Update: October 2, 2014

Texas to Receive Full Award of Federal Library Funds

Future Funding Contingent on Maintaining State Support

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has won its appeal to keep its full allotment of federal funds awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Due to reductions in state funding in 2013, Texas was at risk of losing as much as $1.7 million in federal funds that is funneled to the state’s libraries through competitive grants, interlibrary loans, digital content and other statewide programs.

“These are vital funds for the development of innovative library services to support Texas’ information-based economy,” stated Mark Smith, director and librarian at TSLAC. “We thank the Institute of Museum and Library Services for its consideration and approval of our waiver request,” remarked Smith. “This is the second time the IMLS has waived our maintenance of effort requirements despite shortcomings in state level funding.”

Last fiscal year the agency succeeded in keeping its full $10.7 million allotment in federal funding through an appeal to waive the Maintenance of Effort requirement for the 2012 state budget year. Funding is through the federal Library Services and Technology Act which makes grants to state libraries across the nation and is dependent on the maintenance of effort of state funding. TSLAC had applied for a waiver of the 2012 shortfall in state funds in September of 2013, was notified that the waiver would not be granted and appealed that decision which was granted in January, 2014. The 2013 budget reduction was much less, but not insignificant.

The agency was notified this week that the waiver request for the 2013 funds would be granted with the caveat to monitor state funding for library services to ensure that federal support enhance, not replace, state support.

“This decision will allow TSLAC to continue to improve access to information and invest in communities of all sizes across our state,” said Smith. Programs supported through TSLAC include job force education, digital classroom resources and even Braille and audio reading materials made available to the more than 600,000 members of Texas’ vision impaired community.

Any future cuts to the current state level funding for TSLAC would jeopardize federal funding and result in a reduction of programs that benefit countless citizens across the state of Texas. Members of the library community on the state and national level will be closely monitoring the budget proceedings of the upcoming legislature with hopes that these vital programs receive the support they require to continue.

 

February 25, 2014

TSLAC Will Receive Full Allotment of Federal Funds for Statewide Library Programs

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) has successfully appealed a decision last September by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) that would have resulted in a loss of over $6.5 million in federal funds to support library services in Texas. As a result of the appeal, Texas will receive its full allotment of federal funds for statewide library programs.

Because of reductions in state funds appropriated to TSLAC in the 2012-2013 biennium, Texas was at risk of losing 67 percent of its allocation of funds appropriated under the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). The award of LSTA funds is dependent on the maintenance of effort of state funding. TSLAC had applied for a waiver of the shortfall in state funds but in September 2013 was notified that the waiver would not be granted and that the agency would be allowed to appeal.

In a letter received January 8, 2014, from IMLS Director Susan Hildreth, IMLS approved the appeal, based on the restoration of state funds in the 2014-2015 biennium. “Once the State was in a position to take action to support the State’s library programs and services, it did so by restoring funding,” states Ms. Hildreth in her letter. The letter also emphasizes the importance of maintaining ongoing support by the state for library programs in Texas.

TSLAC allocates LSTA funds to Texas libraries in the form of competitive grants, interlibrary loan, digital content, and other statewide programs. Texas receives approximately $10 million per fiscal year in LSTA funds administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

See the documents at left to review the development of TSLAC's waiver request to IMLS. The document titled "Process for Loss of Federal Funds" (1-31-2013) was created by agency staff in the event our appeal was unsuccessful.

Page last modified: November 13, 2014