TSLAC Will Receive Full Allotment of Federal Funds for Statewide Library Programs
Thursday, January 9, 2014 • Austin, TX • News Release
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 was notified that the waiver would not be granted and that the agency would be allowed to appeal.
In a letter received this week from IMLS Director Susan Hildreth, IMLS has 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.
“IMLS allowed us a second appeal, and we’re grateful for that,” said Mark Smith, TSLAC director. “This gave us the opportunity to emphasize the restoration of state funds and how a cut to our federal funds would have put in jeopardy library programs that Texas libraries and library users rely on.”
“Moving forward, we will continue to work with state lawmakers to further strengthen the state’s support of its libraries,” said Smith. “We’ve made progress in that direction, but there is more to be done.”
PDF of IMLS waiver approval letter, January 8, 2014.