Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

Five Year Plan for Texas

FY2003 - FY2007

Submitted to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) July 30, 2002, revised March 25, 2004. Please address questions or comments to Deborah Littrell. Thank you.


Table of Contents

Appendix A

 


Mission

The mission of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission is to safeguard significant resources, provide information services that inspire and support research, education and reading, and enhance the capacity for achievement of current and future generations. To accomplish this, we

  • preserve the record of government for public scrutiny,
  • secure and make accessible historically significant records and other valuable resources,
  • meet the reading needs of Texans with disabilities,
  • build and sustain statewide partnerships to improve library programs and services, and
  • enhance the capacity for achievement of individuals and institutions with which we work.

Needs

The TSLAC has used a variety of sources to identify critical needs of Texans. The following needs that are consistent with the purposes of LSTA were selected for inclusion in the five-year Plan:

  1. The people of Texas require access to high quality, reliable information to fulfill their informal and formal educational and informational needs.
  2. Texans need the ability to use library resources effectively and the opportunities to become information literate.
  3. Texas' diverse populations need access to high quality library services.
  4. Texans require access to Internet and other technology based services to help achieve economic, educational, and other personal goals.

Assessment:

State Priorities

The first priority listed by Governor Rick Perry in his Priorities for Texans is education. In discussing education he states, ". . . establishing after school, summer school. . programs, and . . . provide pre-school children with vital reading . . skills to put them on the right path to future learning . . . "

Demographic Change, Economic Development, Education

The Chief Demographer at the Texas State Data Center, Texas A&M University, has released an analysis of the 2000 census and its implications for the state in The Population of Texas: Historical Patterns and Future Trends Affecting Education (Steve H. Murdock, Texas A&M University). Some key findings in this study are:

  • the population of Texas is likely to continue to grow rapidly;
  • the ethnic/racial and age compositions of the state, already significantly different from earlier decades, will continue to diversify. The proportion of Hispanic and other current minority populations to the total population will grow and these populations will become a majority in the coming decades;
  • the average age of the Anglo population base, and overall population base of Texas, will rise, although this pattern is not as true of the minority populations;
  • the patterns of population change are not the same for the various regions of the state. Texas, which is already an urbanized state (approximately 84% of the population in metropolitan areas - Texas Economic Development, www.bidc.state.tx.us), will have its largest rate of growth in these areas. The population of the area of the state along the border with Mexico will increase dramatically. Although most areas of Texas will show some growth, in general west and northeast Texas will have the smallest rate of growth (especially rural counties);
  • In general, the household income and educational attainment of minority populations are currently lower than for the Anglo population. Texas continues to be below the national median in household and per capita income, and ranks among the lowest in percent of persons 25 years or older with a high school diploma;
  • Without changes in educational attainment, the socio-economic implications for the state are significant.

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' regional economic analyses (www.window.state.tx.us/ecodata/regional/) highlight the need for providing educational skills to meet the changing, future needs of business and to promote economic development. This factor was cited for several, but particularly for the slower growing, regions of the state.

A report by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce (Trends of the Future) echoes these findings and speaks to the growth of small businesses, the self-employed, the growth of the service sector, a current disparity between skills and jobs, the need for continuous innovation, and information as a primary commodity in more industries. The National Institute for Literacy (based on 1990 census and other data, 2000 not yet available) states that 51% of Texans are at level 1 or 2 (based on population over 16, where level 1 is the lowest of 5 levels of functioning).

KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation (www.aecf.org/kidscount/index.htm), is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. Their profile of Texas (Trends 1990-2000) shows that the percent of children in Texas is higher than the national average on key indicators such as: percent living in poverty, percent living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment, percent living with a household head who is a high school dropout, percent in low-income working families, percent of children who have difficulty speaking English, percent of teens who are high school dropouts, percent of teens not attending school and not working.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has a plan to help address the issues raised by the demographic data titled Closing the Gaps (www.thecb.state.tx.us/AdvisoryCommittees/HEP/0096.htm). The plan has four goals to be achieved by 2015:

  • Close the Gaps in Participation (in enrollment rates across Texas to add 500,000 more students)
  • Close the Gaps in Success (increase by 50% the number of identifiable student successes - number of degrees and certificates - from high quality programs)
  • Close the Gaps in Excellence (substantially increase the number of nationally recognized programs and services at colleges and universities in Texas)
  • Close the Gaps in Research (increase level of federal science and engineering research funding to Texas institutions)

Library studies

In FY2001 TSLAC conducted a study of Texas school libraries, Texas School Libraries: Standards, Resources, Services, and Students' Performance. The key findings of this study are that students in schools with librarians demonstrate higher performance on the state's standardized test, TAAS, at all educational levels than in schools without librarians. Other library variables were also found to be important for student performance on TAAS and reveal gaps in recommended library funding levels, staffing levels, library resources, and curriculum integration.

Texas continues to rank well below most states in key public library measures (National Center for Educational Statistics). In the report for state FY2000, Texas ranked 47th in books per capita, 45th in circulations per capita, 45th in total income per capita, 47th in paid staff/librarians per 25,000 population, and 43rd in library visits per capita.

In FY2002 TSLAC conducted an evaluation study of its current LSTA five-year plan. This study looked at the overall effectiveness of the LSTA projects, and examined the Texas Library Systems, the Technical Assistance Negotiated grants (TANG), and the Special Projects grants in-depth. Overall, LSTA projects showed a great deal of activity, but conclusions about impact or effectiveness could not be drawn based on the data gathered for the projects.

The in-depth evaluation of the Systems project showed that while there was general satisfaction with system services, the small, rural libraries depend on the Systems and report greater satisfaction and improvement as a result of System services than larger libraries. The larger, urban libraries had statistically significant lower levels of satisfaction and improvement. In FY02 Texas had 517 system member libraries. Of these, approximately 23% are the larger libraries, but these libraries serve approximately 75% of the population.

The study found that the TANG project had "changed the technology map" for Texas libraries, by contributing significantly to libraries' knowledge and self-sufficiency in dealing with technology. This held true for all sizes of libraries. Special Projects grants had a direct impact on participants and their communities.

Preliminary findings of a library needs assessment done for the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund by the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge (University of North Texas) show that demand for Internet access and technology based library services (and the related needs for staff and user training, equipment, and connectivity) continue to grow. All types of libraries need help in these areas. The provision of state-wide databases through the TexShare program has been a significant benefit to public and academic libraries and their users, and has saved the state millions of dollars in cost avoidance.

In 2002 the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) published two studies: How Academic Librarians Can Influence Students' Web-Based Information Choices (OCLC White Paper on the Information Habits of College Students, June 2002) and Trends and Issues for Public Libraries: A Report from the Field (March 2002).

The White Paper showed that students continue to depend on the library for traditional and electronic resources, but identified a gap between students' expectations for library service and their perceptions of the service they receive, especially web-based information services. Student suggestions fell into four categories: make it easier to use and access library resources; have more materials available, both print and electronic; offer interactive maps, study tips, and guides; provide links to other library and research sites. Students value accurate information, knowledgeable assistance, a customer service orientation, want remote access, and want ways to search other libraries' collections and to be able to borrow directly from those collections.

The public library study identified a number of issues and trends. Prominent among these are: the role of technology has changed; cooperation and partnerships are key for libraries and communities; customers have changed and become more diverse; traditional services remain and are evolving, while new, technology based and community services are needed; and the role of the library in the community is changing. Libraries face challenges securing adequate funding, in recruiting staff, and in the need for constant staff training.

In FY2003 TSLAC will conduct a study of the future of public library development in Texas which will update the assessment of how best to assist public libraries in meeting the needs of their communities. The Texas library community will have the opportunity for extensive comment during this study.

Goals

The Texas LSTA Plan 2003-2007 reflects these broad, statewide trends. Based on these needs, the following goals have been identified. The related needs, LSTA purposes, and projects are listed for each goal. Texas has chosen broad goals and activities to meet the stated needs and goals, and therefore the goals are not prioritized.

  1. Provide Texans with improved access to library materials and services.
    • Needs:
      • The people of Texas require access to high quality, reliable information to fulfill their informal and formal educational and informational needs.
      • Texas' diverse populations need access to high quality library services.
    • LSTA Purposes and Goals:
      • Expanding services for learning and access to information and educational resources in a variety of formats, in all types of libraries, for individuals of all ages.
      • Developing library services that provide all users access to information through local, State, regional, national, and international electronic networks.
    • Projects:
      • Texas Library Systems
      • Interlibrary Loan
      • Cooperation Grants
      • Electronic Library Services
      • Special Services and Collections
  2. Encourage and assist libraries to provide services to under-served segments of the population.
    • Needs:
      • Texas' diverse populations need access to high quality library services.
    • LSTA Purposes and Goals:
      • Developing public and private partnerships with other agencies and community based organizations.
      • Targeting library services to individuals of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, to individuals with disabilities, and to individuals with limited functional literacy or information skills.
      • Targeting library and information services to persons having difficulty using a library and to under-served urban and rural communities, including children (from birth through age 17) from families with incomes below the poverty line (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget and revised annually in accordance with section 683(2) of the Community Services Block Grant Act applicable to a family of the size involved.)
    • Projects:
      • Texas Library Systems
      • Special Projects Grants
      • Establishment Grants
      • Special Services and Collections: Talking Book Program
  3. Encourage and assist libraries to use technology to serve the information needs of Texans.
    • Needs:
      • Texans require access to Internet and other technology based services to help achieve economic, educational, and other personal goals.
    • LSTA Purposes and Goals:
      • Developing library services that provide all users access to information through local, State, regional, national, and international electronic networks.
      • Providing electronic and other linkages among and between all types of libraries.
    • Projects:
      • Texas Library Systems
      • Technical Assistance Negotiated Grants
      • Cooperation Grants
      • Electronic Library Services
  4. Provide library staff with continuing education and consulting services to improve their ability to serve Texans.
    • Needs:
      • Texans need the ability to use library resources effectively and the opportunities to become information literate.
    • LSTA Purposes and Goals:
      • Expanding services for learning and access to information and educational resources in a variety of formats, in all types of libraries, for individuals of all ages.
    • Projects:
      • Continuing Education and Consulting
      • Texas Library Systems
  5. Enhance access to the special collections of the TSLAC and other libraries in Texas.
    • Needs:
      • The people of Texas require access to high quality, reliable information to fulfill their informal and formal educational and informational needs.
    • LSTA Purposes and Goals:
      • Developing library services that provide all users access to information through local, State, regional, national, and international electronic networks.
      • Expanding services for learning and access to information and educational resources in a variety of formats, in all types of libraries, for individuals of all ages.
    • Projects:
      • Special Services and Collections: Digital Library Collections

Projects (Activities)

The projects funded under LSTA include both statewide and sub-grant projects. Complete project descriptions are in Appendix A. Outputs and outcomes are addressed in the Evaluation and project description sections. The projects that support the goals of this Plan are the following:

  1. Texas Library Systems

    Timeline - FY 2003-2007

    For Whom - public libraries; academic, school, special libraries (selected activities)
  2. Technical Assistance Negotiated Grants

    Timeline - FY2003-2007

    For Whom - public libraries; academic libraries (selected services)
  3. Cooperation Grants

    Timeline - FY2003-2007

    For Whom - public, academic, research, school libraries
  4. Special Projects Grants

    Timeline - FY2003-2007

    For Whom - public libraries in cooperation with other libraries and/or community organizations
  5. Establishment Grants

    Timeline - FY2003-2004 (phased out by August 31, 2004)

    For Whom - public libraries
  6. Interlibrary Loan

    Timeline - FY2003-2007

    For Whom - all types of libraries
  7. Electronic Library Services

    Timeline - FY2003-2007

    For Whom - all types of libraries
  8. Continuing Education and Consulting

    Timeline - FY2003-2007

    For Whom - all types of libraries
  9. Special Services and Collections

    Timeline - FY2003-2007

    For Whom - public and academic libraries
  10. Administration

    Timeline - FY2003-2007

    For Whom - all types of libraries

Evaluation

Evaluation of funded projects will have two components:

  1. (1) Output measures and financial performance
    • TSLAC is required to report output measures and financial information on its programs. The output targets for the agency are developed for each biennium, and for each project annually. Because of this factor, and because the projects are all large, statewide, on-going projects, targets will not be set in this plan. All grant programs must report the following information quarterly, with an annual report:
      • Financial Status Report - reports of grant disbursements and/or encumbrances;
      • Uniform Statistical Reports that list the performance targets (output measures) to be reached by each project.
    • Other required reports for individual projects (such as narrative reports or audits) may vary and are included in the full project descriptions in Appendix A.
  2. (2) Outcome Based Evaluation
    • A key finding of the LSTA Evaluation Study was that TSLAC did not collect outcome, or impact, information on its programs. We recognize that this information would be very valuable to the agency for program development, and also to the library and broader community to understand the value of the programs to the people of Texas.
    • TSLAC Library Development staff have attended the outcome based evaluation training offered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and are currently working on a pilot outcome based evaluation plan for the Technical Assistance Negotiated Grants (TANG) project. Outcome based evaluation plans will be implemented for all LSTA funded programs over the period of this five-year Plan. Outcome measures will be developed and reported for each project as this method of evaluation is implemented. The following timeline shows how this will be done. We expect that this experience will also inform the process of using outcome based evaluation for other agency programs, and will also assist local libraries in using this evaluation method for local programs.
    • The year in which a project is listed indicates when we will begin using outcome-based evaluation for that project. We expect that this process will require continuous training of staff in the agency and library community, as well as refining the measures and procedures used for this method of evaluation.

Year

Project

FY2003

TANG pilot project; train Texas Library Systems staff and other Library Development staff;

FY2004

Texas Library Systems project; develop process for requiring outcome measures and training for sub-grant projects; develop measures for other Library Development statewide projects; train other TSLAC staff;

FY2005

Cooperation and Special Projects grants; Continuing Education and Consulting project; develop measures for other TSLAC projects;

FY2006

Interlibrary Loan, Electronic Library Services, Special Services and Collections;

FY2007

Continue training of library staff statewide and refining the procedures and measures for all grant projects.

Monitoring

The TSLAC has formal processes for monitoring its sub-grant programs. The Evaluation section of this Plan described the output measures and financial information that are required of the agency. These are used to monitor the progress of grantees in completing their projects. Both program managers and grants accounting staff are involved in this review. Semi-annual narrative reports augment the statistical and financial information. Program managers are also in close contact with project staff throughout the year. Contacts may be by telephone, email, or site visits. Site visits are also used to more closely work with projects that appear to be having difficulty, to document projects that have been very successful, and to gather more detailed information about grant projects and processes through discussion with selected project staff.

Information gathered through these methods is used by all grant program staff at the agency to improve agency sub-grant programs. Grant program staff also meet regularly to exchange information and incorporate findings into the agency planning processes.

Agency projects also report quarterly output measures, along with a variety of other evaluative tools, and staff and activities are regularly reviewed through performance evaluations.

Stakeholder Input

Librarians around the state were given the opportunity to comment on this Plan. A three-part process to invite input was devised.

The first level of input was at the framework stage. A website was created that described the process and timeline for creating the Plan, as well as offering information on proposed text for elements of the Plan and containing online forms for submitting comments. The site was announced on electronic lists just before the annual Texas Library Association conference in Spring 2002. A session was held at the conference to discuss the findings of the LSTA Evaluation Study and to introduce the new Plan. In addition to asking for comment from the entire library community via the website, group discussions were held with the following stakeholder groups: the Library Systems coordinators, the TexShare Advisory Board, the Library Systems Act Board, the LSTA grant review panel, the major urban library directors (also including Texas Library Association staff), (Texas) Association of Research Libraries directors, the agency's Commission, and school library program staff at the Texas Education Agency.

Following the initial comment period on proposed content of the new Plan, a formal draft Plan was created and posted on the website for two weeks for comment from the library community. Announcements reminding the library community of the opportunity were made broadly through electronic lists. Online forms were again part of the website so that submitting comments was as easy as possible.

After this second comment period a final version of the Plan was created and submitted to the agency's Commission for discussion and approval. The Plan submitted to the Commission was placed on the website. After the Commission meeting the Plan was finalized and sent to IMLS. The final Plan was posted on the website and comments may continue to be offered at any time by the library community.

Communication

As described in the Stakeholder section above, TSLAC has created a website to disseminate information about its LSTA program. The 1998-2002 Plan is posted there, the 2003-2007 Plan, the LSTA Evaluation Study, a PowerPoint presentation summary of the Study, and links to IMLS. Information on this website has been, and will continue to be, advertised broadly through electronic library lists, TSLAC newsletters, press releases, and also publications of the Texas Library Association. Contact information and links to submit comments or questions are also included.

APPENDIX A

Project Descriptions

Note for all projects: Appropriate equipment and other technology will be acquired as needed for these projects, within the scope of the project purposes. [Italicized addition as of March 25, 2004]

Texas Library Systems

Grant awards are made to the Texas Library Systems to improve library services for Texans. The Texas Library Systems are regional systems, headquartered in ten different geographic regions of Texas. TSLAC, as authorized by the Texas Library Systems Act, administers the systems. The system operation grants are generally the only source of funding for these membership-based organizations. A combination of state and LSTA funds are used to fund the Systems and are granted through a formula whereby 25% of the funds are allocated equally and 75% are allocated based on the population in each system.

The members of the ten systems are public libraries that have met the minimum criteria for system membership, as administered by TSLAC. Some services are available to non-member public and other types of libraries. System staff also work to help non-member public libraries achieve minimum standards to become members.

The major objectives of the library systems are:

  • To encourage regional and local cooperative services for meeting common user needs through joint planning, informal cooperation, and contractual arrangements among public libraries; academic, school, and special libraries may also participate in these activities;
  • To provide technical assistance and consulting upon request to librarians, library staff, trustees, advisory councils, and interested persons;
  • To facilitate, coordinate, and promote library continuing education activities, and to prepare and provide continuing education workshops and materials for interested persons working in and with libraries; and
  • To conduct a wide variety of programs and services to meet the needs of their member libraries. Some of these programs and services must focus on the LSTA purposes. While each system has a service program that is customized to the needs of that region, all systems provide LSTA focused services.

Each year systems submit plans of service according to application guidelines prepared by the TSLAC staff. These plans are reviewed by staff and the Library Systems Act Advisory Board, and approved by the Commission.

The plans of service in each of the systems are the product of planning by the major resource center directors, system staff, system advisory councils, system member librarians, the board of directors in regional library systems, and lay representatives selected by the member libraries' local governing authorities.

Systems must complete and submit:

In addition to the reports listed above:

  • monthly Uniform Statistical Reports that list the performance targets to be reached by each system; there are three overall required targets: number of materials provided to area libraries; number of persons provided system services; and number of library staff trained and assisted (through both traditional and electronic means);
  • a Final Audit of grant funds due twelve months following the termination of the contract.

TSLAC staff will review audits and audit exceptions will be resolved. Subgrantees are expected to meet their objectives by the end of each project year.

Alamo Area Library System (AALS)

Regional Library: San Antonio Public Library

Population (SFY00): 1,896,678

Number of Counties: 21

Number of square miles: 25,498

The Alamo Area Library System serves an ethnically diverse population with many people living in a single large urban area and the rest in primarily rurally isolated areas.

Big Country Library System (BCLS)

Regional Library: Abilene Public Library

Population (SFY00): 466,695

Number of Counties: 32

Number of square miles: 34,301

The Big Country Library System serves areas that are primarily very rural and poor with few trained library staff in member libraries.

Central Texas Library System (CTLS)

Regional Library: Austin Public Library

Population (SFY00): 2,107,725

Number of Counties: 30

Number of square miles: 25,607

The Central Texas Library System serves libraries in both largely rural areas and others that serve urban residents; both have a sizable number of disadvantaged persons.

Houston Area Library System (HALS)

Regional Library: Houston Public Library

Population (SFY00): 5,308,308

Number of Counties: 28

Number of square miles: 24,375

The Houston Area Library System serves libraries in both largely rural areas and others that serve ethnically diverse, urban residents; both have a sizable number of disadvantaged persons.

Northeast Texas Library System (NETLS)

Regional Library: Nicholson Memorial Library (Garland)

Population (SFY00): 3,940,252

Number of Counties: 33

Number of square miles: 23,721

The Northeast Texas Library System serves libraries in both largely rural areas and others that serve ethnically diverse urban residents; both have a sizable number of disadvantaged persons.

North Texas Regional Library System (NTRLS)

Regional Library: Non-profit organization based in Fort Worth

Population (SFY00): 2,302,016

Number of Counties: 20

Number of square miles: 16,489

The North Texas Regional Library System is, at this time, the only system organized as a non-profit organization. It serves libraries in both largely rural areas and others that serve ethnically diverse urban residents, all having a sizable number of disadvantaged persons.

South Texas Library System (STLS)

Regional Library: Corpus Christi Public Library

Population (SFY00): 1,860,182

Number of Counties: 26

Number of square miles: 28,219

The South Texas Library System serves an ethnically diverse population with many living in poverty and rural isolation.

Texas Panhandle Library System (TPLS)

Regional Library: Amarillo Public Library

Population (SFY00): 394,656

Number of Counties: 26

Number of square miles: 25,825

The Texas Panhandle Library System serves primarily rurally isolated libraries with few professional staff.

Texas Trans-Pecos Library System (TTPLS)

Regional Library: El Paso Public Library

Population (SFY00): 760,974

Number of Counties: 9

Number of square miles: 31,469

The Texas Trans-Pecos Library System serves libraries that, with the exception of a single large urban area, are primarily very rurally isolated with few professional staff.

West Texas Library System (WTLS)

Regional Library: Lubbock City-County Library

Population (SFY00): 722,128

Number of Counties: 29

Number of square miles: 26,406

The West Texas Library System serves libraries that are primarily very rurally isolated with few professional staff.

Technical Assistance Negotiated Grants

LSTA priorities include establishing and enhancing electronic linkages and assisting libraries to acquire or share computer systems and telecommunications technologies. State funded projects, including the Telecommunication Infrastructure Fund, plus grants from entities such as the Gates Library Initiative and the Tocker Foundation, have increased the availability of technology in libraries. Many libraries, especially smaller ones, experience difficulty keeping their computer equipment running efficiently and need assistance and training on computer and network set-up and maintenance. Larger libraries need specialized technical training and consulting to help staff keep technology functioning effectively. The focus of these grants is not on the acquisition of technology for libraries, but rather on improving the selection, maintenance, and use of the equipment. However, some technology purchases will be necessary to equip the grantee to effectively provide technical assistance to libraries in the region. [Italicized addition as of March 25, 2004]

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

Subgrantees must complete and submit:

In addition to the reports listed above:

  • semi-annual Project Evaluation Reports indicating progress made in meeting program objectives;
  • a Final Audit if required.

The State Library staff will review audits, and any audit exceptions will be resolved.

Outcome based evaluation will be implemented first with this project.

Cooperation Grants

LSTA purposes encourage libraries to develop services that provide all users access to information through local, state, regional, national, and international electronic networks and to cooperate to provide electronic and other linkages among and between all types of libraries.

The Cooperation grant program funds projects for libraries to cooperate through these means with other libraries. The libraries will compete for funds through a grant application process, and either academic or public libraries may be the lead library for these grants.

Announcements of the grant program are made through electronic lists, the mail, and the agency web site to public and academic libraries. Grant guidelines and application materials are also available in print or through the agency website. In addition, the State Library provides 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 offer consultant services to help interested libraries write a grant proposal.

Proposals are reviewed by staff and presented to the LSTA Grant Review Panel. The Panel evaluates the proposals and makes recommendations for funding to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, who review and approve the awards.

Subgrantees must complete and submit:

In addition to the reports listed above:

  • semi-annual Project Evaluation Reports indicating progress made in meeting program objectives;
  • a Final Audit if required.

The State Library staff will review audits, and any audit exceptions will be resolved.

Subgrantees are expected to meet their objectives by the end of the project year.

Special Projects Grants

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

Special projects grants offer funding to public libraries (in collaboration with other libraries and/or community organizations) to conduct 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, on electronic lists, and on the agency website. In addition, the State Library provides 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 offers 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 Grant Review Panel. The Panel will evaluate the proposals and make recommendations for funding to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, who review and approve the awards.

Subgrantees must complete and submit:

In addition to the reports listed above:

  • semi-annual Project Evaluation Reports indicating progress made in meeting program objectives;
  • a Final Audit if required.

State Library staff will review audits, and any audit exceptions will be resolved.

Subgrantees are expected to meet their objectives by the end of the project year.

Establishment Grants

The TSLAC grants funds for the establishment of libraries in unserved communities.

The State Library and regional library systems provide consultation to:

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

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

Grant recipients will submit:

In addition to the reports listed above:

  • semi-annual Project Evaluation Reports indicating progress made toward meeting program objectives;
  • 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 Systems, and an increase in the number of communities appropriating funds for Texas libraries.

Although Texas has unserved people, the number of people for whom this program establishes library service is small. Therefore, Establishment grants will be phased out by August 31, 2004, and the LSTA funds made available will be used to increase the budget of other projects.

Continuing Education and Consulting

The 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 meeting the needs of their users.

The continuing education and consulting staff also provide workshops on a wide range of topics for all types of libraries, and develop 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 are announced statewide by brochures and electronic lists in advance to the library community. These activities are also discussed in the newsletter, Library Developments; issues contain a section listing the TSLAC workshops, as well as other training activities available to Texas librarians. Workshops are also listed on the agency website as well as other web sites.

Six staff members offer in-depth consultations in all aspects of library operations via telephone, fax, email, onsite visits, and written correspondence. Workshops are planned for all areas of the state. Each consultant offers general and specialized consultation and workshops. Areas of consultation and workshops include library technology, distance education, disadvantaged populations, grant writing, library services to children and young adults, library management, services to small community libraries, and electronic library services. The Library Science Collection librarian also responds to requests for help and information. All types of libraries are welcome to participate in the training and to ask for consulting assistance. Alternative and distance education methods are utilized when possible and practical, and the department continues to expand delivery methods (self-study, web-based courses, videoconferencing courses) to meet the needs of library staff. In many cases, extensive handout packets or instructional manuals are prepared to accompany these courses. Most handbooks are also made available on the agency website.

The Library Development Division's Continuing Education program also provides a course of instruction in basic library management for small libraries. 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 library directors who do not have formal training in library science manage approximately 68% of the public libraries with populations under 25,000. Many of these directors work in the library for little or no salary and with no prior library work experience. The curriculum is broken into modules presented separately over a two-year period. Each module is presented in several locations. Completion of the program requires four sessions over a two-year period. Further development of this course will be done in conjunction with the Western Council of State Libraries' joint project to develop a curriculum for non-M.L.S. degreed practitioners.

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. New materials in the Library Science collection will be listed in the Library Developments newsletter and on electronic lists.

The TSLAC Jobline announces Texas library job vacancies through the agency website. Paper copies of the Jobline listings will also be mailed to those without Internet access. The Jobline is updated weekly.

Evaluation of the Continuing Education program is measured by the number of hours of consultation, including technical assistance and number of reference questions answered; number of student workshop hours provided for library staff and others; 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.

Interlibrary Loan Project

The primary purpose of this project is to improve services by linking libraries together to share resources, to access information through electronic networks, and to help public libraries serve under-served areas or groups. Libraries attempt to meet the information needs of their users from local library and information sources. When the local sources are inadequate, librarians can submit requests to TexNet, a network of interlibrary loan referral centers and Texas Group libraries that utilize OCLC to transmit and track requests; centers are currently located in nine large public libraries in the state and at the Texas State Library.

Public, academic, and special libraries can mail, fax, telephone, or email requests for interlibrary loans to the interlibrary loan referral center serving their geographic area. The interlibrary loan project staff will send books or photocopies from the referral center library's collection to fill the requests. If unavailable at that library, the request will be referred to other libraries via the OCLC computer network. The OCLC costs for these and sixty-eight (68) other public libraries are also funded from this project through a contract with AMIGOS Bibliographic Council, Inc. Participation in the Texas Group is optional for public libraries.

For the public libraries that serve as interlibrary loan centers (ILCs), this project reimburses the expenses for staff salaries, fringe benefits, supplies, communication, postage, equipment, and administration. The project pays the OCLC costs for Texas Group member public libraries. Texas libraries are also reimbursed at a fixed rate per net loan for loans made to public libraries in response to a TexNet request.

This project makes the resources of the major Texas public and academic libraries more widely available to all citizens. It also provides for technical assistance and workshops to help Texas libraries, especially the smaller ones, make this service widely available to all citizens.

Interlibrary loan statistics are collected at the State Library from each Center and are cumulated monthly, semi-annually and annually. Evaluation criteria are the number and percentage of requests filled, cost per fill, and turnaround time.

Because of concern for both the total and unit costs, the State Library staff closely monitors the progress of this program. Studies are conducted to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Changes may be made or tested to accomplish these objectives.

As part of this program, the State Library sponsors an online union list of serial holdings of many Texas libraries. It is often referred to as UTXL because that is its symbol on OCLC. As of January 2002, there were 106 participating libraries: 77 academic; 12 public; 16 special, and one school district. These libraries have created a database of over 115,000 titles and over 662,000 locations (special holdings statements and summary holdings statements).

Developments in statewide reciprocal borrowing through the TexShare card program and the Loan Star Libraries grant program give Texans additional options to obtain the materials they need to fulfill their information needs. The Library of Texas Resource Discovery and Retrieval Tool (see under Electronic Library Services below) has the potential to transform interlibrary loan services. These projects expand services to patrons, while having an unknown future effect upon the current Interlibrary Loan project.

Electronic Library Services

LIBRARY OF TEXAS SERVICES

Texas libraries benefit from services that transcend geographic and economic barriers to provide accurate, authoritative, and commercial-free resources to library patrons where, when, and how they want it. Access to online databases, current and retrospective government information, and a statewide resource discovery and retrieval tool helps Texans gain full benefit from rich resources. Texas Electronic Library Services build on the principle that libraries, working together, can provide resources beyond what any single library can provide. The programs of the Library of Texas offer a continuum of library and information services to Texans regardless of geographic location, age, education, or financial status.

Library of Texas Services include:

  • TexShare online databases

    The Library of Texas purchases shared access to information for libraries of multiple types, including public libraries, academic libraries, state governmental agency libraries, and libraries of clinical medicine (TexShare members). These subscription databases offer authoritative full-text articles from verifiable sources such as handbooks, encyclopedias, and other reference tools, as well as newspapers, magazines and peer-reviewed scholarly journals. Since commercial databases are priced beyond the reach of many Texas libraries, statewide cooperative subscriptions provide a cost-effective way to provide Texans with reliable, high-quality content. Buying databases at the state level enables libraries to serve Texans at a fraction of what local communities would pay if they purchased these services on their own. The output measures used to evaluate this program are the number of items (electronic publications) made available to library patrons, and the number of transactions or online search sessions performed by library patrons.
  • Current and Retrospective Government Information

    The State Library serves as a clearinghouse for state electronic publications, in addition to collecting and distributing state paper publications. The Texas Records and Information Locator (TRAIL) indexes and provides access via the Internet to state government electronic publications. The TRAIL service assists Texans and state agency staff to locate information by and about state government quickly and easily across all state agencies. The Library of Texas extends the capacity of the TRAIL service by providing a cooperative state electronic publications network to capture and preserve electronic publications from all state agencies. This searchable archive of electronic government documents ensures continuing access to state electronic publications. The output measures used to evaluate this program are the number of items (electronic publications) made available to library patrons, and the number of transactions or online search sessions performed by library patrons.
  • Resource Discovery and Retrieval

    The Library of Texas is building a statewide resource discovery tool to provide integrated searching of library catalogs, government publications, and subscription databases. A Web-based tool that allows library users to identify holdings in libraries statewide or in subscription databases, determine their availability, and request those items through interlibrary loan with a single interface will be developed. The output measures that will be used to evaluate this program are the number of items (electronic publications) made available to library patrons, and the number of transactions or online search sessions performed by library patrons.

Special Services and Collections

I. TALKING BOOK PROGRAM

The Talking Book Program is operated by TSLAC. The program provides playback machines and materials in special formats to eligible readers who cannot read standard print because of visual, physical, or learning disabilities. Currently, the program:

  • mails books and magazines in special formats, as well as playback equipment, to readers throughout the state;
  • produces non-commercial recorded titles using the program's volunteer recording studio, receives recorded materials from the National Library Service, and also selects from among titles recorded by counterpart studios in other states;
  • acquires commercially produced large print titles for circulation to readers; additional commercial titles in regular print format are acquired to answer disability-related reference questions;
  • provides information on disability issues and topics to individuals, libraries, etc. through the Disabilities Information Referral Center.

Potential new readers receive service if they meet eligibility criteria established by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, a division of the Library of Congress. Previously registered readers will be considered active as long as they remain eligible and borrow at least one book or magazine per year. Contact with new and continuing readers will be made primarily by telephone and by mail. Some in-person contacts may also occur. A public awareness program will work to notify potential new readers, their family members, and others who may be in contact with them as to the availability of this service. Accordingly, contacts will be made with state agencies, relevant professional and consumer organizations, schools, public libraries, academic libraries, and media outlets. Program services are monitored using statistical data generated through registration of patrons and their selections of services to be received, circulation of materials, and acquisitions of both commercial and non-commercial materials. Statistical data are generated for public awareness activities through number of visits into targeted areas, number of contacts, number of applications for service received, and demographic patterns within program enrollment.

II. DIGITAL LIBRARY COLLECTIONS

Enhance access to the special collections of the TSLAC and other Texas libraries.

A. Texas State Library and Archives Commission

The Texas State Archives are made up of the documents and records from the various periods of Texas history: Spanish Texas, 1731-1820; Mexican Texas, 1821-36; the Republic of Texas, 1836-45; the state of Texas, 1846-present. The collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century archival material is remarkably complete. Texans recognize the value of these materials, for many of the collections are in heavy and constant demand by the public. Thousands of hours of staff time annually are spent copying the records for the public, subjecting the resources to constant wear and tear and subjecting them to risk of loss. In addition, TSLAC has invested considerable money and staff time in developing electronic databases for searching these special collections, many of which are vast in scope. (For example, the Texas Confederate Pensions collection consists of 58,000 records with over 750,000 individual documents.)

Texas has made it a priority to extend and enrich electronic access to these unique Texas-related collections. Using state funding, TSLAC is already at work on a project to provide electronic access via the World Wide Web to the Republic of Texas claims collection, which will make available almost 200,000 digitized images of primary source materials from pre-statehood Texas. TSLAC proposes to use digitization to ensure access to other large collections of equal or greater historic significance. Strategies for implementation of this goal will include contracting with a consultant in the field to develop a plan for an effective multi-year digitization strategy for several high-demand, high-risk large collections, then contracting with a vendor to produce the digital images of the materials in accordance with the plan.

Eventually, a cooperative statewide effort will be needed to extend the digitization and web access effort beyond the TSLAC special collections to other libraries and archives in the state. TSLAC's role in such a cooperative effort could include helping to bring together partners, identifying ongoing and planned digitization initiatives, developing guidelines, conducting a pilot project to help provide access to a special collection at another library or archives, and identifying funding for digitization projects. However, to kick off such an initiative will require additional funding beyond LSTA, as staffing levels are currently inadequate to begin the initiative.

If such sources of staff funding cannot be found, TSLAC will concentrate its efforts on making its own special collections available, at the same time striving to develop models of effectiveness that can later be of use to other Texas libraries undertaking similar projects.

Beginning in FY2003 TSLAC will be required to gather and report data in conjunction with a newly established budgetary measure indicating "Number of Web-based Information Resources Used." The number of times customers access web-based views of digital reproductions of original archival materials is one subset of data currently being compiled and reported monthly in conjunction with the reporting requirements for the new measure. That information will be used as part of an on-going evaluation of the types of archival materials presented in digital formats that are most frequently accessed by and of greatest interest to our constituents.

B. TexTreasures

TexTreasures is an annual grant program of TSLAC designed to help libraries make their special collections more accessible to researchers across Texas and beyond. Grants are awarded through a competitive process and may be awarded to a single library, or a library applying on behalf of a group of libraries in a cooperative project, or for the library portion of a project including other organizations.

Applicants may propose projects designed to increase accessibility through a wide range of activities such as organizing, cataloging, indexing, or digital conversion of materials. Grants are scored by a peer review panel on six criteria: significance of the collection, availability, project design, cost sharing, cost effectiveness, evaluation.

Grantees submit a semi-annual project evaluation report indicating progress made toward meeting program objectives in addition to the standard quarterly reports described above. Recipients are expected to meet their objectives by the end of the project year.

Administration

As authorized in the Library Services and Technology Act, up to four percent of the federal funds may be expended for administrative costs in connection with programs and activities to carry out the Act. In addition, state funds are appropriated to administer the programs. These funds are used to:

  • manage the projects and activities that fall under the purposes of the Library Services and Technology Act;
  • provide financial and program accountability through the administration of state and federal funds;
  • evaluate the results and impact of the Library Services and Technology Act program, as well as the current Statewide Library Development program, and the state of library service in Texas;
  • explore needed changes in the Texas State Library and Archives Commission authorization, the Library System Act, and other legislation concerning libraries of all types; and
  • collect and publish statistics from Texas public and academic libraries.

The following publications and reports are available as a result of the project:

  • Library Services and Technology Act State Plan
  • Library Services and Technology Act Evaluation Study
  • Statewide Library Development: Biennial Budget
  • Legislative Budget Board Performance and Expenditure Report: Quarterly
  • Grant Management Guidelines - online only
  • Rules and Regulations for the State Library System
  • Guidelines for Regional Systems' Annual Program and Budget
  • Guidelines for Application and Reporting of Subgrants
  • Texas Public Library Statistics, Directory, and Summary
  • Texas Academic Library Statistics
  • Web pages for agency projects
  • Other special projects and reports as needed

Certifications and Assurances

Standard federal forms added with the final Plan.

Page last modified: March 2, 2011