Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Fiscal Years: 2011 - 2012
Peggy D. Rudd, Director and Librarian
Edward Seidenberg, Assistant State Librarian
Manuel Alvarez, Director: Information Resources Technologies
Jelain Chubb, Director:
Archives and Information Services
Craig Kelso, Director:
State and Local Records Management
Deborah Littrell, Director: Library Development
Donna Osborne, Director: Administrative Services
Ava Smith, Director:
Talking Book Program
General revenue: $ 17,768,186
Federal - LSTA: $ 11,629,912
Federal - ARRA: $ 1,566,246
Federal - Other: $ 196,008
Appr. Receipts: $ 228,931
Contracts: $ 3,580,082
TOTAL: $ 34,969,365
General revenue: $ 7,319,798
Federal - LSTA: $ 10,522,508
Federal - ARRA: $ 2,346,260
Federal - Other: $ 341,028
Appr. Receipts: $ 1,329,710
Contracts: $ 1,609,061
TOTAL: $ 23,468,365
Source: Legislative Appropriations Request/Base Reconciliation, approved July 2012
Greetings from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission!
The mission of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission 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, both for print and electronic documents,
- 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, government records and library materials that enrich the lives of Texans both personally and professionally.
In FY2011-2012, however, we faced a crucial challenge. During the 82nd session of the Texas Legislature in 2011, TSLAC received the most drastic budget cut in its history: a 65 percent reduction in state general revenue funding. The measures that resulted from this cut were varied yet sweeping. They included an 88 percent reduction in state funding for our library grants and library resource sharing programs; the elimination of 37 FTEs; the merging of two agency divisions to create the new Library Development and Networking Division; and the failure to meet federal maintenance of effort requirements, which placed future federal funding in jeopardy.
Despite significant budget cuts, our statewide resource sharing network, TexShare, continued to deliver valuable online resources to Texans. Through the TexShare card program, Texans borrowed 673,166 books directly from participating libraries. The courier service delivered 635,677 materials to Texas libraries for their patrons. The interlibrary loan program filled 726,897 requests by Texans for library materials. The Talking Book Program circulated a total of 1,762,329 books and magazines in audio, Braille and large-print formats to individuals who are blind or cannot use standard print. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the Library of Congress recognized the Talking Book Program as Library of the Year in 2012. The award is presented each year to a talking book library in the nation that provides exemplary service to its users.
Also during FY2011-2012, state agencies realized a cost avoidance of $212 million by storing non-current, infrequently used records at the State Records Center, overseen by the agency’s State and Local Records Management (SLRM) Division. Additionally, SLRM staff trained or consulted with approximately 16,500 state and local government personnel and delivered approximately 20,300 contact hours of continuing education. They also reached out to customers with a new tool, the Texas Record blog, which addresses topics from class schedules to frequently asked records management questions.
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 website through online exhibits and searchable databases.
FY2012 was a year of great change for the agency and Texas libraries as a result of dramatic general revenue reductions. The Loan Star Libraries Program of direct assistance to Texas public libraries was shut down as of December 31, 2011. Since the first grants awarded in 2002, more than $40 million in state grants were awarded to public libraries to help them improve their services to their communities. This modest state investment was beginning to have a very significant and positive impact on libraries’ ability to meet the many diverse needs of Texans. TSLAC eliminated the 10 regional library systems that were created in 1967 to support the growth and development of the state’s public libraries. Consulting and technology support services are now available through an outsourced contract, but they are much diminished compared to the services provided by the regional library systems. State support for TexShare databases for school libraries was also eliminated. School districts have been left to their own devices to fund access to critical online education resources.
Shorn of past financial resources yet bolstered by dedicated, hardworking staff, TSLAC continues to deliver on its mission to preserve yesterday, inform today and inspire tomorrow. In the coming years, we look forward to improving all the ways that Texans access and use the information they seek.
I have announced my intention to retire after 13 years as Director and Librarian. It has been a privilege to work with the staff of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to breathe life into the agency’s programs and services. Under resourced though it is, the agency has made great progress in the efficient management of state records, including those of permanent historical value, and support for our state’s network of academic, public, school and medical libraries. Our libraries are rich resources that can help the state achieve many of its education and economic goals. Properly resourced, libraries can be leaders that amplify the investment in them.
Peggy D. Rudd
Director and Librarian
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
To improve the availability and delivery of library and information services for all Texans.
Our mission includes providing information services that inspire and support research, education and reading, and enhance the capacity for achievement of current and future generations. To achieve this goal, the agency builds and sustains statewide partnerships to improve library programs and services through statewide resource sharing programs such as TexShare, interlibrary loan and related information discovery tools.
We also provide services and grants that support the delivery of library and information services statewide, including continuing education and consulting services, the Texas Reading Club, grants to foster innovation and other initiatives. Through our Talking Book Program, we provide direct library service by mail to Texas citizens with disabilities from a centralized collection of large-print, Braille and recorded books.
Talking Book Program
TSLAC’s Talking Book Program provides free books in alternate formats for Texans who cannot use standard-print books because of vision or reading-related disabilities.
The Talking Book Program (TBP) provided a variety of services to approximately 17,000 users per year throughout FY2011-2012. In FY2011, 903,478 books and magazines in audio, Braille and large-print formats were circulated. In FY2012, this number dipped to 858,851, partly because staff began the planned phase-out of cassette books. Approximately 19 percent of TBP patrons now download digital books via their computers and play them on their digital talking book machines. In FY2011, patrons downloaded 135,464 books and magazines, while in FY2012, that number rose to 163,791 downloads.
TBP’s recording studio has volunteers who make recordings of Texas-related materials that are then turned into audio books and magazines for distribution to patrons. In FY2011-2012, studio volunteers produced audio versions of 76 Texas-related books, including three in Spanish, as well as 24 issues each of three magazines: Texas Monthly, Texas Parks & Wildlife and Texas Highways. The program also continued outreach efforts; TBP’s public awareness coordinator made 104 presentations statewide during the biennium, delivering information about the program to more than 19,500 people.
The biennium culminated with the Talking Book Program receiving the Library of the Year Award from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) at the Library of Congress. The award was presented at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 2012. The award is presented each year to a talking book library in the nation that provides exemplary service to its users. Nominations are reviewed by a committee consisting of national consumer group representatives, NLS staff and the chairmen of the four NLS network conferences.
The award was well-earned: the Texas Talking Book Program staff consistently meets or exceeds standards, researches and develops innovations for improving workflow, and provides unique services, such as the Disability Information and Referral Center.
TexShare is a consortium of 700 Texas libraries that helps members reduce costs and expand services by sharing resources. TexShare services include statewide electronic databases and digital content, a courier service that delivers materials among libraries, and the TexShare card, which allows users to borrow books from participating libraries statewide. Closely associated with TexShare is the TexNet interlibrary loan (ILL) program, which provides a statewide borrowing and lending network for public libraries.
The TexShare database program provides Texans with cost effective access to quality, reliable online information resources via colleges, universities, medical facilities and public libraries. In addition to state and federal funding, TexShare member libraries contributed $1.58 million in fees in FY2011 for 50 online resources and $2.1 million in fees in FY2012 for 49 online resources. In FY2011, Texans conducted 91.7 million searches of TexShare database/digital content; in FY2012, they conducted 162 million searches. Fees increased and online resources decreased in FY2012 due to budget cuts made in the 2011 legislative session.
Enhancing their access to needed information, in FY2011-2012 Texans borrowed almost 675,000 books directly from participating libraries through the TexShare card program; the courier service delivered over 635,000 materials to Texas libraries; and the ILL program filled over 725,000 requests by Texans for library materials.
The Library of Texas also grew during this period. The Library of Texas is an information discovery tool at www.libraryoftexas.org that allows users to retrieve information from multiple library catalogs, databases and other resources through a single search screen. Due to agency budget cuts in FY2011, the management of this tool was outsourced to the Houston Area Library Automated Network (HALAN). In FY2012, the agency started re-branding the Library of Texas, redefining its scope and purpose.
The Texas Records and Information Locator (TRAIL) is a statewide search tool that automatically captures, indexes and preserves state agency Web publications. In FY2011, TRAIL accumulated 33.6 million URLs totaling 2.6 gigabytes during regular “sweeps” of Internet domains associated with Texas state agencies and affiliated governmental entities, except state higher-education institutions. In 2012, the management of TRAIL was moved from TSLAC’s Library Development and Networking Division to its Archives and Information Services Division.
K-12 Database Program
In 2007, the Texas 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.” The resulting K-12 Database Program provided school communities with quality online instructional resources, but during the 2011 legislative session funding for this program was eliminated.
This program provided all K-12 public and public charter school students, parents, teachers and administrators with access to a collection of full-text information resources, including four online encyclopedias in English and two in Spanish, as well as teacher resources, a world atlas, a dictionary and a thesaurus. All materials aligned with state curriculum standards and benchmarks.
In FY2011, 1,144 school districts signed up for the database service, providing content to 7,800 campuses and 4.6 million students. This generated 69.6 million database searches. A new method of collecting statistics enabled schools to track database usage more accurately, benchmark against similar institutions and set usage goals to maximize benefits from these electronic resources.
Since the funding for this program was eliminated during the 2011 legislative session, beginning in FY2012, it fell to the school districts to make arrangements for their own digital content, either through local or regional groups or on their own.
Texas State Publications Depository Program
Through the Texas State Publications Depository Program, TSLAC empowers Texans with easy access to government information. In FY2011, state agency and university publications were distributed to the Library of Congress and to a statewide network of 44 depositories, giving communities local access to state government information.
The program distributed over 31,000 documents in FY2011 to print depository libraries across the state. Due to agency budget cuts in the 2011 legislative session, however, this program was transferred from TSLAC’s Library Development and Networking Division to its Archives and Information Services Division at the end of FY2011, and the number of print depository libraries was reduced to three. It now operates in a reduced capacity.
Loan Star Libraries
Loan Star Libraries was a formula-based grant program that provided a state investment in Texas public libraries. During the 2011 legislative session, funding for this program was eliminated.
From its inception in FY2002, Loan Star Libraries infused local communities with more than $41 million in grants to enhance local library services. By FY2011, 83 percent of Texas’ 535 public libraries served any Texas resident just as they would their own residents, and 74 percent of all Texas public libraries belonged to the TexShare Card program. In FY2011, the Loan Star Libraries program distributed $6 million to Texas public libraries.
Texas Library Systems
The 10 regionally-based Texas Library Systems served public libraries with continuing education and consulting services.
The Texas Library Systems helped member libraries plan and develop their services and collections and implement targeted programs. The agency awarded $4.175 million in grants in FY2011 and $2.5 million in FY2012. The agency also awarded Technical Assistance Negotiated Grants (TANG) to the 10 systems to support member libraries by providing technical assistance for public access computing. In FY2011, TSLAC awarded $801,000; in FY2012, $748,025 was awarded.
In FY2011, TSLAC awarded $400,000 in negotiated grants to two of the systems, Central Texas Library System and North Texas Regional Library System. The grants funded programs in nine of the systems to enhance joint continuing education programs and projects that supported workforce development and family literacy in local public libraries.
Due to legislative budget cuts, the 10 library systems and TANG were phased out during FY2012. Basic consulting services were continued through statewide outsourced service contracts with Dell (technical assistance) and Amigos Library Services (general library consulting). Continuing Education became a TSLAC statewide program in FY2012.
Library Grant Programs
Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Competitive Grants
LSTA grants support library collaboration, reading, literacy and educational attainment, and access to significant collections of Texas materials throughout the state.
In FY2011-2012, TSLAC awarded almost $1.6 million in competitive grants to libraries, regional library systems and non-profit organizations across Texas. Administered by TSLAC, the grants are funded by the federal Library Services and Technology Act through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Four grant programs supported 52 projects in FY2011-2012.
Special Project Grants fund programs that expand library services to all members of a library community and enable libraries to develop programs for populations with special needs.
Special Projects 2011
Central Texas Library System (CTLS), $65,713
The “Ready to Read” Project provided early literacy classes to parents and teachers of Head Start and other local partner agencies so that disadvantaged children had the best possible chance to succeed in school. Funding supported the expansion of this project to 15 new public library sites in three counties, in partnership with three multi-county Head Starts and other community agencies.
El Paso Community College, $48,508
The Jenna Welch and Laura Bush Community Library, an academic/public partnership between El Paso Community College and the El Paso Public Library, developed and implemented the “Interactive Technology and Family Literacy Program” for young children and their parents. The project addressed the low literacy levels and lack of familiarity with technology in the communities of northwest El Paso County.
North Texas Library Partners (NTLP), $75,000
In the “Homebound Program,” NTLP partnered with three member libraries and two other entities to develop a program to help libraries find ways to reach out and provide library services to the homebound. Funding supported pilot efforts in Alvarado, Denton and Haltom City, each serving different-sized communities, and included a start-up effort, an expansion program and a program based on the Netflix model.
Arlington Public Library System, $58,610
The library established three community libraries located in Title I elementary schools, known as LibraryLINK sites. Building on previous successes in establishing LibraryLINK sites at other schools, grant funding supported the addition of two more libraries at two elementary schools and an unstaffed materials pickup point at one YMCA. The grant also supported improved circulation of materials to LibraryLINK locations through a more sophisticated and reliable web interface.
Alpine Public Library, $5,445
The library created the “Basic Computer Literacy Training” Project, a computer literacy training program targeted at adults seeking to improve their computer literacy and job marketability, in cooperation with the Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande agency in Alpine.
Dallas Public Library, $74,984
The library expanded the “La Familia Leyendo Juntos” Project, which offers English language literacy instruction for parents and K-3 children together. The project expanded to three library branches serving large Hispanic populations.
Special Projects 2012
Brownsville Public Library System, $75,000
The library, in collaboration with the United Way of Southern Cameron County, the Brownsville Literacy Center and Workforce Solutions Cameron, created the infrastructure to provide literacy, educational and job training classes to library users.
El Paso Community College, $50,213
The library expanded the Interactive Technology and Family Literacy Program for young children and their parents that was started in 2011.
Georgetown Public Library, $70,000
The library established and operated a bookmobile to provide library materials to seniors and residents with disabilities or limited transportation.
Arlington Public Library System, $25,104
The library established two new LibraryLiNK sites, expanding services to underserved populations by establishing community libraries in neighborhood schools and recreation centers.
Forest Hill Public Library, $5,800
The library enhanced storytime programs in English and Spanish by purchasing two early literacy workstations.
Gateway to Libraries, $75,000
This regional library initiative partnered with rural East Texas libraries and nonprofit agencies to increase literacy services.
Library Cooperation Grants promote the development of partnerships among libraries and other public agencies and community-based organizations.
Library Cooperation 2011
Arlington Public Library System, $ 73,749
The libraries in Arlington and Mansfield worked to create a formal regional resource-sharing arrangement. The project offered residents virtually seamless library services between the libraries, including a shared catalog and patron database, courier services between the cities, shared customer service, and technology training activities.
North Texas Library Partners (NTLP), $ 75,000
In the “Information Literacy” Project, NTLP offered a series of information literacy classes using the latest technology and provided a year-long subscription to member libraries to Murals Online Resource, an online tool that introduces individuals to information literacy.
Texas A&M University – Commerce, $ 73,966
The “HeirLoom: Something Worth Saving, Something Worth Sharing” Project was a collaboration among the Texas A&M University-Commerce Library and rural libraries and historical associations in rural northeast Texas. TAMU-Commerce archivists provided on-site training and technical assistance for rural libraries as they sought historical materials and digitized their special collections. The grant continued training and expanded the project from 13 counties in 2009 to 20 counties in 2011.
Weatherford Public Library, $51,821
This was the last of a three-year grant to support the Parker County Library Association’s resource sharing and cooperation activities among four public libraries and one school library in Parker County.
Library Cooperation 2012
Arlington Public Library System, $47,017
The Arlington and Mansfield public libraries continue their project to merge automation systems and services.
Bell/Whittington Library, $20,910
The libraries of Ingleside and Portland partnered with local businesses to provide technology training to senior citizens.
Central Texas Library System, $75,000
The “Science Rocks!” program exposed 3rd- to 7th-graders to science and technology career options through hands-on summer science and math programs.
Houston Public Library, $75,000
“E-books For Everyone” developed a comprehensive service model and promotion plan for making e-books available to library users.
Smithville Public Library, $75,000
The library, Smithville Independent School District and the Smithville Community Network collaborated to create SkillSTAR Texas, an online workforce-oriented training and volunteer management system.
Weatherford Public Library, $71,803
The library digitized documents and artifacts from several Parker County libraries, museums and historical societies as part of the “Preserving and Expanding Access to Culture and History” (PEACH) Project.
Texas Reads Grants fund public library programs to promote reading and literacy within local communities. They are funded through Texas Reads specialty license plate sales, augmented with federal Library Services and Technology Act money. Starting in FY2012 they are funded solely with LSTA funds due to agency budget cuts in the 2011 legislative session. The maximum grant is $3,000.
Texas Reads 2011
Longview Public Library, $1,042
"Read to Animals" enhanced reading skills of children in kindergarten through 6th grade by having them read aloud to animals.
Harlingen Public Library, $521
The library supported early literacy development through an “Every Child Ready to Read” program. The children's services librarian facilitated lapsit story times and information sessions through partnerships with the Early Head Start, Valley Baptist Medical Center and the Harlingen CISD.
Alpine Public Library, $1,100
The library enhanced its Toddler Time program with bilingual materials to encourage reading and increase developmental skills in pre-K and K-3 children.
Bastrop Public Library, $2,361
The library's "Book Club in a Bag" made it easy and convenient for book clubs to borrow multiple copies of selected books for their members. Information was also provided about best practices for running a book discussion.
JR Huffman Public Library (Hemphill), $3,000
Hemphill’s children’s summer reading program generated excitement and a love for reading with its theme, "Sock It to Me."
Allen Public Library, $3,000
“ALLen Reads” was a "One Book, One Community" program specifically designed for Allen. The chosen books all related to rockets and space travel.
Sachse Public Library, $2,980
“Neighbors Read” was a six-week community event sponsored by the cities of Wylie and Sachse.
Helen Hall Library (League City), $3,000
The library supported a seven-month program titled "The Important Club," which focused on reading important books and watching important movies.
Watauga Public Library, $3,000
The library hosted a “One Book, One Community” event during the summer of 2011 to actively encourage people to read and develop a lifelong love of reading.
Texas Reads 2012
Wells Branch Community Library, $2,764
The library conducted its “Everyone Reads” Program, which encouraged families and neighbors to read together. Three popular books were chosen to engage the community in three-month intervals.
Muleshoe Area Public Library, $1,078
The library, in partnership with the Migrant Program at Muleshoe Independent School District, expanded a summer pre-teen and teen movie/reading program to the full school year.
Pflugerville Public Library, $3,000
The library provided a month-long community-wide reading program for all ages centered around The Wizard of Oz.
Cedar Park Public Library, $1,750
The grant funded the “Texas Writers for Texas Readers” Program that encouraged teens to read cross-generational books and share their perceptions and feelings while interacting with local authors.
Haslet Public Library, $3,000
The Haslet Summer Reading Program provided summer reading materials and conducted summer educational and recreational activities.
Aransas County Public Library, $3,000
The library supported activities to promote a "Teen Read Week" Program. Interest in the program continued throughout the year.
TexTreasures Grants, part of the TexShare program, provide funds to make special collections of significant Texas materials more accessible.
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT Austin, $12,833
In its second year of funding, the Center continued the digitization and indexing of the Bexar Archives. The goal is to provide online access to what has been described as “one of the great historical treasures of the American continent.”
Houston Public Library, $25,000
The library preserved and provided access to contemporary and archived oral histories of prominent Texans via its Houston Metropolitan Research Center.
University of North Texas, $25,000
The UNT Libraries and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT Austin digitized and provided free public access to some of the earliest Texas newspapers.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, $25,000
The center digitized 48 oral history interviews and provided transcripts for the “Making Cancer History® Voices” oral history project.
Southern Methodist University, $20,000
SMU digitized 19th century photographs that depicted Texans from a variety of cultural groups: Caucasian, African American, Hispanic and American Indian, as well as locations from all regions of the state.
University of Texas at El Paso, $19,540
In a cooperative effort with the El Paso Public Library and the El Paso County Historical Society, the university made accessible materials documenting the history of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) on the U.S.-Mexico border and the military buildup that occurred on the U.S. side of the border during those years.
University of Houston, $19,863
The university digitized programming by KUHT, Houston’s public television station.
Helen Hall Library (League City), $4,000
The library digitized photographs documenting the history of League City, North Galveston County and the surrounding Bay Area.
Victoria College, $17,225
The college’s Museum of the Coastal Bend digitized and provided access to local ranching photos for the exhibit, “Ranching in the Coastal Bend, 1845–1929.”
Sam Houston State University, $8,000
The university documented the lives of Texas military veterans through video oral histories.
University of North Texas, $17,135
The UNT Libraries and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT Austin continued the digitization of some of the earliest Texas newspapers.
National Museum of the Pacific War, $15,694
The museum digitized 60 oral histories from Texas veterans of World War II's Pacific Theater and homefront.
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT Austin, $19,764
The center continued online development of the Bexar Archives with a third year of funding.
Southern Methodist University, $20,000
SMU digitized and annotated 1,240 early Texas postcards depicting Texas buildings, people, events and industries.
Texas Archive of the Moving Image, $24,995
The Archive, in partnership with the Houston Public Library and its Houston Metropolitan Research Center, digitized and made accessible a group of historically important, previously unavailable Texas films.
Continuing Education and Consulting
In FY2011-2012, the Library Development and Networking Division’s Continuing Education and Consulting (CEC) staff provided training and assistance to almost 13,700 library staff. CEC developed a strong distance education program during this time, offering a variety of online options including webinars, online courses, self-paced courses and WebJunction courses.
CEC offered training and assistance across a wide range of topics, with an emphasis on small library management, technology, new trends in library service and programs for the underserved. In FY2012, CEC also began contracting site licenses for American Library Association online training, thereby expanding course options for staff statewide.
Other CEC services included: loaning librarians 4,027 items from TSLAC’s library science collection to assist them in developing and evaluating services; administering the Texas Reading Club, which reached 907,000 Texas children during the biennium; and assisting public libraries applying for federal E-rate funds.
Texas Heritage Online
Texas Heritage Online is a cooperative program to identify, describe, digitize, preserve and provide broad access to special collections of history and culture held by libraries, archives, museums, historical societies and other Texas institutions.
The TexasHeritageOnline.org search tool provides a gateway to more than one million items in Texas library, archive and museum collections. In addition to primary source materials, the site also provides links to lesson plans, finding aids and other materials used by students, teachers, genealogists and other researchers. Due to agency budget cuts during the 2011 legislative session, this project is on hold and is being managed through a contract with the University of North Texas.
In FY2009, the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded TSLAC a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians grant of $535,556 for a project titled "Train to Share: Interoperability Training for Cultural Heritage Institutions." The grant has allowed TSLAC to assist more than 30 project partners, including Texas librarians, archivists and museum professionals, with describing and managing online resources for their collections. The project also provided training, conferences and related programs.
In FY2010, TSLAC submitted a proposal to IMLS for funding to develop the “Connecting to Collections Continuing Conversation Exchange,” a series of meetings planned, managed and hosted by Connecting to Collections statewide planning grant recipients. IMLS awarded TSLAC $674,270, and funding began in FY2011. Through this project, TSLAC and its Texas partners added value to IMLS’ national Connecting to Collections initiative, expanding opportunities for professional development for librarians and cultural heritage experts.
Gates Foundation Grants – In FY2011-2012, TSLAC worked on two ongoing initiatives funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Opportunity Online broadband pilot program, which began in FY2009, provided $34,518 to eligible libraries to support bridge funding for two years of high-speed broadband upgrades. It also provided $61,650 to support library applicants in the E-rate discount program and $33,939 in technical assessments and training. Starting in FY2011, the Edge Public Access Technology Benchmarks Initiative provided $67,004 for TSLAC to support the development and deployment of public access technology benchmarks and a national framework for digital inclusion. Texas is one of three pilot states. The agency participates in the project’s lead roundtable and will spearhead efforts for statewide adoption and implementation in 2013.
Public Library Interface Kit (a.k.a. Plinkit) – Small public libraries often lack the resources to host, develop and maintain a robust website. TSLAC has partnered with five other state libraries to offer Plinkit, a content management-based website template. During the biennium, 230 Texas public libraries used Plinkit for a website.
Broadband Technology Opportunities Program – In August 2010, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration awarded TSLAC a $7.96 million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant for its Technology Expertise, Access and Learning for all Texans (TEAL) Project. The grant ends in FY2013. To date, the funds have been used to upgrade computing capabilities and patron training offerings at more than 150 public computer centers across the state, including 38 public libraries and library systems, community colleges, recreation centers and health facilities. Improvements have resulted in more than 2,000 new or upgraded public computer workstations and more than 100 jobs (mostly training positions at participating sites). The project has also provided continuing education opportunities for librarians in the form of webinars and face-to-face workshops designed to help libraries meet growing technology, workforce development and educational attainment needs within their communities. Rural communities and small libraries with limited resources have also benefited from the creation of three mobile computer labs that offered much-needed equipment and critical technology training for Texans.
To improve the availability and delivery of information services to state government and to those seeking information from state government.
Gaining access to government, whether federal, state or local, can be a daunting task. 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 provide access to publications, documents, records and other library resources.
Texas State Archives and Information Services
TSLAC’s Archives and Information Services Division (ARIS) 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 these materials.
In FY2011, ARIS lost five positions to budget reductions, specifically an appraisal archivist, librarian and three library assistants. Additionally, ARIS gained responsibility for the Interlibrary Loan, Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and the Texas Records and Information Locator (TRAIL) program areas.
Archives staff completed the processing of the George W. Bush gubernatorial records in December 2011, and the finding aids were made available on the Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO) website in April 2012: www.lib.utexas.edu/taro. This record group consists of over 2,100 cubic feet of materials dating from 1995-2000. The records are scheduled to move to the George W. Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in February 2013.
Increasing Internet access to TSLAC collections is a priority. Our partnership with Ancestry.com allowed us to provide Texans with free access to digital copies of almost 55,000 Confederate pension application files and other popular research sources such as Civil War muster roll index cards, prison conduct registers, the 1867 voter registration rolls and the Nacogdoches Archives. These archival resources are available to the public on Ancestry.com and public access computers in TSLAC’s Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building.
The program continued to improve information access technologies in the public research areas, adding four digital microfilm reader-scanners and an updated BookEye (overhead) scanner.
Archives staff continued to work with the Attorney General’s Office to recover stolen and alienated Texas state records. During the biennium, we succeeded in repatriating a missing 1855 broadside, over one hundred Supreme Court case files dating from the mid-19th century, and several Republic Claims files, including one with an invoice signed by Sam Houston.
Our educational outreach activities during the biennium included the development of new in-house archival exhibits in the renovated Zavala lobby. Between February 16 and May 1, 2011, over 4,200 visitors came to see the inaugural exhibit, which celebrated the 175th anniversary of the Texas revolution and featured a rare exhibition of William Barret Travis’ famous “Victory or Death” letter, as well as both the manuscript and broadside copies of the Texas Declaration of Independence. We also continued to grow our series of educational online exhibits available on TSLAC’s website (www.tsl.texas.gov). New additions include “Texas 175: A Dozen Documents That Made a Difference” and “From Pioneer Paths to Superhighways: The Texas Highway Department Blazes Texas Trails, 1917-1968.”
In December 2010, we launched a quarterly event for family historians aptly named “Genealogy After Dark,” which provides evening research hours for patrons who are unable to access our collections during regular business hours. Exceedingly popular and filled to capacity, “Genealogy After Dark” was held throughout the biennium and included workshops geared towards helping Texans use historical records and published resources.
In response to questions about the proper management of legislative records, archives staff provided in-person training for legislative staff in FY2011. These workshops will be presented again in FY2013.
In FY2011-2012, ARIS completed work on two federal grants. One funded the purchase of archival boxes and supplies to re-house original fire insurance maps. The other, a National Endowment for the Humanities grant awarded by Humanities Texas, funded the development of online lesson plans and activities for seventh-grade Texas history students based on TSLAC holdings. “Texas in Transition: Railroads, Oil and the Rise of Urban Texas” is an online exhibit that focuses on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period of intense change that transformed Texas from a predominantly rural state into a modern industrial power. The exhibit’s content is intended to help middle school Texas history teachers introduce students to the practice of using historical archival materials on the web, and to help students learn to use documents to reach conclusions about the past.
In April 2012, we also received a $5,000 grant from the Texas Historical Foundation to humidify, flatten, re-house and index the oldest Supreme Court case files, dating from 1846 to 1870. The project will be completed in 2013.
As a state agency, TSLAC must comply with all records management laws, procedures and potential audits. To that end, ARIS assists the agency as its designated records manager. The eighth recertification of TSLAC’s records retention schedule was approved on February 3, 2012. The changes helped streamline the retention schedule into more cohesive, organized groupings.
Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center
The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, located in Liberty, serves as the regional depository for local government records of archival value for a ten-county region in Southeast Texas.
TSLAC conducted an internal audit of the center during the fall of 2010. The resulting report recommended improvements to the administrative and collections management areas. The agency began implementing a detailed corrective action plan in 2011, which included follow-up consultations with the State Office of Risk Management and the Texas Historical Commission. TSLAC’s legislative appropriations request for FY2014-2015 included additional funding for critical safety and security upgrades to the center.
During FY2011-2012, several new pieces of equipment were added to the center’s public research area, including a BookEye (overhead) scanner and two digital microfilm reader-scanners.
Alana Inman joined center staff as manager in January 2012.
To provide for the cost-effective management of all state and local government records. Effective records management within government agencies is the foundation of an accessible government, accountable to its people.
State and Local Records Management
TSLAC’s State and Local Records Management (SLRM) Division helps over 10,000 state and local government agencies implement and maintain sound records management programs. Services include training, consultation, storage, imaging and assistance with creating retention schedules.
In FY2011-2012, SLRM’s Records Management Assistance unit trained or consulted with approximately 16,500 state and local government personnel through approximately 20,300 contact hours. In addition, staff reached out with a new tool, the Texas Record blog, which addresses topics from class schedules to frequently asked records management questions. Over 128 different blog posts were sent to over 500 followers. Moreover, the unit’s government information analysts condensed and reorganized several forms to make it easier for agencies to submit schedules for review and approval. All 12 of the unit’s local government records retention schedules were updated during the biennium.
In an effort to provide records management training across Texas, online training courses were updated and 14 records management webinars were developed, delivered and archived. These materials are available on demand to interested state and local government employees, who can access training at their convenience.
Also in FY2011-2012, SLRM partnered with both the Texas Department of Information Resources and the National Archives and Records Administration to host four conferences on electronic records.
State agencies realized a cost avoidance of $212 million by storing records at SLRM’s State Records Center. At the end of FY2012, 85 agencies were storing 321,000 boxes of paper records and 371,000 rolls of microfilm. In terms of scale, if you were to place 321,000 boxes end-to-end, they would stretch from Austin to San Antonio along Interstate 35. Agencies further utilized other Records Center services, such as backup tape disaster recovery rotations and the conversion of approximately 4.2 million pages to microfilm.
In FY2012, the Records Center moved to a new fee structure as the result of an audit. The audit required full cost recovery for all services provided by the Records Center and, to offset the potential increase in revenues, the legislature reduced General Revenue funding for SLRM by half.
Several staff members from SLRM and other TSLAC divisions participated in multi-agency efforts to promote cost effective records management. Staff members contributed substantial time and effort to the Committee on Best Practices for Managing Digital Information. This committee was formed by the Records Management Interagency Coordinating Council (RMICC), of which TSLAC is a member. The committee included nearly 30 records managers, archivists, technical specialists and other professionals from state agencies and universities throughout Texas. They spent more than a year researching key issues in managing electronic records, email and social media. Their final report was incorporated into the 2011-2012 RMICC biennial report to the legislature.
A second multi-agency effort was the Local Government Records Storage Task Force. TSLAC formed the task force to analyze and reach a consensus on rules for the storage of court and permanent records. Members included TSLAC staff and commissioners, local government officials, and representatives from various municipal and county associations. The rules provide guidance on proper storage conditions for records of long-term value maintained by local governments throughout Texas.
To implement a program to ensure the meaningful and substantive inclusion of Historically Underutilized Businesses in all areas of procurement.
Historically Underutilized Business Program
The Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Program is an integral part of the TSLAC procurement process, and our procurement staff has established procedures to ensure HUB procurements are a priority across the agency. Our good-faith efforts during the FY2011-2012 biennium included:
• Sending procurement opportunities to more than 300 HUBs listed on the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL) for multiple services and commodities
• Participating in HUB events in the Austin area, allowing our purchasing staff to network with and gain insight on program improvement opportunities from local HUB vendors
• Educating agency staff on the importance, benefits and methods of including HUBs in the procurement process
• Awarding procurement opportunities to HUB vendors for commodity and service purchases whenever possible
• Working proactively with prime vendors to ensure their use of HUBs whenever possible
Although we continue to exceed the statewide HUB goal in commodity contracts, the service categories present distinct challenges each year due to the nature of our library-specific procurements. Through our library resource sharing programs, we provide statewide services for local libraries across the state. These high-dollar procurements include the TexShare databases and Interlibrary Loan programs where there are no HUBs in the marketplace. Additionally, the prime vendors on these contracts provide the services directly, which inhibits our efforts to facilitate HUB subcontracting opportunities.
An additional challenge we face in trying to recruit new HUB vendors in other service areas is the limited number of HUB-related events in the Austin area. Many state agencies host HUB forums in communities outside of Austin to encourage participation in state procurement. However, recent budget cuts have severely restricted travel funds for HUB outreach efforts.
Despite these challenges, TSLAC remains committed to doing business with HUB vendors and will seek every opportunity to increase our use of HUB vendors during the FY2013-2014 biennium. Our goal is to provide opportunities to all vendors on the CMBL and take advantage of HUB vendors whenever possible.