TSLAC Offers Free Help for Public Libraries to File for Federal E-Rate Funding

E-Rate is a federal discount program available to accredited public libraries that pays up to 90% of broadband costs, but we at TSLAC know the process to complete an application like this can be daunting. TSLAC is continuing its support of libraries this year in applying for E-Rate. The project, called Libraries Connecting Texas (LCT), provides FREE, one-on-one support from a professional consulting firm, E-Rate Central, to guide participating libraries successfully through the 2022 E-Rate Funding Year. 

Sticker that reads "We offer highspeed internet made possible by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Since the program began in 2018, LCT libraries receiving this support have seen their Internet speed (bandwidth) increase significantly, all while making the cost more affordable.

Chart showing significant increase in Internet speeds from 2018 to 2021.

Check out these testimonial videos from two grateful LCT librarians:

If you’re interested in participating this year, please contact Henry Stokes at LD@tsl.texas.gov as soon as possible.

Texas Public Libraries Encouraged to Apply for Federal Broadband Funding Through State Library

New promotional video from TSLAC to support E-rate and the Libraries Connecting Texas program

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) has announced the application window for federal E-Rate funding is now open. From Jan. 12, accredited Texas public libraries can apply to receive discounts on monthly Internet access costs and most anything to do with bringing high-speed Internet to the library (including equipment and cabling).

E-rate was created to ensure schools and libraries have access to affordable high-speed broadband to support digital learning and robust connectivity. It is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In Texas, a majority of public libraries are eligible for an 80% discount, with more than a quarter eligible for a whopping 90%. That means most participating libraries only have to pay 10-20% of their Internet costs, with E-rate paying the rest of the bill. High-speed Internet (aka “broadband”) has become a necessity in public libraries, and E-rate is the chief means to support and sustain this crucial service as costs rise and demand increases. This is non-competitive funding—a library just has to fill out the forms correctly to receive the discount. Libraries must be accredited by TSLAC in order to be eligible for E-rate discounts.

This year, TSLAC has partnered with professional coaching firm E-Rate Central to make applying as straightforward as possible for participating libraries. This one-on-one support will guide applicants successfully through the entire process.

“Why should your library participate in E-rate and use our free coaches? E-rate is the main method available to public libraries to acquire and afford faster speed, and then continue to sustain those costs into the future,” said TSLAC Director and State Librarian Gloria Meraz. “Faster speed means that Texas libraries are able to continue providing the myriad services that heavily rely on high-speed broadband and have rapidly become the lifeline for living successfully in the 21st century.”

Accredited Texas public libraries are encouraged to apply well before the deadline of February 22, 2022 which is the last possible date to ensure participation. Visit www.tsl.texas.gov/erate to learn more and email Henry Stokes to get the process started.

Youth Services Update: January 2022

Upcoming Opportunities


NATIVE KNOWLEDGE 360°  TEACHER WORKSHOP SERIES

January 20 – March 3, 2022

During this three-part online workshop series from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, teachers will be introduced to the intersection of Indigenous women artists and activism. Native artists will explore art from the museum’s collections and contemporary children’s books that feature Indigenous women artists and activists. Using the museum’s Essential Understandings framework  and artworks by contemporary Indigenous women artists, teachers will deepen their knowledge of Indigenous women’s roles and contributions and examine ways students might use art to learn about difficult historical events and contemporary issues. Classroom materials from the museum’s Native Knowledge 360° education initiative will be provided. This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. Click here for more information.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: GREATER AUSTIN AREA INFORMATION LITERACY SYMPOSIUM (GAAILS)

DEADLINE: January 21, 2022

The Greater Austin Area Information Literacy Symposium focuses on information literacy initiatives in public, school, academic, and special libraries in the Austin area. Sessions will explore timely topics and practical solutions in information literacy and library instruction, and will allow time to share ideas and initiatives as well as to develop relationships across the library field. Furthermore, presentation options have been retooled to shorter sessions, poster sessions, and facilitated discussions that will allow for increased dialogue with other attendees. So, if you’re an Austin area library professional with an idea to share, consider submitting an application online by January 21st. 

The 2022 symposium will be FREE and online.

Human hand typing on the keyboard of a laptop.

Ongoing Tools


Facebook groups logo

TSLAC YOUTH SERVICES FACEBOOK GROUP

Our Youth Services Facebook group is an additional support for library workers throughout the state. This is an interactive space where members can discuss the ways in which they serve their communities. So, if you’re looking to further develop your professional learning network to include colleagues across the state in a space devoted to discussing our craft, then click here for more information.


2022 TxLA READING LISTS

The Texas Library Association’s Children’s Round Table (CRT) and Young Adult Round Table (YART) strive to promote and improve youth library services in Texas. To that end the round tables sponsor the reading lists below. The current recommendations are out and offer a wide variety of titles, so there’s truly something for everyone:

Furthermore, the Youth Texas Topaz List provides recommended nonfiction titles for children and teens.

The Texas Library Association Logo

CHILDREN IN TRAUMA BIBLIOGRAPHY

Categorized by theme, this bibliography includes books that address traumas such as domestic abuse and bullying; general grief and loss; illness, anxiety, and depression; pandemics; poverty; and more. Books in the bibliography have been listed in six thematic groups, and clicking on a group opens a box where books pertaining to the designated theme are listed. This bibliography was created by Dr. Megan McCaffrey, assistant professor in the Division of Education at Governors State University, and the LibGuide was built by Linda Geller, associate professor in the University Library at Governors State University. This project was generously funded by a 2019 Carnegie-Whitney Grant through the American Library Association. To access the bibliography, visit the Children in Trauma LibGuide.

CSLP Summer Symposium

Recordings from the 2021 CSLP Summer Symposium are now available online.

Recordings now available for the First Annual CSLP Summer Symposium.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission Logo

Need more resources?

Check out our webinars that focus on Youth Services. Click here for information.

Questions?

For more information, visit our youth services page, contact Christina Taylor at ld@tsl.texas.gov, or call 512-463-5465.

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Youth Services Updates Archive

Free Webinar: Navigating Legal Reference

Public librarians are often a trusted source of information on subjects that have a huge impact on patrons’ lives. This can include aspects of everyday life that intersect with the law, like landlord disputes, child custody issues, gun ownership, end-of-life planning, and more. If you are a public librarian with little experience researching what the law says, you may feel nervous about how to answer patrons’ questions about the law without veering into legal advice.

To meet this need, Amy Small and Laura Gienger, reference librarians at the Texas State Law Library, are providing a webinar about the many free resources that the Texas State Law Library offers. The presentation will help build your confidence in providing legal information to patrons and help you know when to refer them to another entity that can provide the help they need.

The webinar will take place on Thursday, January 13 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.. Register now.

If you have questions, please contact LD@tsl.texas.gov.

Resources for Creating Collections Development Policies and Responding to Community Needs and Challenges

In response to requests from librarians looking for professional resources on collections development policies and responding to content challenges, TSLAC staff have compiled a list of resources available on our website. They have also been included below for ease of access. These resources include common professional tools with information on policy development, reconsideration procedures, tracking questions and concerns, and professional support.

Overview

Libraries of all types create their collections development policies and procedures to address the unique needs of their communities, schools, and institutions. These policies, like all library policies, are under the jurisdiction of the library and its governing local authority.

This sample list intended to assist professionals in researching issues. Librarians may also contact TSLAC staff to seek additional information.

Policy development

WebJunction course: Collection Development Policy: this self-paced course developed by the Idaho Commission for Libraries provides a broad overview of how to write a collection development policy, and includes a section on reconsideration. WebJunction is free to use for all Texas library workers, but requires creating a free account.

WebJunction webinar: Hooray for Freedom! Part Two: Developing Policies in Support of Ethical Practice: this archived webinar provides guidance on assessing library policies, and includes a section on selection and reconsideration policies.

Webjunction offers additional webinars and training for professional library workers. Go to WebJunction, which is free to library workers, to learn more.

ALA Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit for Public, School, & Academic Libraries: Guide to creating a collection development policy that includes reconsideration procedures.

TSLAC webinar: Top Legal Issues for Texas Public Libraries: includes information on policy development starting at minute 3:29, and a section on challenges starting at 17:12.

TSLAC webinar: Responding to Challenges in Public Libraries: Ensure Your Library is Prepared: Held on 02/02/2016, this recorded webinar still offers valuable instruction for public libraries in developing policies and in responding to challenges, both in person and online. Presented by Jeanette Larson (Larson Library Consulting), Courtney Kincaid (Assistant Library Director, North Richland Hills Library), and Kate Horan (Library Director, McAllen Public Library).

What is Intellectual Freedom?: This is a brochure from AASL with concise explanations about censorship, internet filters, challenges, online and print resources.

Professional library organizations tools

The Texas Library Association (TLA) supports Texas library workers in all areas of service. Contact TLA staff to discuss topics, including how to develop policies, work with the parents and the community, ensure access to information, respond to the media, or access professional legal resources. The TLA Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) educates, offers guidance, and supports efforts to help professionals work with their communities and respond to challenges. To learn more about requesting assistance and support, go to TLA Tools & Resources.

The American Library Association (ALA) Office of Intellectual Freedom also provides support and resources to librarians. Inquiries can be directed via email to oif@ala.org or via phone at (312) 280-4226.

TSLAC staff can provide additional professional support and suggest additional informational resources.

Other detailed resources may be accessed at the TLA Tools & Resources page.

Summer library materials ordering will CLOSE January 1, 2022

As of December 1, 2021, Texas public libraries have been able to order the free CSLP promotional materials provided by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission! 

The updated ordering process is faster, more convenient, and gives your library greater control over the process. Each library will place its order directly through the CSLP website.

Ordering Instructions

  1. Preview and order materials here.
    • ONLY the items at this link will be provided for free by TSLAC. Funding for this program is provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services through a grant to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (2021)
    • Please note how items are packaged when selecting quantities. 
    • View the video tutorial of the ordering process using the link you received via the Summer Library Newsletter.
    • You will NOT need to log in to the CSLP website to place an order.
  2. Add desired items to your cart and go to check-out.
  3. When checking out, use the voucher code you received via the Summer Library Newsletter.
  4. Complete the rest of the form fields:
    • Please list your library’s information for the shipping address and email address. Do not provide TSLAC’s information. 
    • The voucher code will ensure that TSLAC receives the invoice, so don’t forget to enter the code! 
    • Verify the total is $0.00 before submitting the order.
    • You will not need to enter any payment details once the voucher code has been entered.
  5. Submit order. You will receive a confirmation email at the address you provided on the form.

If your library is purchasing additional items beyond what is available on the list of allowable purchases, those items must be purchased in a separate order.

Ordering will CLOSE December 1, 2021 – January 1, 2022.

The 2022 CSLP theme is Oceanography. The slogan for early literacy, children, teen, and adult programs is “Oceans of Possibilities” or “Océanos de Posibilidades.” Unique artwork has been created for each age group by artist Sophie Blackall.

Thank you for everything you do to support the youth and families in your community!


Questions?

For more information, visit our youth services page, contact Christina Taylor at ld@tsl.texas.gov, or call 512-463-5465.

Connect with Us


Youth Services Update: December 2021

Upcoming Opportunities


LETTERS ABOUT LITERATURE

DEADLINE: DECEMBER 17, 2021, 5:00 PM (CENTRAL)

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.

Participants select a book, book series, essay, play, poem, short story, or speech that has made a lasting impact on their 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 State winners receive $100 and will be honored at the 2022 Texas Library Association Conference. All submissions must be submitted using the new online submission platform, and a permission form is required for all students who are younger than 13 as of Nov. 4, 2021. For more information visit : https://www.tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature


Ongoing Tools


MEDIA LITERACY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD

Logo for the Erikson Institute

Erikson Institute’s TEC Center is now offering a new IMLS-funded professional development program, Media Literacy in Early Childhood for Youth Library Staff. Recruitment is open for this four-month professional development series, in which participants will spend approximately 10 to 12 hours total in entirely online synchronous and asynchronous learning. Cohorts will be made up of 20-25 youth library staff from across the U.S. All participants will receive a certificate and a $400 honorarium for their library once they complete the program to compensate for their time. For more information, visit https://www.erikson.edu/professional-development/tec-center/librarians/ .

VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS

Logo for the National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian offers live and interactive programs led by a museum educator focusing on specific topics in Indigenous histories, cultures, and contemporary lives. A variety of programs are available for Pre-K–12 students. For more information, visit https://americanindian.si.edu/nk360/student-programs/virtual-field-trips

IMPACT LIBRARIES


IMPACT Libraries Logo

The University of Maryland iSchool’s IMProving Assessment of Computational Thinking in Libraries (IMPACT Libraries) research team is looking for public library staff to help evaluate a series of assessment tools developed to measure the success of Computational Thinking (CT) programs for youth ages 11-18.  Each participating library will be provided $1000 to cover costs associated with using the assessment tools and meeting with the research team. For more information, visit https://impact.ischool.umd.edu

TELL ME ANOTHER STORY:

DIVERSITY IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

In celebration and recognition of the movement toward social equity, The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation (EJK Foundation), in collaboration with The Office Performing Arts + Film, has produced a new 30-minute documentary with free streaming access for all audiences. Directed by Damani Baker (The House on Coco Road), edited by Jon Henry Fine, and with original music by Meshell Ndegeocello, the film is an enlightening and informative portrait of the ways in which multiculturalism is critical to the health of our society. Tell Me Another Story describes the dedication of intellectual and artistic giants, who have, for over one hundred years, attempted to bring authentic imagery into the books all children read. The film highlights the creators, past and present, whose focus has uplifted children’s literature from W.E.B. Du Bois, Augusta Baker, Pura Belpré and Ezra Jack Keats, to Pat Cummings, Marley Dias, Grace Lin, Christopher Myers, and Andrea Davis Pinkney. Also identified are the contributions made by the many children’s book awards that make multiculturalism central to their mission, including the Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré and Ezra Jack Keats Awards. For more information, visit https://www.ezra-jack-keats.org/tell-me-another-story

STORYTIME 101

Storytime is a magical event, and each program is a big deal in the life of a young child. During this tutorial, you will learn how to make your storytimes meaningful and impactful for your audience. This tutorial is meant to support those who are new to storytime. It covers basic skills, like preparing for storytime, reading books out loud, using props and music, and engaging adults and children. Each section has an interactive module filled with useful information, examples, and videos. There are also links to documents and online resources that will support your storytime practice. For more information, visit https://my.nicheacademy.com/idaho/course/22517 t.


Questions?

For more information, visit our youth services page, contact Christina Taylor at ld@tsl.texas.gov, or call 512-463-5465.

Connect With Us

2021 Family Place Library Grant Applications Close Soon!

APPLICATIONS WILL CLOSE SOON! This year’s Family Place Library grant application will close for submissions on Friday, December 3, 2021. The application is entirely online and can be accessed after logging into the TSLAC Grants Management System (GMS).

Family Place Library Notice of Funding Opportunity (PDF)

The link below will take you to the GMS site so you can log in to begin your application:

BEGIN FY22 FAMILY PLACE LIBRARY GRANT APPLICATION

Summer library materials ordering will be open December 1, 2021 – January 1, 2022

Starting December 1, 2021, Texas public libraries will be able to order the free CSLP promotional materials provided by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission! 

The updated ordering process is faster, more convenient, and gives your library greater control over the process. Each library will place its order directly through the CSLP website.

Ordering Instructions

  1. Preview and order materials here.
    • ONLY the items at this link will be provided for free by TSLAC. Funding for this program is provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services through a grant to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (2021)
    • Please note how items are packaged when selecting quantities. 
    • View the video tutorial of the ordering process using the link you received via the Summer Library Newsletter.
    • You will NOT need to log in to the CSLP website to place an order.
  2. Add desired items to your cart and go to check-out.
  3. When checking out, use the voucher code you received via the Summer Library Newsletter.
  4. Complete the rest of the form fields:
    • Please list your library’s information for the shipping address and email address. Do not provide TSLAC’s information. 
    • The voucher code will ensure that TSLAC receives the invoice, so don’t forget to enter the code! 
    • Verify the total is $0.00 before submitting the order.
    • You will not need to enter any payment details once the voucher code has been entered.
  5. Submit order. You will receive a confirmation email at the address you provided on the form.

If your library is purchasing additional items beyond what is available on the list of allowable purchases, those items must be purchased in a separate order.

Ordering will be open December 1, 2021 – January 1, 2022.

The 2022 CSLP theme is Oceanography. The slogan for early literacy, children, teen, and adult programs is “Oceans of Possibilities” or “Océanos de Posibilidades.” Unique artwork has been created for each age group by artist Sophie Blackall.

Questions about this or other Texas Summer Library Program topics? Visit the TSLAC summer reading page or contact Christina Taylor at ld@tsl.texas.gov, 512-463-5465, or 800-252-9386 (toll-free for Texas).

Thank you for everything you do to support the youth and families in your community!

Two free online training programs to advance digital inclusion

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission invites your library to participate in a new peer-learning program from January 2022 to June 2022. This program is designed to build public libraries’ capacity and skill to collect, analyze, and communicate data and demonstrate the vital role of public libraries in advancing digital equity in their communities. Participation is free for public libraries in Texas. Registration is open until January 7, 2022.
 
Your library can participate in one or both tracks: 

  • Digital Inclusion Action Cohort: This peer-learning cohort will support library staff in measuring and planning digital inclusion programs and services. Libraries will attend a series of workshops over a six-month period. The series includes defining digital equity, understanding broadband access, determining device access and assessing digital literacy. 
  • Data Fluency Cohort: This peer-learning cohort will support library staff in deepening their understanding of data and data-informed decision-making. Libraries will attend a series of workshops over a six-month period. The series includes an introduction to data fluency, collecting, understanding, and using community, library and program data, and communicating data. Libraries will be presented with an opportunity to use other Edge features later in the program. 

Reserve your spot in one or both of these cohort tracks today!

Interested in learning more? Join us on Wednesday, December 1, 2022, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. for a live online information session.

Questions? Contact Cindy Fisher, Digital Inclusion Consultant at cfisher@tsl.texas.gov or Lourdes Aceves, Director of Edge, at laceves@urbanlibraries.org.