Biennial Report

Texas State Library and Archives Commission
FY2007-2008

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Overview from the Texas State Librarian | Goal One | Goal Two | Goal Three | Goal Four | Renovation Challenges
 


Overview by the Texas State Librarian

Preserving the Past, Embracing the Future:
Progress Toward Strategic Goals in Fiscal Years 2007-2008

The mission of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) is to safeguard significant resources, provide information services that inspire and support research, education and reading, and enhance the capacity for achievement of current and future generations. To accomplish this, we:

• Preserve the record of government for public scrutiny,
• Secure and make accessible historically significant records and other valuable resources,
• Meet the reading needs of Texans with disabilities,
• Build and sustain statewide partnerships to improve library programs and services, and
• Enhance the capacity for achievement of individuals and institutions with whom we work.

TSLAC’s business is information: collecting and organizing it appropriately, making it available to the people of Texas now, and preserving it for future access by generations to come. Through our direct services and our support of services offered through the state’s network of public, academic, school, and medical libraries, we respond to the public’s need for information and library materials that enrich the lives of Texans both personally and professionally.

The 2007-2008 period covered by this report was one of rebuilding after significant budget cuts imposed in preceding years. The agency was challenged to meet growing needs with a budget that suffered a mid-year 7% operating reduction in 2003, a 12.5% operating reduction in 2004-2005, and a 50% capital budget reduction in 2004-2005. Overcoming the impact of these reductions on the agency’s performance measures and its ability to deliver services and support to its constituents was a major focus and challenge in 2007-2008.

As the agency stood on the brink of its 2009 centennial, we began a multi-year $15.5 million renovation of our flagship building, the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library, starting with the move of the bulk of library and archival collections to off site storage in fall 2007, and then continuing with construction startup in May 2008. The renovation, scheduled for completion in 2010, will bring the building up to current codes; improve public service areas for patrons and staff workspaces; incorporate energy efficient components; include a Conservation Lab so the agency can establish a robust conservation program; and provide very limited expansion of storage space for the state’s permanently valuable archives. The agency’s support group, Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas, began a capital campaign that netted $1.7 million in 2007-2008.

Over the reporting period, our statewide resource sharing network, TexShare, continued to grow, with increases in database usage, distribution of TexShare reciprocal borrowing cards, interlibrary lending, and training. In addition, our partnership with Region 20 Education Service Center in San Antonio was solidified with the establishment and expansion of a program of database access for all public school districts paid for by legislative appropriation.

Disaster preparedness and response activities occupied much staff time as we worked to shape the agency’s continuity of operations plan. In the wake of major natural disasters that had tremendous impact on Texas libraries, the agency offered consulting and limited grant assistance to libraries, state agencies, and local governments affected, as well as dealing with damage to its own Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty and re-evaluating the agency’s disaster plan.

TSLAC was the first of 27 state agencies to be moved into the new consolidated State Data Center. The move was not without difficulties, and information technology staff began working with other state and vendor IT personnel to transition our IT services and strive to attain a steady state of operations.
In a continuing effort to preserve the state’s permanently valuable archives while providing the broadest access possible, staff made great strides in digitizing historically significant original documents and making them available on the agency’s Web site through online exhibits and searchable databases. In addition, we were able to secure the return of state archival documents that had been separated from state custody, some for as long as 165 years!

I am proud of the efforts of a superbly competent, dedicated, and customer service oriented staff whose work gives the Texas State Library and Archives Commission a well-deserved reputation for excellent service and who made significant progress toward the agency’s four strategic planning goals.

Sincerely,

Peggy D. Rudd
Director and Librarian
Texas State Library and Archives Commission

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Goal One

To improve the availability and delivery of library and information services for all Texans.

Our mission revolves around Texans being able to access and use the information they seek, and we believe libraries are a crucial factor in their ability to do so. The services libraries provide to families, students, teachers, college faculty, professionals, business owners—in essence, everyone—enrich lives and support the state’s educational infrastructure and economic prosperity.

In FY2007-2008, the agency employed the following strategies to improve the availability and delivery of library and information services for all Texans: Share library resources among libraries statewide through Library of Texas, interlibrary loan, TexShare, and other projects.

We provided services and grants to aid in the development of local libraries, including Loan Star Libraries grants, continuing education and consulting services, the Texas Reading Club, funding for regional cooperative programs, and other grants. We provided direct library service by mail to Texas citizens with disabilities from a centralized collection of large-print, Braille, and recorded books through our Talking Book Program.

BIENNIUM HIGHLIGHTS

TexShare

TexShare is a consortium of 694 Texas libraries that worked to reduce costs and expand services by sharing resources among all members. TexShare services include interlibrary loan, a courier service that delivers library materials between libraries, statewide electronic database subscriptions, and the TexShare card, which allows users to borrow books from participating libraries statewide.

The TexShare database program provides access to electronic information to the people of Texas bringing quality reliable online information resources to colleges, universities, medical facilities, and local communities. In addition to state and federal funding, TexShare member libraries contributed $1.58 million in fees to supplement the TexShare database budget. In FY2007, Texans conducted $47.38 million searches, and in FY2008 they conducted $38.78 million searches.
The Library of Texas information discovery tool at www.libraryoftexas.org/ grew steadily FY2007–2008. This service allows library users to discover and retrieve desired information from multiple library catalogs, databases, and other knowledge collections using a single search screen. The Library of Texas searches through the catalogs of 153 Texas libraries, including 95 public and 58 academic libraries, and through 46 TexShare online databases.

K-12 Database Program

The K-12 Database Program provides school communities with state-funded, quality online instructional resources. In 2007 , the Texas State Legislature authorized the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to use monies from the Texas Education Agency’s technology fund to acquire “online research and information resources for libraries in public schools, and for administrative expenses.”

Students, teachers, administrators, and parents of all K-12 public schools and public charter schools have access to a collection of full-text resources. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission also provides four online encyclopedias in English and two in Spanish that contain over 124,000 articles as well as teacher resources, a world atlas, dictionary, and a thesaurus. All materials are aligned to state curriculum standards and benchmarks.

In FY2008 our partnership with Region 20 Education Service Center produced a K-12 Database train-the-trainer program and online training modules and videos. As a result, 1,009 school districts signed up for the database service, providing educational content to 7,404 campuses and 4,47 million students. This generated 20.93 million searches using the K-12 Databases.

A new method of collecting usage statistics enabled schools across the state to accurately track their database usage, benchmark against similar institutions, and set usage goals to maximize the benefit derived from state-funded electronic resources.

Federal Depository Library Program

Through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the Texas State Publications Depository Program, we ensure easy access to government information throughout Texas. We are one of two full federal depositories in the state, providing access to all publications distributed through the FDLP. We also provide guidance to the 35 federal, selective depository collections in south and east Texas. State agency and university publications were distributed to a network of 48 depositories in Texas, as well as the Library of Congress, so that communities could have access to state government information locally.

The Texas State Publications Program processed approximately 300 linear feet of materials by identifying and removing duplicate items from the collection. Staff relocated approximately 500 linear feet by processing backlogged materials and transferring them to the reference department. We distributed 80,490 documents in FY2007 and 67,075 documents in FY2008 to print depository libraries across the state.

Loan Star Libraries

Loan Star Libraries is a formula-based grant program that provides funding for Texas public libraries.

Since its inception in FY2002 through FY2008, Loan Star Libraries grants have infused local communities with more than $22 million to enhance local library services.

Between FY2002 and FY2008, of the 540 Texas public libraries, 81 percent served any Texas resident just as they would their own residents, and 74 percent of all Texas public libraries were members of the TexShare Card program. The Loan Star Libraries program distributed $5.65 million each year to Texas public libraries.

Texas Library Systems

The 10 regionally-based Texas Library Systems serve public libraries with continuing education and consulting services.

Tailoring programs to meet the needs of the libraries in each region, the Texas Library Systems help members plan and develop their services and collections to meet the needs of their communities and implement targeted programs.

As a result of TSLAC’s Sunset process in 2007, systems received authorization to seek grants and other sources of funding. Their core services were defined as continuing education and consulting, and the Sunset Commission recommended that beyond the core services, systems should apply for competitive grants aimed at increasing innovation and targeting state and federal goals. Reflecting this change, the Texas Library Systems’ base operation grant was $7.5 million in 2007 and $5.22 million in 2008.

Library Grant Programs

Technical Assistance Negotiated Grants provide funding to the 10 Texas Library Systems to support technical assistance for public access computing for member libraries, and Texas Reads Grants fund literacy and other reading programs in public libraries.

In FY2007, TSLAC awarded $690,000 to the 10 Texas Library Systems through the Technical Assistance Negotiated Grant (TANG) program and $680,000 in FY2008. TANG funds provide both hands-on support and individualized consulting on a regional basis to support the technology needs of library staff and the people they serve.

In FY2007 and FY2008, TSLAC awarded a total of $14,849 in Texas Reads grants, supporting six projects:

• Irving Public Library, $3,000, hosted a “Storytelling Around the World” program for children aged 2-5 to encourage life-long reading while also educating them about diverse populations.

• Sterling Municipal Library (Baytown), $2,949, provided a book discussion program for adult literacy students.

• Mesquite Public Library, $2,000, for the Summer Teen Café program to expand library services to teens during the summer months by offering targeted programming of interest to teens. The program was promoted at area schools to encourage teens to read for both fun and extended learning opportunities.

• Allen Public Library, $3,000, provided a community-wide reading program. Books were selected according to each population groups’ interests. The program selected at least one adult and one children’s book on a related theme so that the community could connect through a shared reading experience.

• Cedar Park Public Library, $1,500, for the ‘Texas Two Step’ or Texas Writers for Texas Readers was a multi-dimensional program designed to both encourage parents and teens to read cross-generational books and share their perceptions, and promoted local Texas authors to serve as an inspiration to Texas teen readers.

• West Public Library, $2,400, developed ‘When Teenagers Read’, a program for local teens who were trained by an experienced storyteller to present programs for area children attending story time or summer reading club programs at the library.

Texas Reads grants are funded through the sale of the Texas Reads specialty license plate (www.tsl.texas.gov/agency/txreads.html) and some federal Library Services and Technology Act money.

Talking Book Program

The Talking Book Program provides books in alternate formats for Texans who cannot read standard print due to disabilities.

In FY2007 and FY2008, the Talking Book Program served over 18,000 people providing playback machines and recorded books, and information to those who need disability reference assistance regarding any disability-related issue. Volunteers at our recording studios recorded 157 Texas-related books and magazines, including seven books in Spanish. Magazines recorded include Texas Monthly, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and Texas Highways.

Texas Heritage Digitization Initiative (THDI)

The Texas Heritage Digitization Initiative (THDI) is a cooperative project to identify, describe, digitize, preserve, and make broadly accessible special collections of history and culture held by libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other institutions in Texas.

THDI was involved in the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Connecting to Collections Initiative. In FY2008, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, in collaboration with the Texas Historical Commission, the Texas Association of Museums, the Texas Library Association, Amigos Library Services, and the Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information, received a $40,000 Connecting to Collections Statewide Planning Grant from IMLS to establish processes, develop resources, and build the strong foundation of public and private support needed to assess the collections care needs of institutions across the state.

In FY2006, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission was awarded an IMLS National Leadership Grant to develop a unified search interface for special collections. This interface went live in FY2007 as Texas Heritage Online (www.texasheritageonline.org). The grant was extended into FY2008. At the conclusion of the grant-funded portion of the project, over 1.36 million items from 105 collections were available through a single search using Texas Heritage Online, with 113 lesson plans that can be browsed through the site, and 9,218 visitors had visited the site. The ongoing development of Texas Heritage Online and support for THDI was assumed by TSLAC in FY2008.

In 2008, the TexTreasures Program awarded grants to five TexShare member libraries totaling $95,000:

• “Houston Oral History Project” ($17,474) – The Houston Public Library partnered with Mayor Bill White to preserve and make the video-recordings of significant Houstonians available on the web.

• “Early Texas Newspapers: 1829-1861” ($24,637) - The University of North Texas Libraries and the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin partnered to microfilm, digitize, and provide free public access to the earliest Texas newspapers held by the Center for American History.

• “The Witliff Collections” ($20,000) - The project created an online exhibit accessing the primary source materials of researcher Dick J. Reavis held by the Southwestern Writers Collection at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University about the siege of the Branch Davidians at Mount Carmel outside of Waco in 1993.

• “Austin History Center Glass Plate Negatives” ($12,889) - The Austin History Center, a division of the Austin Public Library, digitized the complete Hubert Jones collection of 471 glass plate negatives containing subjects local to Austin and Texas.

• “Tejano Voices Project” ($20,000) – The University of Texas at Arlington Library digitized and described 60 of the 174 oral history interviews with notable Tejanos and Tejanas from across Texas conducted in 1992-2003 by Dr. Jose Angel Gutierrez, associate professor of political science at UT Arlington.

TRAIL, the Statewide Search tool that automatically captures, indexes, and preserves state agency Web publications, moved to a new platform called the Archive-It Internet archiving service. Each regularly scheduled harvest “sweeps” the Internet domains associated with Texas state agencies and affiliated governmental entities, except state institutions of higher education. In FY2007, 641,756 pages were harvested for a total of 118.72 Gigabytes. In FY2008, 3,172,371 pages were harvested for a total of 436.17 Gigabytes.

ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

Hurricane Disaster Assistance — THDI assisted Texas organizations in tracking institutions affected by Hurricane Ike and attended Humanities Texas meetings held with FEMA and the Governor’s Office about the needs of cultural heritage institutions. THDI created a map of libraries, archives, museums, and government agencies in hurricane-affected areas and promoted the availability of grants from the Society of American Archivists, Texas Library Association, Humanities Texas, and TSLAC to help institutions rebuild.

Texas Responds Grants — TSLAC used remaining FFY2007 federal funds (with special permission from the Institute of Museum and Library Services) and awarded a total of $222,100 to five Texas school and public libraries struggling to recover from damage after Hurricane Ike. The public library in Galveston, and the school districts of Beaumont, Bridge City, Clear Creek, and La Marque each received $44,420 to purchase materials, computers, and related supplies to assist those libraries in restoring services to schools and the public.

Gates Foundation Grants — In FY2007 and FY2008, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission worked on three major initiatives (PAC HUG, Rural Library Sustainability and ROSA) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help sustain public access computing in Texas. The Public Access Computer Hardware Upgrade Grant (PAC HUG) provided $2,385,000 to public libraries to replace or upgrade more than 1,900 computers in 544 library buildings from fall 2006 through December 2008. The Rural Library Sustainability statewide training program assisted rural libraries in planning and sustaining public access computing and reached 242 librarians in 2007. In 2008 Reaching Our Spanish Speaking Audience (ROSA) reached 289 librarians and focused on developing librarians’ knowledge and skills in reaching out to Spanish speakers.

Report on the Needs of Public School Libraries — The 80th Legislature directed the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Texas Education Agency to conduct a study of the needs of public school libraries, determine which agency is best suited to address identified needs, and submit a report to the leadership of the state by December 31, 2008. The report is online at www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/pubs/schoolneeds/.

Plinkit (Public Library Internet Kit) — Smaller public libraries often lack the resources to develop and maintain a robust Web site. The agency is a partner with five other state libraries and three networks to offer this content management based Web site template. During the reporting period, 71 Texas public libraries used Plinkit.

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Goal Two

To improve the availability and delivery of information services to state government and to persons seeking current and historical information from state government.

Gaining access to government, whether federal, state, or local, can be a daunting task for citizens. We work to make government information easy to access locally. We believe government at every level should be accountable and transparent to its people so everyone can participate effectively in civic affairs.

To improve the availability and delivery of information services to state government and to those seeking information from state government, we employ the following strategy: Provide legislators, staff, and the general public with ready access to needed government information from publications, documents, records, and other library resources.

BIENNIUM HIGHLIGHTS

Texas State Archives & Information Services

Comprising four major collections, the Archives and Information Services Division maintains and provides access to more than 150 million pages of archival documents and almost two million volumes of printed library materials. We are committed to increasing universal access to these materials through the Internet, as well as managing and preserving the original documents and helping customers use the materials.

During the FY2007-2008 biennium, staff of the Texas State Archives mounted two new online history exhibits. The new exhibits covered the topics of Texas state parks and life in Civil War Texas. To date the Texas State Archives offers 13 online history exhibits, found at www.tsl.texas.gov/exhibits.

One of TSLAC’s priorities has been to increase access to our collections via the Internet. During FY2007-2008, we completed the digitization of the very heavily consulted collection of Military Service Records making the entire collection of some 70,000 pages – that covers Texas military organizations from the Republic of Texas era to the 1930s – available on our Web site.

A new tool was developed to enable better searching of the images for this collection as well as the Republic of Texas Claims records. Also 77 documents from the Republic of Texas era, recovered as part of the agency’s efforts to reclaim documents that were improperly separated from the State Archives, were digitized and added to the Republic of Texas claims searchable database.

Work continued on the long-term project to digitize and preserve the collection of Civilian Conservation Corps plans and drawings of state parks produced during the 1930s. More than 560 drawings for six state parks were scanned. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Texas General Land Office collaborated on this project. Upon completion, all 3,600 sheets of the digital images will be available to the public on the agency Web site.

To assist users in locating records, we prepared descriptive finding aids and made them available online through our participation in the Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO) project. By the end of FY2008, we contributed 527 archival finding aids to help researchers make use of our archival collections.

In FY2007-2008, archivists spent 2,200 hours preparing the gubernatorial records of former Governor George W. Bush for research, arranging them into logical series, describing the records, and mounting finding aids. In assisting the public in using these records, the staff devoted 340 hours to respond to 25 Public Information Act requests for this group of records, and another 877 hours to respond to other information requests.

Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, part of the state library located in Liberty, serves as the regional depository for local government records of archival value for a 10-county region in Southeast Texas.

During FY2007-2008, the Sam Center obtained a new digital microfilm scanner, had installed a new elevator in the Jean and Price Daniel House, and constructed a secure maintenance building, on the grounds. The Atascosito Historical Society, the Friends of the Center, provided funding for the elevator and the new building.

In February 2007, TSLAC began the restoration of its 1860 Miriam Partlow House, a $200,000 project funded by the Jean and Price Daniel Foundation through the Atascosito Historical Society. This project is slated to be completed in 2009.

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Goal Three

To provide for the cost effective management of all state and local government records.

Effective records management within government agencies is the foundation for an accessible government, accountable to its people.

BIENNIUM HIGHLIGHTS

State and Local Records Management Programs

The staff of the State and Local Records Management Division help state and local government agencies implement and maintain sound records management programs. Services include training and consulting regarding records management issues, assistance in creating records retention schedules, and records storage and imaging.

Staff worked with approximately 9,850 state and local governments in Texas to implement and maintain records management programs. During FY2007-2008, state agencies realized a cost avoidance of $141 million by storing their records in the State Records Center. This storage center has a 395,000 cubic foot capacity. At the end of FY2008, 88 agencies stored 360,667 cubic feet of records, the equivalent of 45,083 five-drawer file cabinets.

In FY2007-2008, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission converted 19.5 million document pages to microfilm for customers and delivered more than 27,000 training and consulting hours to state and local government employees. We partnered with other state and federal agencies to tackle records management issues, such as disaster recovery and the management of government records in a digital environment.

We partnered with the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to help Texas governments to prepare for disasters. We participated in a national program funded by FEMA through the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) to provide Webinars on identifying and protecting records from disasters. This program is called Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER).

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission partnered with both the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to host two annual conferences on electronic records.

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Goal Four

To implement a program to ensure the meaningful and substantive inclusion of Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) in all areas of procurement.

The State of Texas has placed special emphasis on the value of small business owners to the economic health of the state; and as an organization of state government, we strive to procure services from businesses representing the diversity of Texas residents.

BIENNIUM HIGHLIGHTS

The Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Program is an integral part of the procurement process at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The agency’s staff ensures HUB procurements remain a priority at all levels of the organization. Our good faith efforts during FY2007-2008 included:

• Participated in multiple HUB forums and events.
• Participated in multiple HUB discussion group meetings with several state agencies.
• Assisted new agency vendors in the HUB certification process.
• Conducted meetings and training sessions for agency staff involved in the procurement process at the program level.

Though the Texas State Library and Archives Commission greatly exceeded the statewide HUB goal in commodities contracts, we were unable to attain statewide goals in professional and other services contracts. Many of the contracts we awarded were proprietary in nature or exempted from competitive bidding. These included statewide licenses for databases, library-specific services offered only through a single provider, and contracts for interlibrary loans made on behalf of our agency by public and academic libraries. Some contracts were awarded without the agency receiving any bids from certified HUB vendors. We remain committed to doing business with HUB vendors and will seek every opportunity to increase our utilization in the future.

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Renovation Challenges

Zavala Building Renovation Challenges

The 79th Texas Legislature authorized $15.5 million in bond financing to renovate the Lorenzo De Zavala State Archives and Library Building, which has not undergone a single major renovation since it opened its doors in 1961.

In FY2007, TSLAC began preparation for the renovation by moving more than 20,000 linear feet of materials to off site storage and almost 5,000 linear feet of the Genealogy Collection from the first floor to the third floor. Several TSLAC divisions and departments prepared to move to temporary space on the upper floors of the building and to the Texas Real Estate Commission’s Camino La Costa Building.

In August 2007 the Archives and Information Services Division completed the plan for moving the archival and library collections during the building renovation. By early December 2007 approximately 98 percent of the agency’s library holdings—more than a million titles—had been placed on 628 bookcarts and 25 pallets and were moved from the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, along with 68 microform cabinets and their contents.

By the third week of January 2008 all of the archival materials slated for removal from the building had been relocated to the Commission’s leased storage warehouse: 17,611 cubic feet on pallets; 4,410 cubic feet on carts or special moving gondolas; and the very large case housing the Texas Capitol Building Drawings. In addition, some 7,330 cubic feet of archival materials earmarked to remain in the building during renovation were moved internally. The Archives and Genealogy research rooms previously located on the first floor were moved to the third floor (Room 300).

In May of 2008, construction renovation began on to the ground floor of the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, and is scheduled to be completed in early 2010. During that time, TSLAC continued to offer its services and programs to patrons. Updated renovation news and notes can be found at www.tsl.texas.gov/renovation/index.html.

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Page last modified: June 15, 2012