FREE “Community Health Connections” Webinar Series on consumer health technology, marketing, and TexShare health databases

The Texas Woman’s University School of Library & Information Studies (TWU SLIS) has a free training opportunity for small rural public library staff in Texas. If you’re from an accredited Texas public library that serves a population of less than 25,000, and your job entails working with the public answering information needs (no MLS needed), then you are qualified to apply for participation in a FREE 5-part webinar series focused on consumer health, technology (e.g. telehealth) and community-based marketing. This includes training on the TexShare health databases!

As part of your participation in all five monthly webinars you will be supplied free of charge: webcams, a marketing text, and a poster to promote consumer health resources and support at your library.

Please apply for the webinar series by following the link below by the deadline of October 30. If you cannot participate yourself, feel free to recruit one of the library staff, assuming they meet the requirements listed above and can commit to participating in all five webinars. Participation will be limited to one staff member per library.

Link to application:  https://www.psychdata.com/s.asp?SID=193873

For questions, please contact Carol Perryman at cperryman@twu.edu.

Time for a TexShare ShoutOut

All around the state, libraries are promoting the TexShare databases to their students and patrons for research, homework help, genealogy, and more. We at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) think the TexShare databases are worth shouting about. And so are the libraries that are doing the shouting, helping give their community access to its amazing and life-changing suite of resources.  We want to give a big TexShare ShoutOut to all the great efforts.

Logo for "TexShare ShoutOut"

Hondo Public Library

Elsie Purcell, Library Director at Hondo Public Library, had a couple of people comment that they hadn’t known about the databases before, so Elsie wrote several articles about them.

In Hondo, all new members receive three brochures: a basic one about the library, memberships, fines, etc.; one about Libby/Overdrive; and one about the online resources (copy attached). This includes their county patrons who were recently added through COVID funding from their County Commissioners.

Before the pandemic, they used to hold an annual Teacher Appreciation event and share information about the resources available for them and their students. Library staff talk to them about the databases for their students including Learning Express for STAAR test practice but also about Teaching Books.net for the teachers to use in lesson planning.

Twice a year, Hondo holds a 7 week program called Hondo U; citizens apply to attend and each week they learn about one of the departments or divisions of the City.  Elsie’s portion of the presentation is limited to 15-20 minutes during our week but she does manage to make a brief mention of the databases to them.

Elsie has done two videos as part of their virtual programming – Friday Facts and Fun. These are posted to Facebook and then uploaded to YouTube.

October 23, 2020 – Learning Express – https://youtu.be/sV5dKqkVHrY

March 12, 2021 – Chilton Library – https://youtu.be/U7IcnJU05wQ


Bee Cave Public Library

While Bee Cave Public Library has been closed to the public, they’ve been working on online tutorials for their digital resources. They added a page to their website to explain their digital resources and a page that links to all of their video tutorials.  Topics include an overview of TexShare, Explora Elementary, Credo Reference, and Learning Express Library. 

They also created a fun video spoofing Dead Poets Society to highlight both TexShare and the work their reference librarians do. TexShare Society tells the story of a teen doing remote learning and his mom trying to find research help for a homework project. The librarian helps them “seize the database” and directs them to the many resources that TexShare offers. 

Here’s the link to the video on both Facebook and YouTube


Bastrop Public Library

Besides their web page devoted to TexShare, Bastrop Public Library highlights five topics/databases with the stacks:

  1. Home Improvement
  2. Hobbies and Crafts
  3. Chilton
  4. Small Engine Repair
  5. Medical

For the first three, they have the bookmarks provided by TSLAC in holders out in the stacks near the Dewey numbers. They did print on mailing labels the website and log-on information so that patrons can easily access.

For the Small Engine Repair database, they advertised it using a flyer.

For the medical databases, they created miniature brochures that they could easily slip into their pocket or purse in case patrons felt discomfort or embarrassment to discuss with staff.


Northeast Lakeview College Library

The Northeast Lakeview College Library, part of the Alamo Colleges District, has been making a huge push to let their students, faculty, and staff know about their databases and how to access them. They have been using weekly blog posts to let students, faculty, and staff know what databases they have access to through the library. In most cases, they are spotlighting a database, showing how to conduct searches, and narrowing results to get their visitors to the most useful information in their research. This has been a successful campaign with more than 450 views from June 2020 to January 2021.


Please send what you or another library are doing to promote the databases and any ideas for the “TexShare ShoutOuts” blog series to: texshare@tsl.texas.gov

TSLAC ILL TexShare Virtual Conference Registration

Join us for a free online conference

Join us on August 6, 2020 for a free virtual conference, with sessions focusing on resource sharing programs from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Speakers will present information on statewide interlibrary loan, the TexShare Card program, TexShare Database instruction, and the courier program.

With tracks for academic and public libraries, all library staff are welcome and encouraged to attend!

DATE: Thursday, August 6, 2020, 9:00 am – 3:15 pm
LOCATION: Online
COST: Free

Register here: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ldn/ill-texshare-virtual-con

FY 2020 TExpress Courier Pricing

The TExpress statewide courier program, managed by Amigos Library Services, offers 5-day, 3-day or 2-day a week courier service to participating libraries throughout Texas for one annual fee. In addition to delivery between participating Texas libraries, participation in the TExpress courier service also includes delivery to other Trans-Amigos Express courier libraries served by Amigos at no additional cost, including libraries in Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides subscription subsidies for eligible TexShare libraries participating in the courier program. Subscription fees and subsidies for FY 2020, September 1, 2019 – August 31, 2020, are:

Delivery Service Annual Courier
Subscription Cost
TexShare Subsidy Cost to TexShare Libraries
5-day per week $5,579 $1,673.70 $3,905.30
3-day per week $3,792 $1,137.60 $2,654.40
2-day per week $2,900 $870.00 $2,030.00

For information on the TExpress courier program, please see Amigos Library Services’ website at https://www.amigos.org/trans_amigos_express.

Contact Sara Hayes with any questions at shayes@tsl.texas.gov.

Credo Micro-Trainings

We’re pleased to a announce a new set of micro-trainings from Credo. In 20 minutes you can expand your e-resources skill set.

These trainings focus on one of Credo’s new features: Real Time Reference and using Credo’s expansive collection of LibGuides.

Monday, April 22nd – 10am Central
Finding Current & Controversial topics in Credo- 20 Minutes
Find fact based information on current global issues with Credo’s
Real Time Reference content – Available to all Texshare members.

Tuesday, April 23rd – 2pm Central
Credo & LibGuides integration– 20 Minutes
See how to embed and add content to your LibGuides and take a 
tour of Credo’s remade LibGuides

Upcoming Webinars from Credo Reference

Take a look at these upcoming webinars from Credo Reference!

Webinar #1:

Title: Finding Art Content in Credo Reference

Monday, March 25, 2019. 10:00 AM Central Time

Join us for a 20 minute overview of Art Reference materials.  By the end of this short demonstration, you will be able to:

  • Locate Credo’s Art reference content including the over 500,000 images
  • Locate short videos on art history
  • Create a bookshelf of favorite art reference and video content which will be bookmarkable and linkable

Register here: https://credoreference.zoom.us/webinar/register/0fe9a491d8a096abd746f627e8486654

Webinar #2:

Title: Credo Reference: What are Topic Pages?

Tuesday, March 26, 2019. 2:00 PM Central Time

Join us for a 20 minute micro-training about Credo’s Topic Pages.

All Texshare accounts have access to customized Topic Pages. Learn how to use them effectively with researchers and see how you can tailor the customizations to your library.

Register here: https://credoreference.zoom.us/webinar/register/d99acf43ed45e7b8cde7dc3c8da9331e

Webinars are free.

TexShare Genealogy Update

The TexShare subscription to HeritageQuest Online® will end on March 31, 2019. In December 2018, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission solicited online genealogy resources for the TexShare Databases Program. We specifically asked for resources that included a complete set of fully indexed US Census records with digitized images of the original records; we also expressed interest in additional schedules and records, ebooks, maps, and reference materials.

In the end, we were unable to enter into a contract with the qualified vendors who responded to our solicitation. We have re-posted the solicitation, but we will not be able to get a resource in place by April 1. Our earliest estimate for adding a new resource is May 1.

Because of the nature of TexShare, and the scope of the TexShare Databases Program, we require resources that can meet our technical specifications, listed at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/texshare/techrequirements.html. Some of our specifications, such as conformance to Section 508, the federal accessibility standards, are required by Texas statute and by our federal funders. This can be a difficult standard to meet, particularly for genealogy and historical resources that rely on digitized images of original records.

While we are, at least temporarily, without genealogy content in the TexShare Databases core, there are other options for our libraries. Most of the content in genealogy sites like HeritageQuest Online® is in the public domain and so free of copyright restrictions. Any records or schedules created by the federal government are in the public domain, and many remaining records and publications are public domain due to their age. Because of this, much of the content in HeritageQuest Online® can be found in other free sources.

In order to provide support in this content area, we are working to compile a list of free alternatives for libraries to share with their patrons. Here are a few resources to start:

  • Family Search, provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, offers free access to numerous historical record collections from around the world. This is an important source for census records, Freedman’s Bank records, Native American census rolls, the U.S. Social Security Death Index, and marriage, birth and baptismal records from around the world. They also have a significant collection of family history books digitized from partner libraries, including the Allen County Public Library (IN) and the Dallas Public Library. Notes: Access to FamilySearch records requires a free FamilySearch account. TSLAC has not reviewed this resource for accessibility.
Infographic showing the 2018 review of FamilySearch, including number of searchable records and images (5.8 billion), total indexed records (3.98 billion), new historical records collections images (300 million), new images published in the catalog (277 million), and new book-scanning images (21 million).
FamilySearch, from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Logo for Texas Digital Sanborn Maps 1867-1970
Texas Digital Sanborn Maps, available through TexShare (login required)
  • The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has several archival collections that have been digitized and are available for use:
    https://www.tsl.texas.gov/arc/genfirst.html#ARCResources
  • Ancestry.com Texas allows free access to additional TSLAC records that have been digitized by Ancestry and those materials are  made available to Texas residents. Note: This access requires the creation of a free Ancestry.com Texas account.

We are planning webinars on these and other genealogy resources to help you meet your patrons’ needs. If you have any questions, please contact texshare@tsl.texas.gov.