Library Technology Academy accepting new grant applicants!

cartoon school house with computer inside the door. computer screen is projecting a cartoon heart.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) is excited to announce after a successful pilot last year, we are offering the Library Technology Academy again! This training grant program is informed by the needs of small and rural Texas library staff who have requested strategic, intentional and proactive technology planning.

Last year, we received an overwhelming response from small and rural libraries for this grant program and we are thrilled to announce that we are expanding the grant in a few ways:

  • Libraries with populations of 30,000 or fewer are eligible to apply
  • No restrictions if you have previously received a TSLAC grant
  • Number of participants expanded to ten libraries and twenty participants
  • Online training expanded to eight weeks to include more focus on gaining community input

Join us on Tuesday, September 24 from 10-11am CST for a webinar including some of last year’s Library Technology Academy participants to hear about their experiences and to learn more about the grant. Use the following link to register for the webinar: Library Technology Academy: Reports from A Texas Training Program for Small and Rural Libraries.

What is the Library Technology Academy grant?

Unlike other grants where you are expected to have already an idea in mind for which you will use the grant money, Library Technology Academy is focused on preparing you with skills on managing library technology after which you will then propose a project.  So, if know you would like to gain a better grasp on approaching library technology more strategically, but don’t have an idea of where to start – or maybe you have too many ideas, but don’t know which is most in line with your community’s needs – this is the grant for you!

What’s Involved

The goal of the program is to provide an in-depth learning opportunity for small and rural library staff to acquire, develop, and implement the skills and tools needed to manage library technology strategically. Selected applicants will attend an in-person training in Austin, Texas on December 9-10th, 2019 and then continue their learning via an eight-week online course taught by Carson Block, a nationally known expert in library technology management.

Following the training and over the next 18 months, each library will implement their own technology project. The grant funding will enable participants to:

  • Travel to an in-person training in Austin, Texas.
  • Purchase materials and services to implement a project informed by library management strategies and best practices as outlined in the Library Technology Academy training. TSLAC will work in collaboration with selected libraries to approve projects proposed.

How Do I Apply?

We will begin accepting applications beginning today, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 and it will close on Sunday, Oct 20, 2019.  Before you apply, please go to the Library Technology Academy website and watch the short video tour of Library Technology resources, download the PDF of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and then download the Grant Guidelines (Notice of Funding Opportunity).  The application is entirely online and can be accessed after logging into the Texas State Library & Archives Commission Grants Management System.

Timeline: Successful applicants will be notified in early November 2019. In-person training will take place December 9-10th at Austin’s New Central Library. The subsequent online training will take place from January 2020 – March 2020 and the grant project will begin September 1, 2020 and end on Aug. 31, 2021.

Contact Information: For more information, including requirements and eligibility, please refer to the  Library Technology Academy webpage. If you need assistance with the application process or have further questions, please contact Cindy Fisher, Library Technology Consultant and Library Technology Academy grant manager, at cfisher@tsl.texas.gov or 800-252-9386 (toll-free for Texas). 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.