The 2021 Summer Library Program Survey is now open!

It is the time of year to reflect on summer programming, and we are coming to you for feedback as we think about how we can best support you and your library next year. We recognize the ongoing pandemic  may have been affected your programming in a variety of ways and, we greatly appreciate your hard work and efforts. Your commitment directly impacts your communities, and we are thankful for your responsiveness and willingness to continually adjust to the times.

While everything is still fresh in your mind, please consider sharing your summer program experience with us. Tell us what surprised you and touched your heart and share how many people in your community participated in your program. Let us know how you liked the artwork and manuals and share your suggestions for future programs.

Approximately 500 Texas libraries received funding to purchase materials and participate in the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for their summer programs. We ask that all participating libraries complete the 2021 Summer Program Survey to help inform our approach to next year’s program. The survey contatins19 questions which should take approximately 30 minutes to complete and will be available through Friday, October 8, 2021.

Here is a direct link to the CSLP/SRP 2021 Survey: We would love to highlight and showcase your library’s summer programming. Please send photos of your summer programs to Christina Taylor at with expressed written consent allowing us to use the images on our website and publications. We look forward to hearing from you!

2020 Texas Public Library Statistics Available

Thank you to all the Texas public library directors and library staff who completed and submitted the 2020 Texas Public Library Annual Report! The statistics gathered provide the best picture of library service and funding, which is vital for stakeholders to know! Additionally, we are building a picture of how libraries handled the pandemic crisis which may inform the future.

Libraries meeting the minimum criteria for accreditation will receive formal accreditation letters by email by the end of September. Accredited libraries have access to statewide interlibrary loan (ILL), the federal telecommunications discount program E-rate, TexShare Database and TexShare Card programs, and any funding opportunities through this agency. Any library submitting an Annual Report will be able to order Summer Reading Program materials at no cost. Smaller libraries of less than 100,000 users submitting a report also have access to E-Read Texas, a statewide e-book platform.

Reports are locked, and the data is publicly available on our website. The collected statistics from all libraries are available in downloadable Excel files.

Individual Library Statistics and Comparison Charts for 2020. This workbook/tool has a total of 55 charts so a library can view individual library information, its status compared to its population group and to statewide averages. In addition, the library can be compared to up to five other libraries to create a customized report using vertical bar graphs.

All of the data collected in the 2020 Annual Report is published here: 2020-All. Local statistics dating back to 1996 are available on this webpage also. All can be downloaded into an Excel format.

Texas Public Library Five-Year Trend Charts. These Excel workbooks contain charts of a library’s activity for a variety of measures during 2015-2020.

Statewide data summaries and five-year trends have been published as well.

The 2020 information has been submitted to the national Public Library Survey (PLS). The 2020 data release is expected to happen in spring 2022. Data files for fiscal year 2019 were released earlier this summer.

For assistance in creating or customizing library statistical reports, please contact Library Data Coordinator Valicia Greenwood (

Read Across Texas E-book Access Available in May and June

A couple of weeks ago, State Librarian Mark Smith announced the 2021 Read Across Texas program. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and the Texas Center for the Book are thrilled to announce that any resident of Texas will be able to read three of the four book selections for free online, from May 3- June 25, 2021. The three books that will be available are: Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here by Nancy Wayson Dinan, All of a Sudden and Forever by Chris Barton, and We Fed an Island by José Andrés.

TSLAC is partnering with Biblioboard to make this and thousands of other e-books available to Texas residents. The Biblioboard website is geofenced so that any user located in Texas can access it, no login or password required. And there are no simultaneous user restrictions, so that means there are no holds or waitlists. A special web page will be available with links to the full text of the three available e-books, and can be accessed via the Read Across Texas website. The website also contains discussion guides and other supplemental resources. Participating libraries are encouraged to register for the program.

Read Across Texas: Recovery

Cross-posted from The Director’s Report, blog of TSLAC Director and State Librarian Mark Smith.

Read Across Texas title banner showing cartoon-style orange van driving down desert road, with books strapped to the top

This week, we at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission are excited to be launching our third Read Across Texas statewide reading program presented by our Texas Center for the Book. This year’s theme of Recovery provides an opportunity to use one or more of our four suggested books to spark challenging, probing, and renewing conversations about profound experiences, both shared and individual. We envision these conversations as a way for libraries to be at the center of important community dialogue about common concerns and values.

If “Recovery” sounds like a broad theme, that is intentional. We hope that communities will approach the theme as inclusive of many different aspects, from personal recovery from tragic or challenging individual circumstances, to recovery on a broad societal level. Some communities might explore recovery from a natural disaster, while others might consider recovery from traumatic events at the national or state levels. After a year like no other in our memory, engaging in a discussion of recovery seemed appropriate. We hope these conversations may provide a context to help individuals, families, and communities to find paths back to normalcy, stability, and relative tranquility.

The conversations might be difficult, maybe at times uncomfortable, but that is part of the process and should be embraced rather than feared. The books offer the starting point for discovery. I have read all four works and was moved by the power of each one:

  • Things You Would Know If You Grew Up Around Here by Central Texas author Nancy Wayson Dinan is a beautifully complex and nuanced novel about an extended Texas family caught up in the devastating Memorial Day floods of 2015.
  • All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing after the Oklahoma City Bombing is a children’s picture book by Chris Barton with illustrations by Nicole Xu that explores how to talk to children compassionately about difficult and disturbing events of our time.
  • We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time is the spirited, joyous, and hopeful story of Chef José Andrés and a movement that triumphed over bureaucracy to provide meals and emotional nourishment to thousands of battered residents of that island in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
  • In his thoughtful book of essays, What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, veteran news anchor and native Texan Dan Rather explores the democratic traditions that lie at the core of our American experience, a reminder of the enduring values of our nation and a path to recovering those values.

I hope you will consider participating in Read Across Texas: Recovery and use these inspiring books to start a process of civic dialogue in your community. Our Center for the Book Coordinator Rebekah Manley will be providing resources to help frame your local discussions and make this statewide read a success.

On March 25, I will be presenting the next #TXBookChat with Rebekah to discuss how to participate in Read Across Texas. Please join us for the inside scoop on how you can use this statewide read to put your library at the center of meaningful community discussions on the topic of Recovery. Click here to register for this great program: 

Thank you for your work building strong Texas communities. I look forward to hearing your success stories as you participate in this unique program.

Mark Smith, State Librarian

Reminder! 2020 Texas Public Libraries Annual Report

It is time to “spring” into action on your public library’s 2020 Annual Report! Although the hard-and-fast due date is Friday, April 30, 2021, we encourage librarians to submit their report by Wednesday, March 31, to allow agency accreditation staff enough time to process the more than 500 reports expected.

Some popular questions – with answers – are below!  Follow the Tip Sheet links, available on the Annual Report web page, for more details.

  • Reporting Service Hours Tip Sheet
    • Report ACTUAL time the library building was fully accessible to the public in questions 11.1 (annual hours) and 11.2 (annual weeks) for reporting year 2021.
    •  Report anticipated hours once pandemic restrictions are lifted in questions 11.3-11.5.
    • Curbside or drive-through services, if the building is locked, do not count for “open.”
  • Reporting Programs Tip Sheet:
    •  In Section 7, report in person programs and LIVE virtual programs. The program definitions have not changed from previous years, just the way that participants show up. A livestream is one in which library staff interacts with the participants during the session. Count participants as one device equals one person.
    • In the Special Section, report virtual and recorded programs. These should be marked as views for at least one-minute, and for a period of the first seven days after launch on the social media platform.
  • Local Financial Effort – Section 4:
    • Question 4.2 includes ALL operating expenditures funded locally. This includes any local financial donations, as well as local government funding. This is a calculated field in the online form that removes any non-local grant funds.
    • Question 4.1 is the local funds that were used for collection materials purchases. This includes any local financial donations, as well as local government funding. Again, this is a calculated field online.
    • Question 4.3 is only the local government funds that were used for operating expenditures. For some libraries, this is all that is used; for others, this is only a portion of local funding. Every library is different!
  • Maintenance of Effort (MOE):
    • Library expenditures must meet or exceed MOE to maintain accreditation.
    • MOE is the average of the last three years’ local operating expenditures as reported in question 4.2 (see above). Find the pre-calculated amounts for every library in the 2020 Population & MOE Planning Tool.
    • Libraries with reduced expenditures due to the economic impact of the pandemic may be eligible to request a waiver of this criterion, using the new Emergency Rule. Contact library accreditation staff at if this is the case for your library.

We are here to help! Contact Library Data Coordinator Valicia Greenwood at or if you have any questions or concerns. Agency staff continues to telecommute from home. However, Zoom calls, meetings or conferences can be set up upon request.

The next open Office Hours will be held on Thursday, March 25, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., CT. Stop by and get an answer to any Annual Report issues!  There is nothing prepared, nor do we record the session. Anyone interested in these topics is welcome to join. Get the link on request through

Free CE and Training This Week – Feb. 23-26

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, Feb. 23 (12-1 p.m.)
Partnering with your institution’s Senior Research Officer: An in-depth review by Ithaka S+R (Ex Libris)

Does your library partner with the university’s research office? Does the Senior Research Officer (SRO) know what services the library offers to support the research enterprise? Expand your understanding of current roles and priorities of the SRO. Hear insights and join the discussion on how libraries can better align research support services in collaboration with their SRO’s evolving strategic directions.

For more information and to register, visit:

Tuesday, Feb. 23 (12-1:30 p.m.)

Nothing for Us, Without Us: Getting Started with Culturally Responsive Evaluation (Research Institute for Public Libraries [RIPL])

Public libraries serve increasingly diverse stakeholders, each with unique interests, needs, and strengths. Using the tools from community engagement and culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE), you can help create a welcoming space where community members see their culture, values, and lived experiences reflected in the library programing and collections; and an environment where they are excited to contribute to transparent and collaborative program evaluations.

For more information and to register, visit:

Tuesday, Feb. 23 (1-2 p.m.)
Overcoming Zoom Fatigue (InSync Training)

The heavy adoption of virtual training isn’t going away because it is the only approach that allows everyone (wherever they are) to participate in their organizational training, and we should all plan to make it more effective so that organizational training goals can be met without forcing someone to sit at a screen viewing and listening for 8 hours.

For more information and to register, visit:

Tuesday, Feb. 23 (2-3 p.m.)
Advance Virtual Skills You Need (Training Magazine Network)

OK, so now you are an expert in using ZOOM, Adobe Connect, and other software and tools. You are even adept in designing polls, using chat, implementing breakouts and creating PowerPoint slides.  Although these are excellent skills, oftentimes, many presenters, trainers, subject matter experts and leaders overlook that all their virtual sessions and webinars are meant to persuade learners and their audience. Does your audience trust you? Do they feel confident to follow your ideas? Do learners feel your ideas are practical? Does your audience feel you are socially approachable? Your skills and knowledge in these areas can make or break your presentations or webinars.

For more information and to register, visit:

Tuesday, Feb. 23 (2-4:30 p.m.)
Unpacking Racial Literacy: Part 2 (Montana State Library)

Racial Equity is the key in identifying all the ways in which we can build strong learning partnerships and  ensure equitable outcomes for students. Dr. Brandon-Felder is committed to transforming institutional practices one system at a time. Part 2: Naming and Framing Oppression

For more information and to register, visit:

Tuesday, Feb. 23 (3-4 p.m.)
How to Keep Reading Social during Hybrid Learning (OverDrive)

Please join Bridget Crossman, Stacey Rattner, Kristin Fraga Sierra, and Melissa Thom in a roundtable conversation discussing the importance of and ideas for keeping reading social at all levels during hybrid learning. From classroom activities to community events, participants will leave with a laundry list of ideas that are bound to be a hit for readers.

For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Feb. 24 (10-11 a.m.)
5 Secrets of Email Marketing Geniuses (Firespring)

There is more power and leverage in one email subscriber than 100 Facebook likes or 50 Twitter followers if email marketing is done right. Problem is, 9 out of 10 nonprofits don’t do it right. In this educational session, Jay will share the secrets of email marketing geniuses.

For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Feb. 24 (10-11 a.m.)
Pretty Sweet Tech – How to Make Green Screen Videos Using Free and Low-Cost Tools (Nebraska Library Commission)

Green screen videos can take you anywhere in the world without leaving the library. In this session you will learn how to use free and low-cost tools to shoot and edit green screen videos in your library. I can’t detail everything in an hour, but you will get a very nice overview of how everything works. I will also shoot and edit a short clip live and in real time!

For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Feb. 24 (12-1 p.m.)
How to be a Great Board Chair (Propel Nonprofits)

The board chair is the highest officer of the nonprofit board of directors. This webinar prepares the board chair for governance and leadership responsibilities. We’ll cover how to design effective board meetings, attend to board development, partner with the CEO/ED, and lead as an ambassador of the organization.

For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Feb. 24 (12-1:30 p.m.)
Copyright 101 (Lyrasis)

This 90 minute introductory course will provide an overview of the origin and purpose of U.S. copyright law and how it promotes creativity, teaching, learning, and research in ways that have become an integral part of everyday life. This session will introduce copyright concepts most relevant to those working in libraries, archives, museums, and community cultural heritage organizations.

For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Feb. 24 (1-2 p.m.)
Drive-In Storytime (Colorado State Library)

Do you miss providing in-person storytimes? Do you want to be able to provide memorable in-person programming? Now you can! Learn how to offer Drive-In Storytimes using radio transmitters while patrons relax in the comfort of their car!

For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Feb. 24 (1-2 p.m.)
Media Literacy for Adults: Architecture of the Internet (Programming Librarian)

Many of us use the internet every day but are unfamiliar to the ways the internet works, including why certain content ends up in our search engine results. There is a largely invisible system at work that tailors and personalizes your online content. In this webinar, Natasha Casey of Blackburn College will discuss cookies, algorithms, and a variety of other parts of the internet that track your online presence. How can we talk about these things with library patrons?

For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Feb. 24 (2-3 p.m.)
NLM’s History of Medicine Division: A Research Collection of Rare Medical Materials (Network of the National Library of Medicine)

The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) History of Medicine Division has one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical material related to health and disease. These holdings, in both digital and physical formats, span ten centuries, and come from nearly every part of the globe. In this session you will learn how the History of Medicine Division approaches acquisition and conservation; discover hidden treasures in the collection and get to know how to access this vast resource. Most importantly, you will see how such collections remain relevant in a world concerned with data science, health care to diverse groups, and reacting to pandemics.

For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Feb. 24 (4-5 p.m.)
Feelings Are Not Facts: How to Raise Conspiracy-Resistant Students (

As educators, we are expected to teach facts as truth. This is immeasurably harder when students rely on confirmation bias rather than sound research practices to find fact-based truth. In this edWebinar, Jacquelyn Whiting and Michelle Luhtala, coauthors of News Literacy: The Keys to Combating Fake News (2018), will share new lessons that teach 6-12 grade learners to become fact-based truth finders.

For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Feb. 24 (6-7 p.m.)
2021 YALSA Nonfiction Nominated Titles Booktalk (YALSA)

Join us for this special opportunity to learn more about the titles that were nominated for the 2021 Nonfiction Award via a booktalk with the Nonfiction Committee.

For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Feb. 25 (11-11:30 a.m.)
TexShare Vendor Training: EBSCO Resources for Women’s History Month

In this 30-minute session led by Training Specialist Jason High, we will review the EBSCO resources available to Texas libraries on Women’s History Month. You will learn about resources with relevant content such as Explora for Public Libraries, eBook collections, databases like MasterFILE Complete and Academic Search Complete, and Literary Reference Center. You will learn how to access and make the most of these resources in support of Women’s History Month library programming. Whether you are new to these resources or just want to learn some helpful tips and tricks, there is something for everyone.

For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Feb. 25 (12-1 p.m.)
National Library of Medicine Resources for Citizen Scientists (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)

In this class, participants can expect to learn how to support citizen science in their communities and ways that libraries can easily participate. Participants will learn about citizen science library program models, free National Library of Medicine resources to incorporate into citizen science library programs, and sources of funding to explore for buying testing kits or supporting community research efforts. Citizen science library programs are perfect for all ages, and all types of libraries. Nor prior scientific knowledge is required, simply a willingness to participate!

For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Feb. 25 (1-1:30 p.m.)
TexShare Vendor Webinar: Create a Gale Scavenger Hunt

Engage users with a fun and informative scavenger hunt.  In this workshop, you will learn the key objectives to building a Gale scavenger hunt, explore content within Gale In Context resources, and receive a template to create your own unique scavenger hunt.

For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Feb. 25 (1-2 p.m.)
Gush Over Graphic Novels (Brodart & Random House Children’s Books)

We’ll see you at the Graphic Novel Webinar, featuring authors Trung Le Nguyen and Jennifer L. Holm, illustrator Savanna Ganucheau, and RH Graphic Publishing Director Gina Gagliano. Librarian Kat Kan will be moderating.

For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Feb. 25 (1-2 p.m.)
Using Government Art Sources for Chemistry, Geosciences, and Environmental Studies Library Research (Federal Depository Library Program)

This webinar will demonstrate how to integrate freely available online art collections from the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, and the Princeton University Art Museum into library instruction and research consultations for chemistry, geosciences, and environmental studies.

For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Feb. 25 (2-3 p.m.)
Align, Don’t Hustle: Syncing Your Fundraising Career With Your Personal Values (Bloomerang)

Have you considered changing your fundraising career in this current climate of uncertainty and unrest? It is time to own your narrative. Join this webinar to learn how to identify the ideal organization with values that align with your fundamental beliefs and lifestyle.

For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Feb. 25 (6-7 p.m.)
William C. Morris Celebration (YALSA)

Join us as we celebrate the winners and finalists of our Morris Award virtually.

For more information and to register, visit:

Zoom in to Office Hours for the 2020 Texas Public Libraries Annual Report!

Reminder: The 2020 Texas Public Libraries Annual Report must be submitted on or before Friday, April 30, 2021, for the library to be eligible for accreditation. Revisions and changes will be accepted up until July 31, after the report form has been locked online.

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM CST
February 11
February 25
March 11
March 25
April 15
April 29
Request Zoom link:

Based on emails received so far, the closures and economic downturns of the past year have created some confusion about what to report for hours, programs, and services. Additionally, maintaining library accreditation based on last year’s performance is causing some anxiety.

Get your questions answered and the information you need to submit your library’s report accurately and on time! Anyone interested in any aspect of the 2020 Annual Report is invited to join, either to ask questions or just listen. You can join by computer or phone, no video required.

Using a Zoom link available by request, drop in at any point and talk with Valicia Greenwood, Library Data Coordinator. She will provide information on topics such as, but not limited to:

  • Accreditation criteria and concerns
  • Continuing education resources
  • Financials
  • Hours open for service
  • Operating vs. capital expenditures
  • Reporting grants
  • Reporting digital (downloadable) material
  • Reporting programs and attendance
  • Special section related to COVD-19 health crisis

If you are not available on Thursday afternoons, send your questions to Answers will be provided promptly, typically within one business day.

2020 Texas Public Libraries Annual Report: Data Collection Portal Open

Texas LibPAS,, the data collection portal for the Texas Public Libraries Annual Report, is now open for reporting local fiscal year 2020 information. Public libraries are encouraged to submit their information by March 31, to allow staff time to review the reports and work through accreditation issues.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission participates in a national public library data collection system and the data is used for the creation of a composite report on the public libraries of the United States and for state-to-state comparisons by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Additionally, this report is used to accredit public libraries in Texas.

Accredited libraries can participate in statewide interlibrary loan and E-rate – the federal telecommunications discount program. They are also eligible to apply for the agency’s competitive grants and other funding opportunities and to participate in the TexShare Card and TexShare Database programs.

Libraries that submit a report may be eligible to participate in E-Read Texas, and to order Summer Reading Program materials at no cost.

Emails were sent in the first week of January reminding library directors of their Texas LibPAS log-in information. If you have not received the email, or you have questions about the Texas Public Libraries Annual Report, please contact Valicia Greenwood by email.

Are you new to completing this report? Register for the webinar, What is New and A Review of the 2020 Texas Public Libraries Annual Report, that will be held on Thursday, January 21 at 2:00 p.m. Those registered will receive a link to the recording once the webinar is over.

If you have concerns about accreditation, or questions about what to report, email, or refer to the Annual Report webpage,

TSLAC FY 2022 Competitive Grant Opportunities

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is pleased to announce the FY 2022 TSLAC Competitive Grant programs. The FY 2022 TSLAC grant offerings include Texas Reads, TexTreasures, Special Projects, and Regional ILS Collaborative grants. Please visit our grants webpage at to read the Notice of Funding Opportunities and watch short videos detailing the specifics for each program.

FY 2022 TSLAC Competitive Grants open for application in GMS on Friday, February 1, 2021. Please use this time to peruse the new website, read the Notice of Funding Opportunities and FAQ, and begin collecting information for your application.

Please also consider joining us for Applying for TSLAC Competitive Grants: What You Need To Know for FY 2022 on Friday, December 4, 2020 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Register for the webinar here: If you are unable to attend the webinar, please register anyway and you will be sent a link to the recorded session.

New Training Videos for the Annual Report Available!

Texas participates in a nationwide public library data survey, and also accredits libraries through an annual report. The data collection period for local fiscal year 2020 is coming up in early January. 

A four-part series on Preparing for the 2020 Texas Public Libraries Annual Report is now ready for viewing on the Annual Report webpage, Rather than hosting a one-hour webinar, these are short explorations of different topics, accompanied by a handout:

Part 1:  Basic Information all Texas Public Library Directors Should Know (video-9:56) (slides
Part 2:  Financial Sections of the Annual Report (video-12:09) (slides)
Part 3:  Tracking and Reporting Services and Technology (video-9:58) (slides)
Part 4:  Texas Public Library Accreditation (video-15:12) (slides)

These presentations can be watched in any order, or you can just watch the one(s) in which you have the most interest. However, if you are interested in obtaining continuing education credit for these, you will need to watch all four as a course in our online learning environment.

In addition to the trainings, we have several information links on the website to ensure the ease and success of the library’s annual report submission:

As always, if you have questions or need any additional assistance, please contact staff at  We continue to telecommute, so email is the best contact.