Library Services and Technology Act
Five Year Plan for Texas
2008 – 2012
The evaluation of funded projects will have two components:
(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. Targets will be set in this plan for those projects for which funding is known to be available. Additional targets will be added in later years if other projects named in this plan are funded. All grant programs must report the following information quarterly, with an annual report:
- Financial Status Report - reports of grant disbursements and/or encumbrances;
- Performance Reports that list the output measures targets 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) Outcome Based Evaluation (OBE)
The agency continues its efforts to collect outcome, or impact, information on its programs. We recognize the value of this information to the agency, to Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and to the library and broader community to understand the impact of the programs on the people of Texas.
Agency staff have attended outcomes based evaluation training and have also provided training to key sub-grantees. Providing additional OBE resources through the agency website and also providing additional training of sub-grantees will be an emphasis during the period of the plan. Analysis and refinement of outcome measures used and how outcome measures are reported will also be a priority for the next five years.
TSLAC has formal processes for monitoring its sub-grant programs. The evaluation section of this plan describes 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.
Librarians around the state were given the opportunity to comment on this plan. The first level of input was at the framework stage. Group discussions were held with the following stakeholder groups: the Library System coordinators, the TexShare Advisory Board, the Library Systems Act Advisory Board, and the agency’s staff and Commission.
A draft plan was created and posted on the website for comment from the library community. Announcements informing the library community of the opportunity were made broadly through electronic lists. Online forms were provided on the website to make submitting comments as easy as possible.
After the comment period a final draft 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 agency’s 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.
As described in the stakeholder section above, TSLAC has created a website to disseminate information about its LSTA program (http://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/pubs/lstaplan/index.html). The new plan (2008-2012), the two previous plans (1998-2002 and 2003-2007), the two LSTA Five-Year Evaluation studies, other supplementary information, and links to IMLS are found there. 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 is also included.