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1996 News Releases

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10-30-1996 - Texas State Library Offers Texas Book Festival Activities
08-29-1996 - State Library Awards Second Round of Internet Assistance Grants
08-19-1996 - State Archives Posts Maps Database on Internet
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October 30, 1996

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is pleased to join in celebrating the First Annual Texas Book Festival in Austin November 15-17. On Saturday, November 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, visitors to the State Library, located in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building just east of the Capitol, will be able to take advantage of special exhibits and seminars.

Representatives and volunteers from the State Library's Genealogy, Archives, Talking Book Program, and Electronic Library divisions will be offering demonstrations and hands-on instruction in the use of available printed, recorded, and electronic reference materials.

The Genealogy Reference Room will be open, with volunteers providing expert advice for visitors wishing to begin exploring their family trees. The lobby will feature displays of significant documents from Texas history, as well as several Internet terminals for visitors to take guided tours of the genealogical, historical and reference materials available online. The State Library's Talking Book Program will have information available about the free library service they offer to Texans who are unable to read standard print material. In addition, they will be providing demonstrations of a 'reading machine"--a machine that can read any book out loud--which is part of the new Print Access for Texans program.

Hour-long seminars will also be offered for visitors interested in starting out a genealogical research project. At 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. "Preparing to Research Your Family History," an introduction to genealogy will be presented by Clarice Neal of the Austin Genealogical Society. At 12:00, historian Donaly Brice presents "Genealogical Resources at the Texas State Archives," a more in-depth look at specific materials available at the State Archives. Seating for these free seminars is limited, and available on a first-come basis. Interested persons should plan to arrive early and sign up for the seminars, then visit the exhibits.

WHO: Texas State Library and Archives Commission

WHEN: Saturday, November 16 Exhibits and Demonstrations: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Genealogy Seminars: 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. (limited seating; arrive early)

WHERE: Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building 1201 Brazos, just east of the Capitol

WHAT: Special exhibits and demonstrations from the Genealogy, Archives, Talking Book Program, and Electronic Library divisions

In addition to these events, the State Library is also cosponsoring, along with the University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Library and Information Science and the Texas Library Association, a lecture of interest to parents, educators, and the reading public.

Mary Somerville, President of the American Library Association (ALA) and Director of the Miami-Dade Public Library System, will deliver the lecture, which is the 1996 John P. and Alice McCarthy Commons Lecture in Children's Librarianship. Her subject "Kids Can't Wait...Library Advocacy Now" is a convergence of themes: Somerville's ALA Presidential Theme "Kid's Can't Wait"; "The Year of the Child," a project of UT President Robert Berdahl; Governor Bush's Reading Iniative, and the Texas Book Festival.

"What [libraries] do for children today has ripple effects far beyond tomorrow," Somerville states. "How well we prepare our children to live, learn, and work in an information society will shape the future of our libraries and our nation for generations to come."

The free lecture is scheduled for Friday, November 15 from 4 to 5 p.m. in Room 104 of the Sanchez Building at the corner of MLK and Speedway in Austin.

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August 29, 1996

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has awarded new grants totaling $860,000 to public libraries for providing Internet access to Texans. The funds will go to 15 projects including 46 libraries with 103 locations to serve the public with 626 computer workstations. An additional 69 dialup ports are also included in the grant projects, allowing home access to libraries on the Internet.

The Internet Assistance Grants, combined with local matching funds, will go toward hardware, software, telecommunication links and training expenses for libraries serving an area from the western Edwards Plateau to the Houston metroplex to northeast Texas. One-quarter of the funded libraries serve rural populations of under 5,000 and two-thirds serve populations of under 10,000.

The twelve individual libraries receiving funding are: Boerne Public; Bandara County, Bandara; Lake Travis Community, Austin; Crockett County Public, Ozona; Jacksonville Public; Van Alstyne Public; Franklin County Public, Mount Vernon; Driscoll Public, Devine; Hondo Public; Leon Valley Public; Rains Country Public, Emory; and William T. Cozby Public, Coppell.

Three other grants were made to network groups in north and southeast Texas. Arlington Public Library will administer funds to access a total of 27 locations, including 22 libraries in 10 counties in the North Texas Regional Library system. Arlington Public will serve as the central hub for its five locations and 16 other libraries in Archer, Denton, Hardeman, Jack, Johnson, Montague, Parker, and Tarrant Counties. Also included under the Arlington Public umbrella is Decatur Public, which will serve as the gateway for Internet access in the six libraries in Wise County.

The Houston Area Library Automated Network (HALAN) will provide Internet access to eight libraries and 51 locations in Harris and Jefferson counties. Each library will have its own Web server to provide access to the online public access catalogs of all HALAN member libraries in Houston, Bellaire, Pasadena, Baytown, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Port Neches, and Nederland.

The third network group receiving funding is the Harris County Public Library, consisting of four public libraries and branches with 13 locations to connect in Harris, Brazoria, Galveston, and Fort Bend counties. Harris County Public will improve and initiate Internet access to its members.

These grants are the second round in the State Library's Internet Assistance Grant program, which was created by the Legislature in 1995 with the mandate to distribute more than $2 million in state funds during 1996 and 1997 in order to connect Texas public libraries to the Internet and its resources.

"The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is pleased to assist the Legislature by carrying out its intent to provide Texans with advanced telecommunications," commented Commission chairman, Carolyn Palmer Armstrong. "The Internet Assistance Grants allow rural and urban libraries alike to tap worldwide resources in an effort to bring quality library services to all Texans."

This past January the Texas State Library and Archives Commission awarded the initial funds for Internet access to 98 public libraries in 144 locations, with 239 computers in the libraries and 50 dialup ports available to the public. Over $1,009,000 went to libraries providing service from the Panhandle to the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and from central Texas southwest to Eagle Pass. Four Major Urban Resource Libraries were funded, and of the other 94 libraries, one-third serve populations under 5,000, and two-thirds serve populations under 10,000.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission, created in 1909, is responsible for providing and promoting quality library and information services to all Texans. The agency provides access to state and federal government information, including the Texas State Archives; offers library services to Texans with disabilities through the Talking Book Program; aids and supports local public libraries in the Texas Library System; and provides assistance to the public sector through the State and Local Records Management program.

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August 19, 1996

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is pleased to announce an addition to its web site of a searchable database of the "Historic Map Collection of the Texas State Library." Located at, the map database contains catalog records for original, photo-reproduced, and compiled maps covering the period from the early 17th century through the late 20th.

Material now accessible through the Internet includes general maps of Texas, US, and Mexico; 18th-20th century world atlases; bird's-eye views of Texas cities; and coastal charts and other nautical maps. Other subjects are: Texas Highway Department county road maps; General Land Office county survey maps; state and county geological maps; highway and road maps; military survey and reconnaissance maps; oil and gas maps; plans of forts, missions, presidios, battlegrounds; railroad maps; soil survey maps; street maps; town plats; and US Geological Survey maps showing the topography of various Texas counties prior to 1900.

Instructions and prices for ordering copies of available maps are listed. The State Library welcomes comments on its map database, and has provided a "Comments and Questions" email address for map users.

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