Small Library Management Program - Starting a Public Library

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Christina Taylor
Library Management Consultant

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Resources and Questions

Considerations

Starting a public library is quite an endeavor, and not one to be entered into lightly.

The answers to the following questions can help determine short- and long-term goals for library establishment and direction.

  • Where are you in the process of starting a library?
  • How will the library be established? Will it be a city library? County? Nonprofit corporation?
  • What will the main source of funding be for the library? Will those funds be "public" (from a local government)?
  • What kind of infrastructure do you have or need? Do you have a facility? Staff? Collections?

Once the library is open, it should submit the Texas Public Libraries Annual Report to be included in the state directory and be eligible to order materials at no cost for its summer library program.

If the long-term goal is for the library to be accredited, it will need to work on meeting criteria described in the Minimum Standards for Accreditation in the State Library System, 13 TAC §1.71-§1.86. More information can be found here on the Public Library Accreditation and Statistics page or by contacting LDN staff at accreditation@tsl.tex.gov.

Resources

Libraries for All!: How to Start and Run a Basic Library

The Peace Corps has an online guide for starting a library, which contains tips, suggestions, and explanations of key words. You can find it online at the UNESCO Digital Library.

Library Science Collection

We maintain a professional Library Science Collection (LSC) for the use of interested parties around Texas. Items from the collection can be loaned to you and sent for free by contacting lsc@tsl.texas.gov. Here are some titles you may find helpful:

Training and Communications

We offer a variety of training and communication opportunities that may be helpful in getting started, including:

  • Small Library Management Training Program – offers online and in-person training in leadership and management as well as library operations.
  • Webinars – webinars are provided throughout the year on a variety of library and grant-related topics.

You can stay updated on all things management in Texas public libraries by following the management and leadership posts on the Library Developments blog.

Page last modified: June 11, 2024