Stephen Siwinski

Communications Officer

TSLAC Awards $2.1 Million in Texas Library Grants for FY2017

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 • Austin, Texas • News Release

Science, technology, engineering, art and math take center stage alongside reading, writing, robots and more in the list of grant proposals recently approved by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Agency commissioners gave the green light to 73 library grant awards totaling $2.1 million for numerous Texas libraries, institutions of higher education, and related nonprofit organizations.

The commission awards library grants annually through its Texas Reads, Impact, TexTreasures, Library Cooperation, and Special Projects grant programs. All are funded by the federal Library Services and Technology Act via the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C. The grant period for State Fiscal Year 2017 runs from September 1, 2016, to August 31, 2017.

“Funding from these grants will provide a margin of innovation to allow Texas libraries and their literary counterparts to introduce new services and resources in their communities.” said TSLAC Director and Librarian Mark Smith. Several of the awards will fund digitization, community reading, and family and early childhood literacy projects; others will enhance access to information and services.

“The grants approved by the Commission will no doubt make a difference in the lives of countless Texans.” offered Texas State Library and Archives Commissioner Chairman, Michael C. Waters, “ Federal dollars help us to increase the impact of the work carried out by the information service professionals and citizens that we serve in every corner of the state. This year we are especially proud to note that funding has been granted to a number of programs that aim to support Texans with cognitive disabilities and special needs.”

The awards include:

Harris County Public Library — Outreach Robotics & Coding ($13,500)

The Harris County Public Library, in collaboration with community partners, will offer outreach programming in robotics and coding to children ages seven and up to teach digital literacy skills including programming and coding, to help children explore STEAM disciplines, to offer opportunities for creative collaboration, and to encourage independent and interest-driven learning.

Plano Public Library System — Art Spark  ($75,000)

Through the Art Spark program, Plano Public Library System (PPLS) will fund the 18 Street AIRSpace Artist-in-Residence program at Harrington Library as well as library programs, exhibits, and performances at the other four libraries in Plano.  The program will bring in artists and performers to expand the cultural and artistic experience of the residents of Plano.

Abilene Library Consortium — Flying High in the Texas Sky: Legacy of the WASP ($29,410)

In partnership with the National WASP WWII Museum, the Abilene Library Consortium seeks to digitize and preserve the archives (documents, correspondence, photographs, and journals) of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. The proposed collection will increase worldwide knowledge of the WASP and share accounts of their skills and heroism during 1942-44 that illustrate the WASP’s impact on WWII victory.

Pottsboro Area Public Library — Media Mentoring for Digital Literacy ($43,298)

The Pottsboro Area Public Library will institute a media mentoring program around key community needs such as health/wellness and education while providing digital connectivity. A media mentor  will create programs based on skill-appropriate technological environments, including assistive technology and inclusive design, tablets, touch-screen computers, apps, WiFi at the library, and mobile hotspots and tablets for home use.  The library is working with the Pottsboro Senior Center, Head Start, the Texoma Council of Governments, and BubTown DayHab for Adults with Special Needs.


For detailed descriptions of the funded programs and projects, visit: