they do, but too often we don’t think about the soft risk. Soft risks are the attitudes, beliefs and actions that expose our organizations to risks. Those risks may include the actions of staff – both paid and volunteer, interactions on social media, lack of training for leaders and volunteers – leading to risky behavior, and how failing to screen for characteristics or “fit” can open volunteers and the organization up to risk. This webinar is designed to help attendees identify soft risks in their organization and give them the tools to make changes to processes and culture to minimize and address these risks.

For more information and to register, visit: http://learn.volunteermatch.org/training-topics


Tuesday, Sept. 8 (1-2 p.m.)

Picture Books for Fall (School Library Journal)

Visual storytelling provides one of the earliest building blocks for helping young minds make sense of their emotions and surroundings. Join this webcast for a preview into the colorful and candid world of picture books, spanning timeless educational concepts to stories of loss and hope.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.slj.com/?subpage=Events


Tuesday, Sept. 8 (2-3 p.m.)

Helping Students Succeed During COVID-19 (Infopeople)

This webinar will examine how public libraries across the country are helping students, their parents, and teachers succeed in the new world of distance learning. We will look at popular educational websites and reading resources as well as examples of videos designed to help Spanish-language speakers access the library’s resources. We will also discuss how one library continues to provide class visits during stay-at-home and will learn about “pandemic pods.” We will even share how some libraries are helping families deal with food insecurity due to school closures.

For more information and to register, visit: https://infopeople.org/training/view/webinar


Wednesday, Sept .9 (12-1 p.m.)

Intentional Leadership: Board Governance Practices that Promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (Part 2 of 2) (Bloomerang)

Our nation is now engaged in protests and conversations about critical issues. These are conversations that nonprofit executives and board leaders need to be a part of. These conversations are long overdue, and we cannot give in to our discomfort and allow this opportunity to fade away. This is a movement not a moment, we know that you have questions, ideas, and concerns. What is the nonprofit’s board’s leadership role and what can you do?

For more information and to register, visit: https://bloomerang.co/resources/webinars/


Wednesday, Sept. 9 (1-2 p.m.)

FirstSearch® overview (OCLC)

In this session, you will explore FirstSearch’s robust search capabilities for WorldCat and other databases. You will learn how to use indexes, limiters, and other techniques to obtain optimal search results.

For more information and to register, visit the registration link.


Wednesday, Sept. 9 (1-1:45 p.m.)

Grey Literature Resources to Support Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)

September is National Preparedness Month. Join us to learn about Grey Literature and how it can be helpful during evolving situations. What is Grey Literature? How do you find it? And how can it help during emergency preparedness, response and recovery? This session will introduce participants to the concept of Grey Literature, its uses and resources for finding it. This session will also include a live demonstration of one resource for finding Grey Literature related to emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

For more information and to register, visit: https://nnlm.gov/training/classes-by-availability-scheduled


Wednesday, Sept 9 (1-2 p.m.)

Simple Strategic Planning Training (State Library of North Carolina)

Training participants will be introduced to: The importance of strategic planning; Simple strategies for leading a strategic planning process; and Techniques for effectively implementing a strategic plan.

For more information and to register, visit: https://statelibrary.ncdcr.libcal.com/event/7035921


Wednesday, Sept. 9 (1-2 p.m.)

Fall Graphic Novels for All Levels (Library Journal)

From action-packed manga, thrilling sci-fi/fantasy and hero-led humor, this season’s graphic novels releases will not disappoint! Join our panel of insiders who will share new and upcoming titles – and some beloved series and sequels – to dazzle your shelves.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.libraryjournal.com/?subpage=Events


Wednesday, Sept. 9 (1-2 p.m.)

An Outrage: Hosting a Virtual Scholar-Led Screening and Discussion (Programming Librarian)

The nationwide uprising for racial justice could spur fundamental shifts in how Americans remember and reckon with the past. Join us to learn how your library can play a constructive role by hosting a virtual film screening and discussion program.

For more information and to register, visit: https://programminglibrarian.org/learn


Wednesday, Sept. 9 (1-2:30 p.m.)

Basics of Collection Photography (Connecting to Collections Care)

Accurate photography is essential for preservation, access, and care of collections. This webinar is an introduction to basic practices for collection photography. This webinar aims to give participants the tools needed to: Set up or improve a photography space; Select equipment, tools, and software; Capture images; Select archival file formats; Record metadata; Recognize and address common issues when photographic collections.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.connectingtocollections.org/calendar/


Wednesday, Sept. 9 (2-3 p.m.)

Online and Face-to-Face – They Want Me to do What? Thriving in a Blended Learning Classroom (AbleNet)

Universal Design for Learning is a powerful approach to personalized learning for all students. But how do we know what tools are the most useful? In this interactive session, we will showcase top digital tools for the inclusive classroom, then engage in practical dialogue around easy implementation options.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.ablenetinc.com/resources/live_webinars


Wednesday, Sept. 9 (2-3 p.m.)

Overcoming the Overhead Myth: Budgeting for an Effective Website, Marketing & Growth (Firespring)

When it comes to running your organization, most nonprofits feel pressured to do as much as possible with as little as possible. Donors still scrutinize nonprofits, wondering what percentage of their gift actually goes toward the “cause.” Today, it’s crucial to invest in your organization so you can continue to operate and support your mission.

For more information and to register, visit: https://firespring.com/webinars/


Wednesday, Sept. 9 (2-3 p.m.)

Trauma-Informed Nonprofit Leadership (NonProfit Hub)

Now more than ever, the people in your organization are likely to experience traumatic events that may affect their performance at work. This interactive session applies the lessons of trauma-informed teaching to leadership & management. To help people feel at ease while doing their best, managers must understand what trauma is, learn about its neurological effects, and identify how people struggling with trauma “show up.” Attend this webinar to learn how to successfully lead, teach, and work with trauma-impacted colleagues in a post-COVID environment.

For more information and to register, visit: https://nonprofithub.org/hubinars/


Thursday, Sept. 10 (10-11 a.m.)

Orientation to Legal Research Webinar Series: U.S. Federal Statutes (Law Library of Congress)

This entry in the series provides an overview of U.S. statutory and legislative research, including information about how to find and use the U.S. Code, the U.S. Statutes at Large, and U.S. federal bills and resolutions.

For more information and to register, visit: https://blogs.loc.gov/law/2020/08/september-2020-us-law-webinars/


Thursday, Sept. 10 (12-1 p.m.)

Scenario Planning in Uncertain Times (Propel Nonprofits)

Join us as we explore how to assess your current and future financial positions by developing new scenario and contingency plans for your organizations. The webinar will provide techniques and approaches to having practical conversations critical to organizational decision making, while also providing analytical tools to assist in gauging the risks to your income and the flexibility of your expenses.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.propelnonprofits.org/upcoming-trainings/


Thursday, Sept. 10 (12-1 p.m.)

Integrating Assistive Technology into Virtual Instruction for Struggling Readers (edWeb.net)

This edWebinar will explore ways to integrate assistive technology (AT) into virtual instruction that can benefit struggling readers in their general education classes as well as their special education services. The session will discuss the difference between instructional technology (IT) and assistive technology (AT) and focus on several devices and apps that both general educators and specialists can incorporate into their virtual instruction to enhance their students’ learning.

For more information and to register, visit: https://home.edweb.net/webinars/


Thursday, Sept 10 (1-2 p.m.)

Disney Publishing Worldwide Preview (Booklist)

Join Booklist and Disney Publishing Worldwide for this special preview, featuring titles from fall, winter, and spring lists. Also in this program, attendees will hear from Rick Riordan Presents authors—J. C. Cervantes (THE SHADOW CROSSER), Kwame Mbalia (TRISTAN STRONG DESTROYS THE WORLD), Tehlor Kay Mejia (PAOLA SANTIAGO AND THE RIVER OF TEARS), and Sarwat Chadda (CITY OF THE PLAGUE GOD)—as well as Disney authors—J. J. Gilbert (THE MOUSE WATCH), Alyssa Moon (DELPHINE AND THE SILVER NEEDLE), Emma Theriault (THE QUEEN’S COUNCIL: REBEL ROSE), and Estelle Laure (CITY OF VILLAINS). Each panel of authors will discuss their writing experience, upcoming books, and participate in a brief Q&A led by Stephanie Lurie, editor of Rick Riordan Presents, and Julia Smith, Books for Youth senior editor at Booklist.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.booklistonline.com/webinars


Thursday, Sept. 10 (1-2 p.m.)

Creating Virtual Classroom Experiences using Microlearning (InSync Training)

Would your learners benefit from virtual training served up in small pieces? Are you ready to move out of long slideshow presentations and engage your learners with content they can and WANT to use after the event is over? Microlearning can be the perfect solution under these conditions. Move from a ‘slides and guides’ approach to virtual classroom design to a practical, immediately valuable approach. When you incorporate the tools you want employees to use on the job into your virtual classroom design, everyone wins.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.insynctraining.com/virtually-there-series/


Thursday, Sept. 10 (1-2:30 p.m.)

Pharmaceutical Research Sources Available for COVID-19 (Federal Depository Library Program)

This session will provide an overview of pharmaceutical research from Government sources and other freely available sources for the virus SARS-CoV-2 and the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.fdlp.gov/about-the-fdlp/fdlp-events-calendar


Friday, Sept. 11 (1-2 p.m.)

Making Difficult Conversations Easy (Effectiveness Institute)

Do you shy away from conflict? In organizations across the world conflict is avoided. Expectations go unmet, values are violated, and overall under-performance exists because people do not know how to effectively resolve issues without resorting to the use of power. This one-hour session introduces you to concepts that enable you to begin to “integrate conflict”—to walk into it and effectively handle it—rather than avoid it.

For more information and to register, visit: https://effectivenessinstitute.com/events/

Statewide Interlibrary Loan : Current Considerations

Libraries are across Texas are in various states of reopening as we adjust—and readjust—to life during the COVID pandemic. During changes to library services related to COVID, it is  a local decision whether and when  your library is ready to borrow and lend materials through ILL.  We hope you find the information below helpful in decision making regarding ILL and other services moving forward:

1, TSLAC has created a tool for libraries to report and view facility openings and service availability, including ILL, in libraries across the state. Please see information on the Texas Library Status Project, and add your library’s information, on our COVID-19 Information page here: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ldn/covid-19

2. The REALM project is a research project conducted by OCLC, IMLS, and Battelle focused on how long the COVID-19 virus survives on materials that are prevalent in libraries, archives, and museums. The project draws upon the research to produce authoritative, science-based information on how materials can be handled to mitigate exposure to staff and visitors. Please see their research results here: https://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/COVID-19-research-project.html

3. OCLC provides a crowd sourced list and map that includes the ILL borrowing and lending status of participating libraries across the country, and world, here: https://libraries.oclc.org/

4. A new listserv for Navigator ILL users is now available. Any staff that might benefit from Texas ILL news, updates, and/or a place to ask and respond to questions about ILL can register here: https://lists.state.tx.us/mailman/listinfo/navigator-ill (Please check both your inbox and spam/junk folder for your registration confirmation email!)

As your library makes any changes to ILL services, please make sure any updates are reflected in your Navigator NRE account by suspending or unsuspending your library under: Locations—Edit Own—Local Holidays. 

Please contact Sara Hayes at shayes@tsl.texas.gov with any questions or concerns.

Upcoming Webinars on School and Copyright Resources

As the 2020-2021 school year gets started, we are hosting two webinars that may be of interest to both public and school library audiences. Registration information can be found below.

Stack of books
Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/photos/lUaaKCUANVI)

Resources for the 2020-2021 School Year: TexShare, TexQuest, and more!

Tuesday, Sept 15 at 2: 00 p.m. Central

Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2890745121447530255

The 2020-2021 school year is shaping up to be uniquely challenging. Some students will be in the classroom, and some will be at home and exploring online learning. Public and school libraries will need to work closely with each other and with families to ensure all students are able to equitably continue their education. During this webinar, we will explore TexShare and TexQuest databases, as well as additional resources, to help assist families both at home and in their classrooms.

We will be hearing from Kyla Hunt, Youth Services Consultant; Laura Tadena, Inclusive Services Consultant; Liz Philippi, School Program Coordinator; and Russlene Waukechon, Networked Information Coordinator.

This webinar will be recorded; however, for maximum benefit, including the ability to ask questions in real time, we strongly encourage you to attend the live session.

Copyright and Creative Commons resources for patrons, students, and library workers

Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 2:00 p.m. Central

Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3252325017821180941

More than ever, libraries need resources for free, including copyrighted images and other online content. In this webinar, we will be exploring resources to help you find information on copyright issues involving remote learning and other services, as well as online repositories of content you can use with patrons and students.

We will also be taking a deep dive into Creative Commons, which allows content creators to create licenses to share their creations with the world while holding on to their copyright. They also provide searching tools for students, teachers and the public to find content to use for free.

In this session, Kyla Hunt, Youth Services Consultant with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and Liz Philippi, TSLAC’s School Program Coordinator, will explore ways to locate Creative Commons licensed materials and to promote their use in your library. Please note that the presenters are not lawyers and cannot provide legal advice.

This webinar will be recorded; however, for maximum benefit, including the ability to ask questions in real time, we strongly encourage you to attend the live session.

Staff Highlight: Karen McElfresh

woman smiling
Karen McElfresh

As part of our effort to make sure you know the staff here at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, we periodically interview those with whom you may at some point come into contact! For this staff highlight, I interviewed Karen McElfesh, our new Resource Sharing Projects Coordinator.

What are your job responsibilities at TSLAC? 

I am the Resource Sharing Projects Coordinator, which is part of the Library Development and Networking division. My primary responsibilities are with the E-Read Texas project, which provides e-books to small and rural public libraries across the state. The program is fairly new, so I will be doing promotion and training to get more libraries involved with the program.  

What projects are you excited to get started with? 

I’m excited to get started working with libraries across the state and learn more about their needs when it comes to e-books and other electronic materials.  

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

I just finished the book My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite for my book club. It’s a dark comedy about a woman whose sister keeps killing her boyfriends. It’s a really quick read and worth checking out. 

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

I used to work in a hospital blood bank before I was a librarian. I worked in the Texas Medical Center for about five years, doing compatibility testing and preparing blood for transfusion. I decided it wasn’t the career for me long-term and went back to school to become a librarian. 

What drew you to this position? 

I was interested in this position because it offers opportunities to collaborate with lots of different people, including libraries of all types, vendors and publishers, and my colleagues at TSLAC. I’m really enjoying getting to know everyone at TSLAC and learning more about all of the work we do across the state – it’s a great group of people!  


Free CE and Training This Week – Aug. 31 – Sept. 4

Weekly listing sourced primarily 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, Sept. 1 (11-11:45 a.m.)

How to Get More Donations: A 101 Guide to Charitable Giving (Nonprofit Learning Lab)

Donors are so used to writing checks when they feel called to give. In fact, nearly 90% of all charitable giving is out of their incomes. But there are so many different ways your donors can use their assets to give back to meaningful causes … including your nonprofit.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.nonprofitlearninglab.org/webinars


Tuesday, Sept. 1 (12-1 p.m.)

Asking Styles: A Revolutionary Concept in Fundraising (CharityHowTo)

There is no one right way to ask for a donation. Some people take great care preparing well-organized and complete presentations. Others prepare with just a few talking points and then use the energy of the prospect to guide the conversation. Some people are energized by the prospect of tying down a gift. For others it is a great act of courage. You have your own Asking Style, and if you learn to ask in your Style, you will be more comfortable, confident and successful as an asker. Join Brian Saber, President of Asking Matters, to learn about the revolutionary concept of Asking Styles created by his company.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.charityhowto.com/nonprofit-live-webinars


Tuesday, Sept. 1 (12-1 p.m.)

Mapping Your Capital Campaign During the COVID-19 Crisis (Bloomerang)

This presentation explores how your nonprofit can move forward with its capital campaign in the current environment. We discuss how to assess your fundraising potential, plan for new challenges, and expand your definition of campaign success. Board outlook, timelines, revisions to materials, and creative communications all are considered. Before COVID-19, you had a brilliant roadmap to guide you to your fundraising destinations. This pandemic presented a major roadblock, but it’s time to get behind the wheel again!

For more information and to register, visit: https://bloomerang.co/resources/webinars/


Tuesday, Sept. 1 (1-2 p.m.)

Preparing for the Unthinkable, Planning for the Inevitable: Disaster Prevention, Response, and Recovery for Libraries (Federal Depository Library Program)

While storms may cause damage from wind and flood, building systems and even the public can be threats to collections. Participants in this webinar will learn about the most frequent threats to library collections, assess collection risks, and develop the basic elements of a disaster prevention and recovery plan.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.fdlp.gov/about-the-fdlp/fdlp-events-calendar


Tuesday, Sept. 1 (1-2 p.m.)

Storytelling for Impact (Firespring)

Join Firespring CMO Angie Kubicek as she goes through tips, techniques and tools to help the modern marketer tell better and more impactful stories to activate their audiences around ideas and actions.

For more information and to register, visit: https://firespring.com/webinars/


Tuesday, Sept. 1 (1-2 p.m.)

Return to the Future: Your 2020 Census (Indiana State Library)

Have we had time to think about the future lately? No. But have you noticed that libraries thrive in unexpected situations? These last few months have been beyond belief. A worldwide pandemic was not on our schedule for the 2020 Census. From what I’ve seen, though, libraries have pitched in to provide services beyond what has been expected. This webinar will guide us toward the finish line of promoting the 2020 Census for our patrons.

For more information and to register, visit: https://continuinged.isl.in.gov/find-training/online-training-series/


Tuesday, Sept. 1 (2-3 p.m.)

Closing the Gender Gap: Developing Gender Equitable STEAM Programs (STAR Net)

STAR Net is teaming up with the Emmy-award winning PBS SciGirls to explore the importance of gender equitable programs where all patrons can develop positive STEAM identities. Be part of the change in closing the gender gap by offering empowering programs and activities that strengthen girls’ interest and confidence in STEAM, and learn strategies that use the latest research in engaging all patrons in science learning.

For more information and to register, visit: http://www.starnetlibraries.org/resources/webinars/


Wednesday, Sept. 2 (10-11 a.m.)

The ‘Toward Gigabit Libraries’ Project Update (Nebraska Library Commission)

Join us for an update on the Toward Gigabit Libraries project, funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), designed to help public and tribal librarians learn about their current broadband infrastructure and internal information technology (IT) environment. The project has been awarded a new grant from the IMLS to fund an expansion of the Towards Gigabit Libraries toolkit to increase tech capacities in rural, tribal & urban libraries. Through the use of the project’s “Broadband Toolkit” and customizable “Broadband Improvement Plan”, librarians have become better equipped to improve their broadband services and become stronger advocates for their libraries’ broadband infrastructure needs.

For more information and to register, visit: http://www.nlc.state.ne.us/scripts/calendar/eventlist.asp?Mode=ALL


Wednesday, Sept. 2 (12:30-1 p.m.)

Anti-Racism in Academia: A Learning Journey – Listen (EduCause)

In response to the dialogue across EDUCAUSE community groups and within our personal lives, a small group of community leaders have developed the Anti-Racism in Academia: A Learning Journey (ARiA) series. The ARiA series was created to inspire a more understanding and inclusive community in higher education by engaging professionals of all levels and across disciplines. Combatting racism on a personal, professional, and communal scale requires time and intentional effort; it really is a journey of discovery and understanding.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.educause.edu/conferences-events/online-events


Wednesday, Sept. 2 (2-3 p.m.)

Gender Equity in Online STEM Learning (National Girls Collaborative Project)

When engaging girls in STEM there are many strategies and practices that support gender equity and access, but how do those strategies work in online or hybrid learning environments? This webinar will explore what works for girls from preschool and early elementary to middle school and high school, potential adaptations, and new ideas to consider when teaching girls STEM online.

For more information and to register, visit: https://ngcproject.org/events


Wednesday, Sept. 2 (2-3 p.m.)

Turning Non-Profits into Visual Storytellers (NonProfit Hub)

Not getting enough clicks on your call to action? Join visual storytelling consultant Tara Todras-Whitehill, as she explains how to tap into an authentic narrative, effectively use visuals, and emotionally connect to audiences.

For more information and to register, visit: https://nonprofithub.org/hubinars/


Thursday, Sept. 3 (12-12:45 p.m.)

5 Reasons Why Direct Mail Continues to Create Fundraising Home Runs (CharityHowTo)

With so many events canceled or moved to virtual and digital, direct mail has received a much deeper appreciation. Especially with increased email and social media use, direct mail results can’t be beat! At the end of the 45 minute Nonprofit webinar you will know why it’s important to keep or even add more direct mail into your fundraising plans.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.charityhowto.com/nonprofit-live-webinars/free


Thursday, Sept. 3 (12-1 p.m.)

Organizational Planning In Times Of Uncertainty (Bloomerang)

Clear organizational plans strengthen fundraising, focus, commitment and energy among staff, board and donors. Yet in uncertain times, planning is challenging. This webinar will explore considerations for organizational planning and models that have helped nonprofits to build plans that support their work through recent shifts.

For more information and to register, visit: https://bloomerang.co/resources/webinars/


Thursday, Sept. 3 (12-1 p.m.)

Optimizing the Distance Learning Experience and Virtual Classroom (Educause)

Distance learning and the use of online resources in K-12 and higher education are becoming commonplace and standard in today’s world. Online applications such as Moodle manage and deliver the educational experience. Learn about IT best practices to ensure that these digital education tools are available and can offer a quality application experience (AX) for the students and educators.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.educause.edu/conferences-events/online-events


Thursday, Sept. 3 (1-2 p.m.)

How to Design Socially Distanced Classrooms During COVID-19 (edWeb.net)

As educators begin to welcome children back to school, COVID-19 has presented several challenges. One in particular is how to design, set up and implement classrooms that meet physical distancing standards while still encouraging classroom community. Limitations such as space and budget may also add to the conundrum. In this edWebinar, Sandra Duncan, Ed.D., and architect Lauren Magee will provide practical and helpful strategies for educators seeking ways to safely distance children in the COVID classroom.

For more information and to register, visit: http://home.edweb.net/upcoming-webinars/

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Emergency Management

To help libraries stay prepared in advance of Hurricane Laura and other natural disasters, we wanted to share the following information from our previous blog post on hurricane and tropical storm management; you can find the original blog post here: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/librarydevelopments/2019/09/23/update-hurricane-tropical-storm-emergency-management/.

To find updated information on Hurricane Laura, please visit https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#Laura. Preparedness tips are uploaded to the HENTF dashboard, https://fema.connectsolutions.com/hentf/, along with key messages and graphics from the National Hurricane Center. Please note that the HENTF dashboard may require an Adobe Connect download to open.

Libraries are never more needed than in times of crisis, and it is in times of crisis that we demonstrate why we libraries are so essential.

You can access hurricane/tropical storm disaster recovery resources for libraries, archives, and cultural institutions on TSLAC’s website. You will find current state, federal, and professional association points of contact for disaster preparedness and response and emergency management, as well as links to helpful tips from FEMA Federal Emergency Management AgencyOffice of the Governor Greg Abbott Emergency Management and Texas Hurricane CenterTexas Department of Public Safety Division of Emergency Management, the National Hurricane Center, American Library AssociationTexas Library AssociationThe Library of CongressSociety of American ArchivistsSociety of Southwest Archivists, and more.

Houston Public Library Director Dr. Rhea Lawson wrote to us after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 to report on the status of damage to her libraries. Dr. Lawson made the following wonderful observation:

“As you know, for so many people libraries are a vital lifeline. We recognize that during catastrophic times libraries are even more essential as people need a trusted familiar anchor and touchstone in the community to remind them that everything will be all right again. But most all—our mission right now is to restore the joy in the eyes of children and adults who have seen so much destruction, and experienced so much fear and uncertainty.”

TSLAC will continue to work with federal, state, and local organizations to find ways to assist libraries and archives as they deal with weather-related emergencies.

https://www.tsl.texas.gov/hurricanesafety

TSLAC Releases Custom Zoom Backgrounds

TSLAC has released a group of custom Zoom backgrounds featuring scenes from the State Library and Archives. They are free to download and may be used by the public.

These 26 new background options include both indoor and outdoor scenes from the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building in downtown Austin, the State Records Center in Austin, and the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty, Texas. Users can choose to virtually “appear” in various locations, including the TSLAC Reference Reading Room, outside the building (in the daytime or at night), or in front of the famous lobby mural depicting scenes and people from Texas history. Also available are scenes from inside the cavernous stacks at the State Records Center, inside and outside views of the Sam Houston Center, and even a historical photo showing how the Zavala Reference Reading Room looked back in the 1960s (Throwback Thursday, anyone?). With these colorful and interesting custom backgrounds, you can now attend your Zoom meetings from in front of an impressive shelf of books, under the six flags of Texas, or outside near the green trees of Atascosito.

The images are available below. Browse to find the right one for you! Click the image to open the full-size version in a new window, then right click to download to your local device. These images are also available at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/freebackgrounds.

You can read more about how to install these or other custom backgrounds on the Zoom website. Please note that older computers may not allow full functionality of Zoom features, including the ability to use custom backgrounds.

TSLAC has been serving patrons and customers across all our locations throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, both remotely and in person. Read more about our current programs and services.

Staff Highlight: Tomas Mendez

As part of our effort to make sure you know the staff here at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, we periodically feature those whom you may at some point come into contact! This month, I interviewed Tomas Mendez, Library Development and Networking (LDN)’s CE Support Specialist.

Man fixing his tie
Tomas Mendez

What are your job responsibilities at TSLAC?

I provide technical support and maintenance for the distance learning website. I maintain the LDN YouTube account and upload webinars and captioning files. I assist with the Continuing Education and Consulting (CEC) statistics gathering of online learning courses, webinars, workshops, and YouTube data. I create and help create CEC newsletters and blog posts and help maintain and update LDN webpages.

What projects are you excited to get started with?

Getting the FY 2020 statistics ready for reporting to the Legislative Budget Board (LBB).

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 Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s a great story of magic, archives, and adventure.

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

I am a second generation Austinite.

What drew you to this position?

Two things; one, the awesome CEC team; two, the opportunity to work on the new online learning website at the ground level.

New Online Training Site!

Great news! The Texas State Library and Archives Commission Continuing Education and Consulting team has updated our Online Training Site. Our new site will provide an updated look and feel, will provide the ability to track completion of courses within training programs, and will provide more opportunities for interactive engagement with training from the Texas State Library.

If you had previously taken online classes at the Texas State Library, you will log in with your existing credentials. Your in-progress courses will still be saved; if you have questions, email us at ld@tsl.texas.gov.

Don’t know where to start? Go to the training support page to view further instructions and information.