Season’s Greetings!

Text reads "Season's Greetings from the staff of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission."
Season’s greetings from all of us at TSLAC.

Thank you all for everything you did to serve your communities during this challenging year! In the words of State Librarian Mark Smith, “it is a challenging time to be in public service. But we will get through this together, and we will survive.The public has an enduring need for what libraries offer: a stable and beloved social institution, open to all on equal terms, providing authoritative access to life-saving, life-affirming information.”

Thank you for all that you do! Wishing you, your families, your coworkers, and your communities a safe and happy holiday season.

Webinar this Friday with State Librarian Mark Smith and Assistant State Librarian Gloria Meraz

Please join us for a TSLAC update and discussion on the future outlook for Texas libraries.

Learn about statewide efforts to support communities during this time and hear about upcoming opportunities, budget considerations, and how libraries can look to the future. Your questions and thoughts are most welcome!

Program details are below. We hope to see you later this week!

TSLAC Update – Current status and future outlook for TSLAC and Texas libraries
When: Fri, November 20, 10am – 11am (CST)

State Librarian Mark Smith, Assistant State Librarian Gloria Meraz, and the members of the Library Development and Networking team will discuss the current state of library issues, programs, and opportunities.

Attendance at the LIVE program qualifies for 1 hour of Texas State Library Continuing Education credit (CPE eligible for Texas educators). Printed certificates will not be issued. A follow-up email will be sent within 5 days of the event to individuals who attended the live Webinar. Attendees are advised to save and/or print the follow-up email as it will serve as proof of attendance for CE purposes.

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. If you use assistive technology and the format of any material related to this training event interferes with your ability to access the information, please email LD@tsl.texas.gov. To enable us to respond in a manner most helpful to you, please indicate the nature of your accessibility issue, the preferred format in which to receive the material, the date and title of the training event, and your contact information.

For more information and to register, visit: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3822897886752260879.

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.

TSLAC reaffirms its longstanding commitment to equality and opposing racism (Mark Smith’s “The Director’s Report”)

Last week, Texas State Library and Archives Commission Director Mark Smith shared his blog post titled TSLAC reaffirms its longstanding commitment to equality and opposing racism.” We wanted to share his blog post with our readers, along with the following statement from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission:

The staff of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission are dedicated to honoring our responsibility as public servants to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and respect for all people. Libraries and archives have a long history of working to provide equitable access to resources and services for all communities and to safeguard the primary history of important events. The imperative to build on this work continues and is infused with a renewed sense of urgency. We recognize that as witnesses to this historic moment in our national narrative, we are all also participants. We, as individuals, stand in solidarity with all persons seeking justice and an end to racism or any practice that undermines the inherent worth of any human life.