1997 News Releases

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12-12-1997 - Janice Jones, Robert Helfer Named Employees of the Quarter...
12-09-1997 - Administrative Changes Made at State Library
11-19-1997 - State Library Names Interim Director for Library Resource Sharing Division
09-16-1997 - State Library Contracts with AMIGOS for TexShare Management>
08-13-1997 - New Britannica and Reference Online Services Available at Public Libraries

08-05-1997 - Library Commission Approves TexShare Advisory Board
06-08-1997 - TexShare Program Expanded --Library Resources Now Available to 184 Academic...
05-23-1997 - New Standards for School Library Service Approved
05-22-1997 - Kids Find New Texas Reading Club Materials at Local Public Libraries
05-22-1997 - Texas State Electronic Library Awarded Top Honor

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December 12, 1997
JANICE JONES, ROBERT HELFER NAMED EMPLOYEES OF THE QUARTER AT STATE LIBRARY

Austin -- The Texas State Library and Archives Commission Employee Recognition Committee has selected Janice Jones and Robert Helfer as Employees of the Quarter for the first quarter of FY1998. Jones and Helfer are on the staff of the Talking Book Program (TBP), which provides free library services to Texans who are unable to read standard print material.

Jones has been with the agency since 1984 when she started as a part-time clerk. She is currently an audio technician, and over the last six months has produced over 9,145 cassettes for circulation to TBP patrons. Jones is a leader within Audio Operations due to her thorough knowledge of the department, her ability in answering co-workers questions and training volunteers, and her eagerness to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the operation.

Robert Helfer is automated systems administrator and is responsible for analysis, design, and maintenance of the TBP automated system, ACCESS. Since joining the State Library in 1989, Helfer has guided TBP through conversions of four different computer systems. His design and implementation of a system of "random shelving" for book circulation has contributed to the Talking Book Program becoming a model for other regional libraries in the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, a division of the Library of Congress.

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December 9, 1997
ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES MADE AT STATE LIBRARY
 

Austin --The Texas State Library and Archives announces the appointment of Edward Seidenberg as director of its Administrative Services Division, effective January 1, 1998. Seidenberg's appointment follows the recent resignation of Catherine Lee, who has accepted a position with the Texas Library Association.

Edward Seidenberg joined the State Library in 1976 and has worked in the Library Development Division in a variety of capacities, serving as division director since 1987. His new duties include administration of human resources, accounting, grants administration, and support services functions.

Jeanette Larson, manager of the continuing education program of the Library Development Division, will serve as interim director until the vacancy is filled.

Other State Library programs include Archives and Information Services, Library Resource Sharing Division, the Talking Book Program, and State and Local Records Management.

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November 19, 1997
STATE LIBRARY NAMES INTERIM DIRECTOR FOR LIBRARY RESOURCE SHARING DIVISION

Austin - Dale W. Propp has been named interim director of the new Library Resource Sharing Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Propp is division director of the Talking Book Program, and will administer the Library Resource Sharing Division until a director is selected. Jenifer Flaxbart is currently serving as acting division director of the Talking Book Program.

Dale W. Propp joined the State Library in 1973 and has worked in Government Publications and Information Services Divisions as documents librarian and manager of public services. He has served as the director of Talking Book Program since February 1983.

The search for a division director of Library Resource Sharing continues in the academic and library communities. Information on the position is available by calling Human Resources at 512-463-5474 and on the State Library's website at http://www.tsl.texas.gov.

The new division consists of the Texas State Electronic Library, the TexNet Interlibrary Loan Network, the Texas State Publications Depository Program, the Texas Records and Information Locator, and TexShare. TexShare, a cooperative program for library service to Texas institutions of higher education, was recently expanded by the Texas Legislature and made a program of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Other State Library programs include the State Archives, Genealogy, and Reference/ Documents Collections; Library Development Division; the Talking Book Program; and State and Local Records Management.

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September 16, 1997
STATE LIBRARY CONTRACTS WITH AMIGOS FOR TEXSHARE MANAGEMENT

AUSTIN The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has contracted with AMIGOS Bibliographic Council, Inc. (AMIGOS) for management and administrative oversight of TexShare for fiscal year 1998. The University of Texas at Austin General Libraries will provide programmatic and technical support of the library resource sharing project in partnership with AMIGOS.

TexShare, established in 1994, is a cooperative program for library service to students, faculty, and staff of Texas institutions of higher education. The new $270,000 contract will provide technical infrastructure support, content and services, training, and administration.

AMIGOS, a non-profit organization, is one of the nation's largest library resource sharing networks, serving libraries primarily in the southwestern United States, and has administered TexShare since 1996. The program is managed by a team of library staff from several TexShare member libraries, headed by Sue Phillips of University of Texas at Austin General Libraries and Bonnie Juergens of AMIGOS. The General Libraries will continue to provide essential technical and staff support of TexShare.

"The State Library's contract with AMIGOS provides continuity in the TexShare program, and will allow current and new member libraries the best possible resource sharing," said Dr. Robert S. Martin, Director and Librarian of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. TexShare was recently transferred to the agency by the Texas Legislature and expanded to serve 184 institutions statewide, with an enrollment of 921,000 students. The program provides statewide licensing of databases, access to university library collections, assistance in document delivery, and additional electronic resources.

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August 13, 1997

NEW BRITANNICA AND REFERENCE ONLINE SERVICES AVAILABLE AT PUBLIC LIBRARIES

Instant information at your fingertips! The Texas State Electronic Library (TSEL), has increased library services with new contracts for full-text database access for Texas public libraries.

Britannica Online is now available to all the state's 504 public libraries. The electronic version of the encyclopedia not only includes the full contents of the print Britannica, but also furnishes links to carefully selected web sources that offer additional information.

TSEL, the Internet information server provided by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, negotiated the statewide umbrella contract in order to save individual public and state agency libraries the costly initial purchase and yearly updates of Britannica Cds. This service greatly expands research resources for Texans through the use of funds designated by the Legislature to assist public libraries in gaining access to the Internet and electronic information.

Through TSEL, library users can visit popular and unique databases in a variety of topic areas, identify bibliographic sources, and seek out references to articles, books, sound recordings, and videocassettes. Specific items can be accessed in full-text (over 2500 journals, and citations to articles in thousands of others) on the Internet, or located in the local library or through a request to Interlibrary Loan, another service provided by the State Library. The new services have also increased from 9 to 14 the users able to access databases simultaneously in order to improve the availability of information at peak periods.

Although Britannica Online and other databases are available only at public libraries, Texans who wish to access information from their personal computers at home or at work can always find facts at their fingertips through the Texas State Electronic Library. The website provides a gateway to the resources offered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and other state agencies, as well as direct access and keyword search to information centers in Texas, the nation, and the world.

The Texas State Electronic Library has received top ratings by Magellan Internet Guide and Lycos, popular index services and subject listing search engines, and is listed as one of the Top One Hundred Texas websites by Texas Monthly magazine. TSEL's Internet address is http://link.tsl.texas.gov.

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August 5, 1997
LIBRARY COMMISSION APPROVES TEXSHARE ADVISORY BOARD

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission yesterday approved appointments to the new TexShare Advisory Board, created to establish policies relating to the sharing of library resources in Texas' academic community.

Members appointed are William P. Hobby, Houston, and Nelda Laney, Hale Center, representing the public; S. Joe McCord, University of Houston-Clear Lake, and Gilda Baeza Ortego, Sul Ross State University, (four-year public universities); George Huffman, Amarillo College and Paul E. Dumont, Dallas Community College, (public community colleges). Robert A. Seal, of Texas Christian University and Marsha W. Harper, Abilene Christian University will represent private institutions of higher education, and Martha C. Adamson of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas will serve as member-at-large. Appointments are for staggered one-to-three year terms beginning September 1, 1997.

TexShare is a cooperative program for library service to students, faculty, and staff of Texas institutions of higher education, and provides statewide licensing of databases, access to university library collections, assistance in document delivery, and additional electronic resources. Created in 1994 and recently expanded by the Texas Legislature, TexShare will now serve 184 institutions statewide, with an enrollment of 921,000 students.

"We are delighted to have such an interested and dedicated panel to contribute their expertise to this important service in the academic community," commented Dr. Robert S. Martin, Director and Librarian of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. TexShare will be administered through the Library Resource Sharing Division of the agency. Other State Library programs include the State Archives, Genealogy, and Reference/ Documents Collections; Library Development; the Talking Book Program; State and Local Records Management; and the award-winning Texas State Electronic Library.

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June 8, 1997
TEXSHARE PROGRAM EXPANDED--
LIBRARY RESOURCES NOW AVAILABLE TO 184 ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS STATEWIDE

Library resource sharing in Texas has taken on a new dimension. Recent legislation adopted by the 75th Legislature has dramatically expanded the state's successful TexShare program and transferred its administration to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

TexShare is a cooperative program for library service to students, faculty, and staff of Texas state-supported institutions of higher education. TexShare also provides statewide licensing of databases, access to university library collections, assistance in document delivery, and additional electronic resources. Through TexShare, the collections and services of each individual academic library in the state are made available to the students and faculty of all institutions, sharing the rich resources of the entire state with the academic community. In addition, the combined buying power of Texas libraries results in significant cost reductions for electronic information subscriptions.

Created in 1994 and previously administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, TexShare currently serves 52 publicly funded four-year colleges and universities (as well as medical schools) with a combined enrollment of approximately 400,000 students. The new law, HB2721, expands the program to include Texas' 75 two-year colleges and 57 private institutions of higher education, bringing the total number of institutions to 184, with an enrollment of 921,000 students. This expansion provides services to 3.5 times as many institutions and more than doubles the number of students, faculty, and staff currently served by the program.

TexShare emphasizes electronic information resources as well as traditional collections of books and journals. The largest portion of the TexShare annual budget of approximately $1 million will be dedicated to licensing commercial databases such as Periodical Abstracts and ABI Inform, which provide access to the full text of more than 1,100 journals, in addition to citations to many more journals and periodicals. TexShare has already realized significant economies of scale through joint buying power; with the increased size of the membership, even greater economies can be achieved.

"Our agency faces a formidable challenge," commented Dr. Robert S. Martin, Director and Librarian of the State Library and Archives Commission. "Transferring the administration of a highly visible and successful program will be difficult. Simultaneously expanding its scope of service by a factor of three will be an enormous undertaking, but we look forward to a successful transition and growth of TexShare, and welcome the continued support and active participation of the entire academic community."

Plans for transferring TexShare to the State Library will begin immediately. Other programs administered by the agency include the State Archives, Genealogy, and Reference/ Documents Collections; Library Development; the Talking Book Program; State and Local Records Management; and the award-winning Texas State Electronic Library.

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May 23, 1997
NEW STANDARDS FOR SCHOOL LIBRARY SERVICES APPROVED

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission adopted new guidelines for school libraries at its May 19 meeting in Austin. The Standards for School Library Services are designed to assist school boards, school administrators, librarians, teachers, and members of the public in evaluating the adequacy of their school library services. They also act as guidelines for improving services.

The Standards were written in response to a mandate by the 74th Legislature requesting that the Texas State Library, in consultation with the State Board of Education, adopt standards for school districts to consider when developing, implementing, or expanding their library services. The Standards support the goal of school libraries, which is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information so that they can be life-long learners.

Over the past year the Library Development Division of the State Library held thirty open forums statewide where parents and members of the education and library communities offered input on factors that result in quality school library services. The Standards were then written by an advisory committee headed by Dr. Julie Todaro of Austin, and comprised of parents, librarians, principals, superintendents, and school board members. Paralleling the Texas Education Association (TEA) Accreditation Standards, the guidelines are divided into four levels of service ranging from exemplary to below standard. Each level describes the library learning environment, integration of library resources into the school curriculum, library materials, program management, and facilities that a school library operating at that level would have. After circulating successive drafts for public comment, the committee submitted the Standards to the State Library and Archives Commission for approval.

"Of primary importance is the flexibility written into the Standards in order to meet the school library needs of individual communities," says Dr. Robert S. Martin, Director and Librarian of the Texas State Library. "School districts can use the guidelines in evaluating their libraries to assure that they are places that teach how to acquire and use information, technology, and ideas, as well as stimulate an interest in reading."

In response to requests submitted at the statewide forums, the Standards include such issues as:

  • access during and beyond the instructional day for students and staff;
  • certified personnel to work with students and staff;
  • current materials that are relevant to the cirriculum.

The State Library will be distributing the Standards to libraries, educators, and other interested parties, and TEA will distribute copies to school superintendents so districts can begin considering them for the coming school year. The Standards can also be accessed on the State Library website (http://www.tsl.texas.gov) or by requesting a copy from the Library Development Division, Texas State Library, P. O. Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711-2927.

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May 22, 1997
KIDS FIND NEW TEXAS READING CLUB MATERIAL AT LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARIES

With school over and assigned reading lists complete, it's time to think about reading for fun! Turn to your local public library for summer reading, and turn on "The Incredible Dream Machine" and the Texas Reading Club.

The Texas Reading Club is an annual summer recreational reading program for toddlers through young adults and family members of all ages, sponsored cooperatively by local public libraries and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin. Using this year's theme of "The Incredible Dream Machine," the program's goals are to encourage reading by inspiring children to seek their dreams in books and at the library.

The lovable rottweiler puppy Carl, hero of many books by author/illustrator Alexandra Day, is the 1997 book character for the reading program. Kickoff events featuring artwork of Carl are being planned in the next few weeks to introduce the theme.

Using a program manual highlighting imagination, innovations, and inventions, local librarians can design reading events that are tailored to the needs of their community. Toddlers, along with their parents or caregivers, may be invited to participate in 20-30 minute storytime sessions and preschoolers can attend 30 minute sessions involving stories, songs, and activities. Elementary school-age children can, for example, read the book Leonardo's Inventions, by Margaret Cooper, and then join in an activity of making a group display of modern day devices that can be traced to Leonardo's ideas. Libraries might also be planning activites for young adults.

"Summer reading programs at public libraries introduce kids to reading for pleasure, and plant the seeds for a life-long love of reading," says Jeanette Larson, Manager of the Continuing Education Program for the State Library. "The Reading Club is as much a part of summer in Texas as are picnics and getting together for a swim at the pool."

In keeping with Governor and Mrs. Bush's emphasis on family reading, libraries participating in the Texas Reading Club offer books and videos for families, and are an ideal source for summer family entertainment. Families with children with special needs are also encouraged to participate in the program, and the librarians can make accommodations. Certificates signed by the Governor and Director and Librarian of the State Library are awarded to children who complete the program.

Over 400,000 children participated in last year's Texas Reading Club, with 93% of Texas public libraries offering programs to encourage summer reading. Established in 1959, the statewide summer reading club began as a service offered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to assist rural libraries. In 1978, the Texas Reading Club was expanded to serve all children in Texas through their local public libraries. The program is designed not only to help kids improve their reading skills, but encourages them to enjoy reading by letting them chose the books they love to read.

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May 22, 1997
TEXAS STATE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY AWARDED TOP HONOR

The Texas State Electronic Library (TSEL), the Internet information server provided by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for public libraries and the general public, has received the top rating of "four stars" by Magellan Internet Guide, an index service and subject listing search engine developed by the McKinley Group.

In awarding TSEL its highest honor, Magellan cited the Electronic Library website with the comment, "You can't waltz across Texas with a dance through this site, but its facts, figures and library links make the former republic a little more manageable. Not content with achieving that formidable feat, it packs a posse of national resources, too."

Magellan offers a database of some 40,000 rated and reviewed sites, and each reviewed site includes a rating from one to four stars based on depth, ease-of-exploration, and "Net appeal." Magellan also offers a more "traditional" search engine, and an index of about 15 million pages. In addition to searching websites, the directory allows users to access ftp sites, gophers, USENET, and telnet sites.

The Texas State Electronic Library divides its main menu into broad sections such as Facts at Your Fingertips, Information by Subject, Texas Government Information, and Other Texas Information Resources. Users can keyword-search the site and all its linked pages.

The Texas State Electronic Library was also named one of the Top One Hundred Texas websites by Texas Monthly magazine in its latest review. TSEL is located at http://link.tsl.texas.gov and the review on Magellan can be found at http://www.mckinley.com/magellan/Reviews/News_and_Reference/Libraries _and_Reference/Libraries,_US/Public_Libraries/South/index.magellan.html.

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