Austin, TX – Selected Texas libraries will soon undertake new projects with funding from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC). Workforce development resources, tools for promoting tech literacy and a wide range of impactful community programs topped the list of grant proposals recently approved by TSLAC. Agency commissioners awarded 51 library grants totaling $1,167,658 million for numerous Texas libraries and institutions of higher education at their August 6 regular meeting in Austin.
The commission awards funding through several library grant programs focusing on special projects, technology, reading and literacy initiatives, interlibrary resource collaboration and digitization efforts. The majority of funding for these local awards comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in Washington, D.C.
“We are excited to be able to provide these grants to libraries of all sizes in all parts of Texas,” said TSLAC Director and Librarian Mark Smith. "The projects supported by these funds represent cutting edge innovation that will enhance the ability of libraries to meet the informational, educational and economic goals of their communities.”
“The Commission is thrilled to advance some truly transformational projects designed to offer Texans the tools necessary to meet the ever-changing needs of their families and communities,” said TSLAC Chair Martha Wong. “These funds from IMLS are essential in allowing us to support the work carried out statewide by the informational professionals and citizens whom we serve.”
A full list of statewide award winners can be found at tsl.texas.gov/grants. A sample of winning libraries show the diversity of projects and communities recognized through TSLAC grants:
Arlington Public Library – Expanded Services for Books on Wheels (Amount Awarded: $15,042)
Books on Wheels is a collaborative book delivery project between the Arlington Public Library and local retirement and senior centers. The library will work closely with the centers to identify ways to best serve retirement community residents, including a revamp of how they deliver library materials and an intergenerational component to the program that includes local high school volunteers connecting with the retirement center population.
Midland County Public Library – Business Center at Centennial Library (Amount Awarded: $55,048)
Midland County Public Libraries will create a Community Office and Business Resource Center to provide the community with a professional office space to use for job searches, interviews and online meetings. The office will provide digital literacy classes, resume workshops and interview skill programs to address workforce development needs in Midland.
Pottsboro Area Public Library - Telehealth: Connecting Community to Health Information (Amount Awarded: $24,948)
The Pottsboro Library will expand its telehealth initiative by increasing health literacy resources and acquiring needed technologies to support community needs. This program will facilitate access to quality health care in a rural community through a telehealth site and consumer health information programming.
University of North Texas Libraries – Making Audio/Visual Digital Collections Content Accessible for All Texans, Year Two (Amount Awarded: $74,516)
The University of North Texas Libraries will continue ongoing efforts to improve audio/visual (A/V) content accessibility available through The Portal to Texas History, an online resource of digitized historical information. This project addresses the needs of deaf and blind users who often lack fundamental access to many A/V materials in digital repositories while also providing benefit to abled users and those with other special needs through efforts to transcribe, translate, describe and interpret both research-oriented and primary-source A/V content.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information they need to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit www.tsl.texas.gov.