Welcome to the Texas Library Laws Online

This edition of Library Laws of Texas offers an online compilation of Texas statutes relating to libraries and librarians current through the 83rd Legislature, Third Called Session, 2013.

Within Library Laws of Texas, users will locate most library-related statutes by browsing the Topical Outline of Laws. This outline arrangement begins with General Topics (Topics of General Interest or Broad Applications) and continues with categories for types of libraries: Local Libraries; Specialized Libraries and Collections; and Statewide Library Programs. Texas Attorney General Opinions that pertain to libraries are summarized in a final page.

In addition, users of this website may locate commonly sought statutes by linking to the "Selected Statutes Frequently Used: page" which provide a quick link to the full-text of specific Texas Statutes. Users may request assistance in locating library legislation by contacting a librarian listed at the Help page. Also, please let us know if there are additional categories of laws that would be helpful under the General Topics.

The annotated references provide links to the full statutes maintained at the Texas Legislative Council website Texas Legislature Online and to rules contained in the Texas Secretary of State website for the Texas Administrative Code.

The Role of the Texas Legislative Council

The Texas Legislative Council is the state agency responsible for codifying statutes by integrating new laws into the codes and carrying out a statutory revision program that involves reclassifying and rearranging statutes from the old Civil Statute articles into subject codes. This process is ongoing, and the reader may note that some materials previously found in the Civil Statutes section of this publication have moved to their place in the subject codes.

What's Included in the Library Laws

Texas Library Laws is intended to be a current reference tool for librarians, library boards, and other interested parties in the library community. This is an informational source only, and should not be relied upon as an official record.

Texas Library Laws was completely revised in the fall of 2003 and is regularly updated after each session. Existing entries were reviewed and new legislation was added. An extensive database search was conducted for the terms "library", "libraries", and "librarians". Additionally, there are numerous laws affecting libraries that are not specifically considered library legislation, but that may be equally important to the library community. As many of these as could be identified, have been included. Examples include open meetings laws, open records laws, and employment laws. In all cases, the compilers made editorial decisions in terms of inclusion or exclusion of material and formatting of information to make this work as clear and concise as possible. Editorial notes are included on occasion to assist the user. Some laws are entered under multiple headings in the topical outline to provide maximum subject access.

Statutes, the laws passed by the Texas Legislature, are the main source document on these pages. However, to get a complete view of the authorities that should be followed in a particular area, administrative rules and regulations and attorney general opinions may also be important. Administrative rules and regulations are, in most cases, written by the governing bodies of the agencies authorized to administer the statutes that pertain to their operations. These rules and regulations are gathered in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) and the text of the Administrative Code is available on the Secretary of State's web site. The Library Laws web page presents many pertinent TAC sections following particular statute annotations and provides a link to the Secretary of State's web site. A complete presentation of library-related TAC sections will be provided in the next revision of this page. Attorney General Opinions are presented in a separate section of the Library Laws web page.

Comments and suggestions regarding this publication are welcome and may be sent to:

Director and Librarian
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
P.O. Box 12927
Austin, TX 78711-2927

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Page last modified: February 20, 2014