Library Services and Technology Act in Texas

FY1998 - FY2002

Other Links to the State Plan for Library Services and Technology Act in Texas


Preface | State Plan Summary | Statewide Sharing of Resources | Texas Library Systems


Aid to Local Libraries | Services to Texans with Disabilities | Assurances

Aid to Local Libraries

Continuing Education and Consulting Services

In order to accomplish the purposes of the LSTA, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) provides technical assistance and consulting upon request to librarians, regional system personnel, library staff, trustees, advisory councils, and other interested persons to assist libraries in establishing and maintaining linkages with other libraries and to meet the needs of their users.

The State Library continuing education and consulting staff provides workshops on pertinent topics, and develops related instructional and informational materials. The workshops are designed to meet library educational needs as identified by assessment surveys, staff analysis of changes occurring in the profession, and specific requests that have statewide implications.

Continuing education activities will be announced statewide by brochures, memos, letters, and email in advance to the library community. These activities will also be discussed in the newsletter, Library Developments; issues will contain a section listing the TSLAC workshops, as well as other training activities available to Texas librarians. Workshops are also listed on the Library Development website as well as other electronic sites.

Six staff members offer in-depth consultations in all areas of library operations via telephone, fax, email, onsite visits, and written correspondence. Each consultant offers general and specialized consultation. Areas of consultation include library technology, distance education, disadvantaged populations, grant writing, genealogy, library services to children and young adults, services to small community libraries, and electronic resources. The Library Science Collection librarian also responds to requests for help and information. While all types of libraries are welcome to participate in the training and consulting, the historical emphasis has been on public library needs and concerns. Increasingly requests for assistance are received from school librarians. The consultants make an effort to be visible to their clientele by presenting workshops, participating in public events, writing articles, and hosting meetings. Alternative and distance delivery methods are utilized when possible and practical, and the department continues to expand delivery methods (self-study, computer-mediated study, video courses) to meet the needs of library staff.

The Library Development Division's Continuing Education program will also provide a course of instruction in basic library management. The small library management project provides educational opportunities and consulting expertise targeted specifically to library directors who do not hold a master's degree in library science. It is estimated that a library director who does not have formal training in library science manages 67.5% of the public libraries with populations under 25,000. Many of these directors work in the public library for little or no salary and with no prior library work experience. The courses will reach that group that is least likely to have local funds available for training, is the most geographically remote, and has the fewest number of relevant training opportunities available. The curriculum will be broken into modules presented separately over a two-and-a-half-year period. Each module is presented in several locations determined by a survey of potential participants. In SFY1999 the program concludes a second cycle of five modules. In SFY2000 the program will be restructured to begin a third cycle of training.

Members of the library community can also educate themselves by borrowing professional books, periodicals, and videotapes from the Library Science Collection (LSC). These materials circulate statewide to anyone who requests them. The LSC librarian will identify relevant information and deliver the most appropriate materials to the client.

The TSLAC Jobline announces library job vacancies. In SFY1999 we discontinued having telephone access to the Jobline and currently have it only on the Library Development website. We had experienced a decline to almost no calls by telephone, while the website hits increased significantly. Paper copies of the Jobline listings will also be mailed to those without Internet access. The Jobline is updated weekly. Library Developments is published bimonthly as a source of information and as a communication vehicle. New materials in the Library Science Collection and the Jobline website will be listed in the newsletter.

Workshops and other training programs are conducted throughout the year, taking into consideration schedules for facilities, the speakers, and the audience.

Topics on which we have conducted training include the following:

  • Analyzing What They Need
  • Basic Reference for Paraprofessional Staff
  • Basics of Internet
  • Business Reference Services
  • Customer Service in Libraries
  • Data Conversion
  • Developing Proposals for Grant Funding
  • Evaluating Children's Materials
  • Finding Funds for Libraries
  • Government Documents on the Internet
  • Internet Tools and Specialized Resources
  • Introduction to MARC
  • Library Service to Young Adults
  • Long Range Planning for Library Automation
  • Presentation Power
  • Rx for Reading
  • Small Library Management
  • Storytelling for all Ages
  • Weeding using the CREW Method
  • Z39.50

In many cases, extensive handout packets or instructional manuals were prepared to accompany these courses. Some handbooks that were prepared for these courses are also made available on the Library Development Division website. We have also contracted for videoconferenced workshops, including Soaring to Excellence and Dancing With Change, and have handled site arrangements for this training in 6-9 sites around the state.

Evaluation of the Continuing Education program will be measured by the number of hours of consultation, including technical assistance and number of reference questions answered; number of student workshop hours provided for librarians and library trustees; and number of information items and instructional manuals distributed. Workshops are evaluated on a standard seven-point scale by participants who also make recommendations for future topics. Composite scores for each workshop are tabulated and included in the staff members' performance evaluation plans.

Texas Reading Club

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) administers the Texas Reading Club to provide opportunities for supporting and increasing the reading skills and experiences of children, parents and/or caregivers. For many years the TSLAC has provided professionally designed and printed posters, bookmarks, reading logs, certificates, and planning manuals, including clipart.

Materials will be distributed to all libraries that submit a formal order. Orders for public libraries will be filled first, with orders filled for the schools as long as materials are available. The ordering information will appear in the summer issues of the Library Developments newsletter. It will also be attached to the program evaluation that will be mailed to current participants in August and is available on the Library Development Division website.

A librarian's program planning handbook will be prepared each year to aid librarians in designing literature-based programs related to the selected theme. This handbook includes information on the planning process, games, program ideas, and an annotated bibliography. All material will be produced and distributed in time for participating libraries to plan and advertise the summer activities during the spring months. The bibliography will also be available on the Library Development Division website.

Timetable

Summer 1998

Selection of Theme and Slogan for SFY2000

November 1999

Negotiation with artist for production of original art

December 1998

Negotiation for writing of librarian's planning handbook

May 1999

Receipt of art from artist

August 1999

Order form for SFY2000 mailed with SFY1999 Reading Club evaluations

September 1999

Publicity article in Library Developments newsletter

September 1999

Evaluations of SFY1999 Reading Club by participating libraries due

October 1999

Deadline for receipt of SFY2000 Reading Club orders

November 1999

Compliation of SFY1999 Reading Club evaluation results

December 1999

Tally of Reading Club orders for SFY2000

December 1999

Bid specs for printing of artwork materials, written and submitted

January 2000

Program manuals printed

February 2000

Program manuals with informational memo mailed

March 2000

Reading Club materials mailed to participating libraries

Spring 2000

Programs conducted to assist libraries in developing their Reading Clubs

August 2000

Mailing of additional materials, as requested by schools or other interested parties, until supplies are exhausted

September 2000

Evaluations of Reading Club by participating libraries due

November 2000

Compilation of evaluation results

A standing advisory committee of the Children's Round Table of the Texas Library Association meets twice yearly to make recommendations and suggest improvements in the reading program. During the year, librarians may make recommendations for improving the program. They are encouraged to call or write the Youth Services Consultant at the State Library. In late spring, evaluation forms are sent to all participating libraries. Evaluation forms request information about the success of the local programs, problems faced by the libraries, and suggestions for future themes and programs. The Youth Services Consultant visits area children's service networks to elicit improvements in the program.

The number of Texas Reading Club materials distributed will be about 500,000; this represents the number of reading logs sent to Texas libraries.

Special Projects Grants

The purposes of LSTA include the extension of public library services to target library and information services to people of: diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds; individuals with disabilities; people with limited functional literacy or information skills.

This objective will be accomplished through contracts with public libraries to conduct special projects to serve these populations. The libraries will compete for funds through a grant application process. Announcements of the grant program will be mailed to all public libraries and the grant guidelines will be announced in the newsletter, Library Developments, and on the division website. In addition, the State Library will provide consultation and instruction to groups and individuals across the state on how to develop a good program and a good grant proposal. State Library staff will offer consultant services to help interested libraries write a grant proposal.

State Library staff will review the proposals. Their comments will be presented to the LSTA Advisory Council. The Council will evaluate the proposals and make recommendations for funding to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, who will review and approve the awards.

Subgrantees must complete and submit:

  1. semi-annual Project Evaluation Reports indicating progress made in meeting program objectives;
  2. quarterly Uniform Statistical Reports indicating progress made toward meeting statistical objectives;
  3. quarterly Financial Status Reports, and a final Financial Status Report indicating expenditures and encumbrances made with grant funds; and
  4. a Final Audit if required.

Failure to submit any of the required documents shall constitute defaulting on the contract and may be grounds for suspending the grant. Audits will be reviewed by the State Library staff, and any audit exceptions will be resolved.

Each subgrantee may revise goals and objectives which prove unattainable or unrealistic during the fiscal year upon consultation with the Commission staff. Subgrantees are expected to meet their objectives by the end of the project year.

Onsite visits to project sites may be conducted by Commission staff during the project year.

Timetable (example for FFY 2001 grants)

October 1999

Announcement of grant program mailed to all public libraries

Libraries request guidelines

February 2000

Applications due at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

April 2000

LSTA Advisory Council review and make recommendations

Applicants notified of staff recommendations to Commission

July 2000

Texas State Library and Archives Commission approves awards

September 1, 2000

Projects begin

August 31, 2001

Projects end

Public Library Establishment Grants

LSTA funds may be awarded for extending public library services to geographical areas and groups of persons without such services. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) administers this program to grant funds for the establishment of libraries in unserved communities. When sufficient funding is available, application guidelines will be developed to try to ensure that viable and efficient public libraries are established in currently unserved communities. Announcement flyers will be mailed to county judges in counties without countywide public library service, mayors in cities without library service, and other appropriate local officials and library supporters, as well as to regional library system staff. Guidelines are mailed on request.

The State Library and regional library systems provide consultation to:

  1. explain to new libraries the grant guidelines and the rules for membership in the Texas Library System;
  2. provide assistance in establishing and operating public libraries; and
  3. help in a variety of technical areas during the grant period.

To qualify for these grants, the local governments must agree to appropriate and expend funds in an amount needed to meet Texas Library System minimum membership criteria.

Throughout the project, recipients may revise unrealistic or unattainable project objectives. Revised measures of performance are submitted with the library's narrative and statistical reports. Budgetary revisions may be authorized by the TSLAC if original budget estimates prove incorrect. Such budgetary revisions are authorized by Letters of Prior Approval which officially amend the expenditures section of the contract.

Grant recipients will submit:

  1. semi-annual Project Evaluation Reports indicating progress made toward meeting program objectives;
  2. quarterly Uniform Statistical Reports indicating progress made toward meeting statistical objectives;
  3. quarterly Financial Status Reports, and a final Financial Status Report indicating expenditures and encumbrances made with grant funds; and
  4. a Final Audit if required.

Evaluation of the project's overall success will be measured by a decrease in the number of previously unserved persons, an increase in the number of Texans served by the Texas Library System, and an increase in the number of communities appropriating funds for Texas libraries.

Onsite visits to grantees may be conducted by Commission staff during the project year.

Timetable (example for FFY 2001 grants)

October 1999

Announcement of grant program mailed to all public libraries

Libraries request guidelines

February 2000

Applications due at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

April 2000

LSTA Advisory Council review and make recommendations

Applicants notified of staff recommendations to Commission

July 2000

Texas State Library and Archives Commission approves awards

September 1, 2000

Projects begin

August 31, 2001

Projects end

Library Cooperation Grants

The purposes of LSTA include encouraging libraries in different areas, and encouraging different types of libraries to establish consortia and share resources. The Act also describes a variety of library linkages to electronic networks and educational, social or information services.

These objectives will be accomplished through contracts with libraries to conduct projects to cooperate with other libraries. The libraries will compete for funds through a grant application process.

Announcements of the grant program will be mailed to all public libraries and the grant guidelines will be announced in the newsletter, Library Developments, and posted on the Library Development website. In addition, the State Library will provide consultation and instruction to groups and individuals across the state on how to develop a good program and a good grant proposal. State Library staff will offer consultant services to help interested libraries write a grant proposal.

State Library staff will also review the proposals and present them to the LSTA Advisory Council. The Council will evaluate the proposals and make recommendations for funding to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, who will review and approve the awards.

Subgrantees must complete and submit:

  1. semi-annual Project Evaluation Reports indicating progress made in meeting program objectives;
  2. quarterly Uniform Statistical Reports indicating progress made toward meeting statistical objectives;
  3. quarterly Financial Status Reports, and a final Financial Status Report indicating expenditures and encumbrances made with grant funds; and
  4. a Final Audit if required.

Failure to submit any of the required documents shall constitute defaulting on the contract and may be grounds for suspending the grant. Audits will be reviewed by the State Library staff, and any audit exceptions will be resolved.

Each subgrantee may revise goals and objectives which prove unattainable or unrealistic during the fiscal year upon consultation with the Commission staff. Subgrantees are expected to meet their objectives by the end of the project year.

Onsite visits to project sites may be conducted by Commission staff during the project year.

Timetable (example for FFY 2001 grants)

October 1999

Announcement of grant program mailed to all public libraries

Libraries request guidelines

February 2000

Applications due at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

April 2000

LSTA Advisory Council review and make recommendations

Applicants notified of staff recommendations to Commission

July 2000

Texas State Library and Archives Commission approves awards

September 1, 2000

Projects begin

August 31, 2001

Projects end

Technology Assistance Negotiated Grants

Specific goals of the Library Services and Technology Act establish priorities for establishing and enhancing electronic linkages and assisting libraries to acquire or share computer systems and telecommunications technologies. Several state funded projects, including the Telecommunication Infrastructure Fund and Internet Assistance Grants, plus private grants from the Gates Library Initiative, Tocker Foundation, etc. have increased the availability of technology in public libraries. Many of the smaller libraries have experienced difficulty keeping their computer equipment running efficiently and need assistance and training on computer and network maintenance.

Larger libraries need specialized technical training and consulting to help staff keep technology functioning. For SFY1999 and SFY2000, approximately $600,000 of LSTA funds will be available for Technical Assistance Negotiated Grants. The focus of these grants is not on the acquisition of technology, but rather on improving the use and upkeep of the equipment.

Priority for application for these funds is given to the Texas Library Systems. The grant will fund cost for personnel, equipment/property, supplies, telecommunications, travel, and professional services necessary to provide technical assistance to public libraries in a given Texas Library System.

For SFY1999, the following grants were awarded:

System

Amount

Results

Alamo Area Library System

$75,000

Will provide training for 426 library staff on the maintenance of computer equipment, and will provide advanced training for major resource center and system staff.

Big County Library System

$47,388

Will hire one additional staff person to help system member libraries with their technological needs.

Central Texas Library System

$67,661

Will hire an additional staff person to provide technical aid and training on computer equipment for 600 library staff.

Houston Area Library System

$22,100

Will purchase access to professional help desk services for all system library sites and provide specialized onsite assistance to seven system member libraries.

Northeast Texas Library System

$75,000

Will provide A+ training and certifications for one or more library staff in each of the 94 system member libraries (two-year project).

North Texas Regional Library System

$60,696

Will hire an additional staff member to help libraries with their technical needs and will contract for additional technical expertise to meet specialized needs of larger libraries.

South Texas Library System

$57,517

Will hire a staff Personal Computer Technician to assist and train 244 staff in system member libraries.

Texas Panhandle Library System

$43,469

Will hire one Personal Computer Specialist to provide technological training and assistance to staff in system member libraries.

Texas Trans-Pecos Library System

$43,923

Will hire a Computer Technician to help staff in system member libraries with technological needs.

West Texas Library System

$54,378

Will hire a full-time Computer Technician who will train and provide technical expertise for the area libraries.

Page last modified: March 2, 2011