New TSLAC Program: REFORMA Scholarship Opportunity!

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) is pleased to announce a new opportunity for bilingual library staff at public libraries to virtually attend the REFORMA National Conference scheduled for November 4-7, 2021. The scholarship will fund REFORMA National conference registration and include participation in the REFORMA pre-conference Leadership Institute. TSLAC’s REFORMA Scholarship will fund 15 time-sensitive scholarships of up to $400 to bilingual library staff at public libraries providing services to Spanish-speaking communities to attend the 2021 REFORMA National Conference. Applications open on Friday, July 9, 2021, and will close on Sunday, August 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

REFORMA National Conference VII. 50th Anniversary Celebration, November 4-7, 2021 - Virtual.
Visit the REFORMA National Conference VII webpage to learn more about the conference.

REFORMA is the premier national association dedicated to library service to Spanish Speakers. Spanish is the second-most common language in Texas and is only estimated to continue to grow. As a result, TSLAC has developed the REFORMA Scholarship program to provide more effective library services that meet the cultural and linguistic needs of the communities we serve. This scholarship is for Texas bilingual library workers who speak English and Spanish. Scholarship recipients should be committed to providing library services for their Spanish-speaking community. Applicants will be asked to self-identify their Spanish proficiency level in writing, reading, and speaking as either beginner, intermediate, or advanced. The program is also designed to better support Texas’ Spanish Speaking library workers and community members.

Expectations: If chosen to participate, the applicant will virtually attend the REFORMA National Conference with the option to participate in the pre-conference Leadership Institute. Following the virtual conference, scholarship recipients will be expected to participate in a post-conference meetup to discuss their conference experience and will be required to submit a 1-2 page conference summary within 6 weeks of attendance.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found in full here:
REFORMA 2021 Conference Scholarship Notice of Funding Opportunity

Contact Information: For more information, including requirements and eligibility, please refer to the REFORMA Scholarships webpage. Office Hours for the REFORMA Scholarship will be held at the following times:

  • Tuesday, July 13 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 22 at 10:00 a.m.

To request a Zoom link, email Laura Tadena at ltadena@tsl.texas.gov.

If you need assistance with the application process or have further questions, please contact Laura Tadena, Equity and Inclusion Consultant, Program Coordinator at ltadena@tsl.texas.gov, or the Grants Administrator at grants@tsl.texas.gov. This project is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to TSLAC under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

Library Highlights from Pride Month

In honor of Pride Month, we would like to highlight some of the amazing library programming and services happening in our Texas libraries that are designed to support, recognize, and celebrate our LGBTQIA community. The LGBTQIA community is essential to our libraries, and we are excited to showcase programs and services that celebrate and promote diversity and inclusion in our Texas libraries.

Programming and events

San Antonio Public Libraries kicked off Pride Month with a virtual short film event using Discord. SAPL hosted Rainbow Films: Shorts Night (for Teens), where attendees could virtually attended the screening of various films with LGBTQ+ characters and/or directors. The films were hand-selected by a Teen Pride workgroup at SAPL. (May 25, 2021).

Austin Public Library hosted Paint with Pride, a partnership with Dougherty Arts Center and Austin Public Library, where attendees can participate in a larger than life “paint by numbers” mural celebrating Pride and community. Attendees could sign up for a painting time using a virtual link and then show up to paint a mural section. Events were held every Saturday throughout the month of June 2021).

North Branch Library, Denton Public Library hosted a craft event to celebrate Pride. North Branch Library with DPL welcomed attendees to celebrate Pride by creating DIY bracelets and keychain crafts.

Pride celebration banner image from North Branch Library with Denton Public Library
Pride Celebration event hosted by North Branch Library with Denton Public Library

Dallas Public Library celebrated Pride Month by hosting many fun programs to celebrate, honor, and highlight LGBTW history and achievement, including Queer Reads Book ClubDrag King Werkshop, and PRIDE Jeopardy. These are just a few of the programs hosted by DPL. For a complete list of the pride programming offered by DPL throughout the month of June, visit their PRIDE 2021 webpage.  

McKinney Public Library celebrated Pride with a virtual book discussion featuring three authors about LGBTQ+ representation and inspiration in the literary world. Authors Dahlia Adler (Cool for the Summer), Jonny Garza Villa (Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun), and Julia Lynn Rubin (Trouble Girls) participated in a virtual roundtable event.

Pride Month Celebration banner from McKinney Public Library
Virtual Book Talks: Pride Month Celebration hosted by McKinney Public Library

Round Rock Public Library hosted a Beyond Coming Out art showcase throughout June. Participants could choose to express themselves in verse or art. Submissions were compiled into a slideshow to be displayed at the library. Additionally, Round Rock Public Library also hosted a Poetry in Motion event, with the theme centering around Freedom. The event recognized and celebrated both Pride and Juneteenth. 

Harris County Public Library hosted Anime Jam: Pride on Friday, June 25 where attendees could tune into a live discussion around popular LGBTQ+ anime series and mangas to celebrate Pride Month. The discussion was held live on Facebook and Instagram with Janell and Marrissa.

Image to advertise Anime Jam event from Harris County Library
Anime Jam: Pride event with Janell and Marrisa, which was held on Facebook and Instagram

UTSA Libraries showcased the Queer Zines Guide. A collection of more than 250 zines, most of which originate from San Antonio and Texas. Many of the zine creators represented are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and their zines highlight #queer perspectives on mental health, prison reform, religion, and more. Check out the Zine Collection and the UTSA Libraries Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender Research Guide.

University of Houston Libraries showcased their Pride Exhibit that features selections from the Charles Botts/Jimmy Carper Memorial Research Collection and the Edward Lukasek Gay Studies Book Collection, all part of the LGBT History Research Collection in UH Special Collections. Support for the exhibit is provided by The Hollyfield Foundation.

Photo of University of Houston Libraries Pride month exhibit
University of Houston Libraries Pride Month exhibit featuring materials for the UH Special Collections

Mental Health Resources

Here are a few more additional resources to support the mental health of our LGBTQIA Community: 

Thank you to all Texas library workers who continue to promote and support our Texas communities by creating inclusive library environments. We are excited to see libraries embrace our core values of librarianship, which include representation and inclusion. Inclusion does not happen by accident. It takes intentional commitment and intentional work to ensuring all voices and stories are heard within our collections, programming, services, and spaces, including LGBTQIA+ voices. Happy Pride!

If you have programming you would like to share with our staff, please email ld@tsl.texas.gov. We look forward to continuing to learn more about the work that you are doing! 

Happy Juneteenth!

Banner from TSLAC that reads "Texas Remembers Juneteenth"

On Thursday, June 17, 2021, after unanimous passage in the United States Senate and subsequent passage in the House, President Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Also known as Emancipation Day, Juneteenth commemorates the day that enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, received news that they had been freed—more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Many states, including Texas, have long recognized Juneteenth, but only some observe it as an official holiday. This bill makes Juneteenth a national holiday.

From the Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition in the Transatlantic World

“The holiday known as Juneteenth, so called because it is celebrated annually on June 19, is the oldest commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. Recognized as Emancipation Day among African Americans, it marks the anniversary of the official freeing of slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865, in Galveston. Just as the Fourth of July celebrates liberty for all American people, for descendants of former slaves, Juneteenth symbolizes the attainment of freedom. Honoring the legacy of struggle and perseverance on the part of African Americans throughout their enslavement, Juneteenth also serves as a day of reflection on African American progress.

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger and a regiment of Union soldiers arrived in Galveston. Gathering a crowd of slaves and slave owners, Granger read General Order No. 3, which officially declared the emancipation of Texan slaves. Despite widespread rumors of liberation, this declaration of freedom came nearly two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, giving freedom to all slaves who resided in states in rebellion against the Union.”

In Rodriguez, J. P., & Ackerson, W. (2015). Encyclopedia of emancipation and abolition in the Transatlantic world.

The General Orders, No. 3 reads:

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

Image of the General Orders, No. 3 Text , General Orders, No. 3. U.S. House, 54th Congress, 1st Session (H. Doc. 369, Part 2). “General Order Number 3,” 1896. U.S. Documents Collection. Y 1.1/2: SERIAL 3437
General Orders, No. 3. U.S. House, 54th Congress, 1st Session (H. Doc. 369, Part 2). “General Order Number 3,” 1896. U.S. Documents Collection. Y 1.1/2: SERIAL 3437

You can read the entire Juneteenth article on the Texas State Library’s website. You can also find out more at the Juneteenth article in the Handbook of Texas.

Additional resources for your library

Did your library host a Juneteenth celebration this year? Feel free to share in the comments or by completing this form by going to https://bit.ly/inclusiveservices.

Celebrating #TXBookChat Author Don Tate

In honor of Black History Month, we would like to continue the celebrations by recognizing the incredible work of author and illustrator Don Tate, one of our #TXBookChat spotlight authors. In his prolific career, Don has authored one book illustrated by someone else, authored-illustrated three published books (with two more on the way), and illustrated 80+ trade and educational picture books. Through his work, Don showcases narratives from Black history.

His words and illustrations provide children the opportunities to view history from a Black artists’ perspective, which is incredibly important when we consider the lack of representation in children’s literature. Don believes in the importance of telling children the truth and not sugar-coating history. His extensive research and incredible talent pair together to provide literary treasures.

We will highlight a handful of his powerful titles and encourage readers to check out the full list of his publications on his website: www.dontate.com/.


Book cover of William Still and His Freedom Stories: Father of the Underground Railroad

William Still, known as the Father of the Underground Railroad, collected the stories of thousands of other freedom seekers and reunited many formerly enslaved families, while building a remarkable collection of records. He worked with Harriet Tubman, Henry “Box” Brown, William and Ellen Craft, and many other key figures of the abolitionist movement from his base in Philadelphia.


Book cover of Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

George Moses Horton taught himself to read and earned money to purchase his time away from his master, though not his freedom. He became the first African American to be published in the South, protesting slavery in the form of verse.


Book cover of It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw

A biography of outsider artist Bill Traylor, a formerly enslaved Alabama man who at the age of 83 began to draw pictures based on his memories and observations of rural and urban life.


Book cover of No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and his Kingdom in Kansas

An incredible, true story of how one of history’s most successful potato farmers began life enslaved, purchased farmland after emancipation, and worked until he was named the “Potato King of the World”!


Book cover of Hope's Gift

A poignant story celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.


Watch the recording of Don’s recent #TXBookChat discussion here!

National Day of Racial Healing

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the American Library Association invites libraries to participate in the fifth annual National Day of Racial Healing on January 19, 2021.

The National Day of Racial Healing is a time to:

-Reinforce and honor our common humanity while celebrating the district differences that make our communities vibrant.
-Acknowledge the deep racial divisions that exist in America and must be overcome and healed.
-Commit to engaging people from all racial and ethnic groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and respect for one another.

From Libraries Transform, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA).
National Day of Racial Healing 2021 promotional video (December 2020).

We encourage libraries to share their activities with their communities and take part in this critical time for reflection. The National Day of Racial Healing is means to increase understanding of racism and recognize the wounds it creates both within and around us. The day aims to bring people together to consider, reset, and journey towards a path of racial healing. Libraries are uniquely positioned to help heal, inspire, and transform their communities.

Recommended Resources

Download ALA’s Action Guide for Libraries, ALA’s Conversation Guide, and ALA’s Educator Action Kit.

View WebJunction 2021 National Day of Racial healing.

Find a local virtual racial healing event.

Connecting on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalDayofRacialHealing/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thedaytoheal

Engaging on social medial using hashtags:
#TRHT
#NDORH
#HowWeHeal
#racialhealing
#librariesrespond
#librariestransform

Recommended books:
The Racial Healing Handbook by Anneliese A Singh
Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience by Sheila Wise Rowe
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts by Resmaa Menakem

Archived webinars and trainings:
YouTube – Rx Racial Healing | Dr. Gail Christopher | TEDxCharlottesville
YouTube – W.K. KELLOGG FOUNDATION NATIONAL DAY OF RACIAL HEALING 2020 – 2020 Livestream
Archived Webinar – Organic Efforts Towards Health Equity-Driven Policy and Practice, The Praxis Project
Archived Webinar: Racial healing: How to become a mindful ally

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Summit – Closing Video, W.K. Kellogg Foundation (January 2017).

For more information, visit the Libraries Respond: National Day of Racial Healing webpage or read the ALA’s proclamation on the National Day of Racial Healing. If you are a Texas library worker or library and information science (LIS) educator who identifies as Black, Indigenous, or as a Person of Color (BIPOC) and want to connect with a BIPOC community, please email Laura Tadena, Equity and Inclusion Consultant at ltadena@tsl.texas.gov.

Cheers to a thriving 2021!