Technology Services For Libraries
Services for Libraries
We offer a variety of free library technology services.
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If you're an accredited Texas public library, you can take part in Libraries Connecting Texas! At no cost to the library, the Texas State Library and Archives Commssion (TSLAC) has hired experts from the nationally leading consulting firm, E-rate Central. Visit E-rate Central's website for assistance with the E-rate discount application.
In the first year of the Libraries Connecting Texas program, eighty-four libraries successfully applied for $607,485.40 of E-rate funding, increasing their bandwidth by an average of 927%.
Edge is a suite of online tools and resources that helps library leaders make data-informed decisions to align their technology resources to community priorities. Edge helps libraries turn digital inclusion goals into actionable steps. Edge is free for all accredited Texas public libraries.
Read library profiles about how Texas libraries have used Edge to make lasting improvements in their communities.
Does your Texas library need a website? Try Ploud! Ploud is short for Public Libraries in the Cloud, and it’s a free library website from TSLAC that staff from Texas public libraries can easily update and maintain themselves. Although having a library website in Texas is an accreditation requirement for public libraries, Ploud offers so much more than that. Find out more about Ploud for Public Libraries in Texas.
Each year, TSLAC asks all public libraries in Texas to take the Texas Public Library Speed Test. The results are instrumental in determining the status of Internet access for our public libraries' patrons and helping us with state-wide plans to support broadband improvement.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlined broadband targets for libraries and schools participating in the E-rate program in the E-rate Modernization Order. The Order adopted the following targets recommended by ALA (American Library Association):
- 100 Mbps or greater – libraries serving fewer than 50,000 people
- 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) or greater – libraries serving more than 50,000 people
Since the last test in December 2019, there has been a:
- 3% increase of libraries meeting the FCC standards for their population size
- 5% increase of libraries now exceeding 25 Mbps download (the minimum FCC benchmark for households)
- 7% increase of smaller libraries now meeting their benchmark of at least 100 Mbps download
- 26% increase of larger libraries now higher than 100 Mbps and less than 1 Gbps
TSLAC’s efforts the last few years to promote high speed Internet and E-rate discounts to public libraries, as well as its successful Libraries Connecting Texas (LCT) program, have had a noticeable impact.
But we still have a ways to go. The most recent test results indicate that as much as two-thirds of Texas public libraries are below national broadband standards for libraries. In addition, 18% of reporting Texas public libraries did not meet the FCC’s minimum definition of broadband for individual households (25 Mbps). The 82 libraries that did not meet this minimum standard serve over 4 million Texans.
Thank you to the public libraries for participating in TSLAC’s annual public library speed tests. Collecting this data on a regular basis benefits the entire Texas library community and will help us as we work to ensure that every Texan has the Internet access they need.