History of the Databases - Texas academic library directors first proposed an academic statewide resource sharing project in 1988, which was first funded in FY94 under the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The 53 publicly supported four year academic and medical libraries were the original TexShare members. The online database program was a cornerstone of the TexShare consortium and included access to five databases (ABI Inform, Periodicals Abstracts, ERIC, Commerce Business Daily and the Federal Register). A database access fee was assessed to members that elected to participate in the database program. The fee was based on library size. Member assessments accounted for 25% of the database subscription costs; the remaining 75% of the costs were paid for from state funding. Additional database offerings were available through the TexSelect program. Libraries paid the full subscription costs of TexSelect databases, but benefited from discounts that were available because of consortial pricing.
Later legislation moved administration of TexShare to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and brought two-year community colleges and private colleges and universities into TexShare. Another round of legislation allowed for the merger of the TexShare funds with the TSLAC database funds for collective purchasing. Funding for the program and the selection of databases available grew.
Meanwhile public libraries were provided database access through a separate program, the Texas State Electronic Library (TSEL). Public libraries had access to many more databases, including all of the databases available through OCLC's First Search and the Encyclopedia Britannica. Due to less proliferation of Internet and database access technologies in public libraries, use was not as widespread as in the academic libraries and remote use was not implemented at all. Over time, the number and variety of public library databases also grew, and joint agreements with the academic libraries of TexShare were negotiated. Participating libraries paid no fees for the databases.
At the time the funds were merged, TexShare and TSLAC were each spending approximately $1.5 million annually for database subscriptions. During the first year of the merged funds (00/01), we confronted the different expectations, different interfaces, remote licensing practices and fee structures. We agreed that each group would continue their existing databases (for the most part) for one year while we sought more permanent, integrated solutions. With the influx of an extra $7 million in funding, the opportunity to build a premier, consolidated database program presented itself.
Current Situation: The TIF grant proposal was originally submitted as a five-year grant; later negotiations reduced it to a four-year grant. The first two years were approved (01/02 and 02/03). Continued funding requires new approval from TIF for the last two years. The database component was fixed at $7,368,887 for each year. The first year funding of the Library of Texas grant created over $10,000,000 for databases.
The TexShare Electronic Information Working Group (EIWG) was charged with making database recommendations to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission surveyed the member libraries for the content categories desired. A survey of TexShare membership was taken in November. The survey results were tabulated by type of library (public, four-year, community college, medical) and as a TexShare-wide total. See the summary of the results at this link.
EIWG met to determine factors important to include on an Request for Information (RFI) for databases. A major goal of the Library of Texas was to deliver full text information 24 hours a day to the citizens of Texas. The RFI included the components listed below:
Mandatory service requirements 1. Web-based service provided by Respondent 2. Access authentication available via IP addresses, alternate means (referring URL and/or password, etc.), or both simultaneously, as required by participating libraries
Primary service elements 1. Content and topic area 2. Search Interface 3. Delivery 4. Cost
Secondary service elements 1. Linking 2. Customer support (to the libraries) 3. System support (robust vendor systems) 4. Statistics reporting (session, search, citation and document) 5. Branding (by individual libraries) 6. Training (provided free by vendor to librarians) 7. Licensing (cost for new customers coming onboard, etc)
The RFI's were first scored using a point system, which was weighted in favor of the primary service elements. TSLAC received 44 responses to the RFI's. On EIWG's recommendation, we offered statewide trials including the products of 33 database vendors. All TexShare members were invited to participate and send their comments to the EIWG. It was determined that eight vendors had core packages that we would compare based on vendor demonstrations to EIWG. Negotiations ensued to find the vendors who offered maximum full text resources at the lowest price.
The Future � The existing databases will be continued. There may be an additional $1 million TIF grant for one-time medical purchases. An electronic serials utility will be considered, depending on cost. The eBook collection should continue to develop.
Jan. 2003 - The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has launched an ambitious communications plan to raise awareness of the valuable information resources available in the TexShare Databases component of the Library of Texas. View the Go Beyond Web page that resulted from this plan.
Oct. 2002 - LIBRARY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION (LITA)
Presentation from Texas State Library staff Bibliography and Webliography of sources used to develop the presentation
Oct. 2002 - Links to the Technology Inventory and Assessment Study conducted by Dr. William E. Moen, Dr. Kathleen R. Murray, and the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge, University of North Texas have been added. The study employed a 75-question survey instrument to measure the technology capabilities of academic and public libraries that are members of TexShare. Links to the Executive Summary: PDF format, MS Word format. Links to entire study: PDF format, MS Word format.
August 2002 - Salud Para Todos, a new health and wellness database designed primarily for Spanish speakers, has been added to the suite of TexShare Databases. Funding has been provided by a million dollar grant from the Telecommunications Infrastucture Fund Board for the purpose of expanding the selection of medical databases offered by TexShare.
August 2002 - TexShare is awarded a $1 million dollar grant to improve medical database selections in the core collection of electronic resources found at: http://www.texshare.edu/. The first database to be purchased with this grant is Salud para Todos, Ebsco's consumer health information database. This resource was considered by the Electronic Information Working Group (from Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board) as one that would be beneficial to a wide variety of libraries that compose the TexShare membership. It will be especially useful in public libraries with large numbers of Spanish speaking patrons, for physicians to share with their Spanish-speaking patients and the Texas Dept. of Health has expressed interest in this product for use in their public health clinics.
August 2002 - Text of the Proposal to the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board (TIF) to grant one million dollars in additional funding to expand the TexShare Databases. The proposal was initiated under the recommendations of the TIF Library Working Group.
July 2002 - 50th Texas library registers for the Customized Gateway service. This service provides libraries with a menu Web page that contains the library's name and contact information, as well as links to the TexShare Databases.
Users of TexShare Databases
Public Libraries: 478 libraries - 17,900,000 users
Community Colleges: 52 institutions - 647,000 users
4-year Institutions: 94 institutions - 438,000 users
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission calculates cost avoidance of $150,000,000 through collective database purchases.
Advisory Group Roster - Click here for the TexShare Electronic Information Working Group Roster
The TexShare Databases are available to all participating TexShare member libraries (academic institutions and public libraries that are system members) in Texas and their registered patrons. The databases are information rich electronic resources of information that are authoritative, ad free, and appropriate for children. Electronic versions of popular print items such as encyclopedias, newspapers, almanacs, journals, and poems are available, as well as 19,000 electronic books. Health, business, and homework related information is also contained within the databases. Using the power of the Internet, the TexShare Databases are available 24 hours a day in the homes or offices of registered library patrons. Click here for a names and descriptions of all the TexShare Databases. An F.A.Q. page about the databases is available on the gateway page that links to the database menu. In order to access these databases from home or office, you must register and/or collect a login and password through your local participating Texas library. Patrons should contact their local library for information on how to access the database menu page. Once registered, patrons can access the database menu at http://www.tsl.texas.gov/texshare/pl, or use the unique method their library has made available. Due to our strict licensing agreements with the database vendors, only libraries in Texas should access the TexShare databases. A listing of participating libraries is available. Look at the last column with the heading that says "Databases". If a "Yes" appears in that column, then the library participates in the databases program. The database vendors use the authentication method to identify which patrons and libraries are allowed access. Please send an e-mail if you have questions about the authentication process to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A power point file from the TexShare Electronic Information Working Group shown at the 2002 Texas Library Association is available. Go to the Publications & Presentations page of this web site for more links to power point presentations and HTML documents.