Size and Composition of Workforce
Organizational Structure and Process
Location of Agency
Location of Service Populations
Human Resources Strengths and Weaknesses
Capital Asset Strengths and Weaknesses
Agency Use of Historically Underutilized Businesses
Key Events, Areas of Change, and Impact on Organization
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is authorized 207.5 full-time equivalent positions, and employs one exempt, 189 full-time classified, and 20.875 part-time classified staff. The workforce is diverse: 20 percent is Hispanic-American, nine percent African-American, and one percent other minorities. Women make up 58 percent of the workforce.
This agency has seven program divisions: Archives and Information Services, Information Resources Technologies, Library Development, Library Resource Sharing, State and Local Records Management, the Talking Book Program, and Administrative Services. The Director and Librarian establishes agency-wide policy development and dissemination. Most program policies originate with staff and are then forwarded through the Director to the Commission for approval. Division directors have flexibility in achieving program goals and objectives.
Agency management values employees as individuals and relies on their collective skills and talents to meet agency goals. While style varies from manager to manager within the organization, the overall management structure supports a two-way communication flow and focuses on creative work solutions that benefit customers as well as staff.
The agency headquarters is in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, located in the Capitol Complex at 1201 Brazos in Austin. The State Records Center and Talking Book annex are at 4400 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Austin. The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center is in Liberty.
The agency's service population includes libraries and librarians, all state and local government officials and their staff, and the general public in every region of the state, with a legislative emphasis on the Texas-Louisiana and Texas-Mexico border regions. Of the ten library systems in the state funded by the agency, five serve counties located in those targeted border regions. In FY1999, the agency awarded $3,714,177 in grants to those five systems. The agency also awarded $411,829 in discretionary grants to eight individual libraries serving those border-region counties. In FY2000, seven libraries in those regions received discretionary grants totaling $338,606. Discretionary grants include "Establishment Grants" to support new public libraries, "Special Project Grants" to reach underserved or disadvantaged populations, "Cooperation Grants" to promote cooperation among different types of libraries, and "Technology Assistance Grants" to help libraries better utilize and maintain their existing technology.
During the first five months of FY2000, the Talking Book Program delivered 17 percent of its service within the Texas-Mexico border counties, and five percent within the Texas-Louisiana border counties.
The agency also provides a variety of training and education opportunities to its customers throughout the state. In FY1999, the agency's State and Local Records Management and Library Development divisions conducted 263 workshops to 3,132 participants around the state; forty-four of those workshops were delivered in the targeted border regions. During the first five months of FY2000, the agency delivered an additional 130 workshops for 2,420 attendees; thirty-three of these workshops (25 percent of the total) were offered in counties in the two border regions.
The agency has an educated and highly motivated staff. Seventy-five of the positions are in the "professional" category. Of these, 34 require an advanced degree, 35 require a bachelors degree, and most others require college courses.
In FY1999, volunteers worked over 34,350 hours in the Talking Book Program and the Archives and Information Services Division. This contribution would be equivalent to 16.5 additional FTEs. The work of these volunteers has been critical in delivering current agency services to a growing number of customers.
As in other state agencies, there is a significant problem in replacing employees in key positions with new staff of equal training and experience, primarily because salaries are not competitive with the private sector or other state agencies. This is particularly true for those positions in the area of information technology.
The Library and Archives Commission experienced a turnover rate of about 16.6 percent for FY1999, compared to a turnover rate of 17.6 percent for all classified state employees in the same period.
Not only is staff turnover high, but it is increasingly time-consuming to fill vacancies. The average number of days to fill all vacant positions during FY1999 was 76 days, 38 percent longer than in FY1997. Professional positions averaged 81 days to fill vacancies, a 14 percent increase from FY1997.
In the State Auditor's Report No. 00-707, Annual Report on Full-Time Classified State Employee Turnover for Fiscal Year 1999, state employees in the occupational category Library, Archives, and Records had a turnover rate of 16.4 percent. This turnover rate suggests that the wage scale for the occupational group may be low when compared to wage rates paid by other employers of this group.
A change in the classification schedule for library assistants, librarians, and archivists, and the establishment of new manager and director classifications were authorized by the 76th Legislature (1999). This resulted in significant salary increases for a large percentage of agency staff in FY2000. Nevertheless, the entry-level salary of $25,932 for professional library staff remains lower than the $28,000 figure recommended by the Texas Library Association. Given the level of education and experience required for many agency positions, low salaries will continue to impede further progress in recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce in management and professional positions.
Training and staff development is generally handled at the division level. Division directors manage staff training according to the program's needs and financial resources; therefore, opportunities may appear uneven across the agency. As a result, programs are working together to coordinate training opportunities that address similar training needs agency-wide. By pooling resources, a greater number of training opportunities can be delivered to more staff. The Human Resources office conducts periodic training for supervisors in agency policies and federal and state laws pertaining to the workplace.
Work time and cost reimbursement are provided for staff in some divisions to attend professional conferences and meetings. This type of staff development activity greatly benefits individuals and the agency. For staff involved in providing consulting, continuing education, or development projects to other levels of government, attendance is a job requirement. However, these staff attend professional conferences primarily to explain policy or provide training rather than to receive training.
Specific skills training has been provided for staff to learn new software required for successful job performance. This type of training has been offered to staff with the most critical need. Staff attending specific skills training often returns to train others who were unable to attend.
Generally, the agency's training activities emphasize economy. There is usually no backup for staff; therefore, time away from the office for training can create immediate work backlogs. In some divisions, this causes managers to limit participation in training to that which is required, or has a direct and immediate benefit in productivity gains.
The State Archives collection documents the history of Texas, and constitutes an irreplaceable asset for the State. It is a unique collection of official, historically significant government records, as well as private papers, maps, photographs, and other priceless Texas treasures that comprise the essential evidence of the history of Texas. The agency is charged with maintaining the official Archives for the State of Texas.
The agency also manages a collection of more than 1.4 million federal government and 222,000 state government publications, which include more than 3,000 federal government CD-ROMs. These documents have been collected and maintained by the agency since 1895, when the U.S. and Texas governments agreed to exchange government documents, and are one of the agency's most important assets and irreplaceable information resources. The book collections contain over 110,000 volumes. Books and microforms purchased by the State Library have a value of $3 million.
The agency owns a facility at 4400 Shoal Creek Boulevard, known as the State Records Center, which jointly houses the agency's State and Local Records Management Program and part of the Talking Book Program. The State Records Center has a capacity to store 390,000 cubic feet of state agency hard-copy records, with an additional three vaults for the storage of electronic and microfilm records. The State Records Center also houses a micrographics and imaging laboratory and service bureau with equipment valued at $800,000. The roof at the Records Center was replaced in FY1997; however, additional renovations, especially the installation of lightning protection, have been identified.
The State and Local Records Management Division produces, stores, and maintains about 35,000 microfilm reels containing census records, tax records, and Texas newspapers, with an estimated replacement cost of almost $1 million. The Talking Book Program maintains a collection of cassette, disc, and Braille books and magazines. The agency also manages the cassette and Talking Book machines received from the Library of Congress for patrons with visual, physical, or learning disabilities. Together, the Talking Book collection is valued at $16 million.
Due to the unique and irreplaceable characteristics of most of the agency's collections, they require secure and environmentally appropriate storage space, which is not available in the Lorenzo de Zavala Building. Consequently, the 2,600 cubic feet of archival records acquired during 1998 and 1999 had to be stored at the State Records Center, part of the State and Local Records Management Division. Future accessions, which are expected to be acquired at a rate of 1,200-1,500 cubic feet annually, will have to be added to the 11,000 cubic feet of archival records already stored at the State Records Center. Stack storage space for the federal documents collection and the general collection of books and journals continues to decrease each year.
The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty serves as the official regional historical resource depository for ten counties in Southeast Texas. It was constructed during 1976-77 on 110 acres of land given to the agency by former Governor Price Daniel, Sr. and his wife Jean. In its museum, the Center features exhibits on a variety of Southeast Texas topics. The complex also includes two fully-furnished 19th century homes, the 1895 St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, and the Price Daniel Home.
The 76th Legislature (1999) designated $530,236 of appropriated funds for the much needed repair and renovation work at the Center during FY 2000-01. Renovations will include painting the exterior and interior of the building, refitting the main building to meet ADA standards, grading drainage ditches, and complete replacement of the driveway and parking lot.
In addition to the collection of physical materials, the Library and Archives Commission acquires and delivers to the public electronic information resources (databases, documents, and publications) from other state agencies. While there has been an explosion of information in all formats, the agency is well positioned to collect, organize, and deliver digital information for the public to use in understanding and interacting with government. The agency also delivers-by means of the Internet-information from both its own collections as well as from a variety of other sources. The agency continues to provide a variety of other informational and educational sources in electronic form. Providing reliable electronic information services through the Internet requires continuing capital investments in computer and telecommunications equipment.
The agency is committed to its good-faith effort to purchase goods and services from historically underutilized businesses (HUBs). From 1993 through 1999, the Library awarded an average of 18 percent of its purchasing dollars to HUBs.
Two challenges to increased HUB participation exist. Generally, contractors must have specialized expertise in the library field to meet agency needs. While the Agency frequently enters into professional service contracts with women and minorities, these vendors often have not been state-certified as HUBs. To increase the number of HUB vendors who can provide these specialized library services, staff encourages those who qualify to become certified. Staff also provides assistance to vendors as they seek certification. The area of "other services" procurements presents a second challenge. A large portion of agency procurements are proprietary in nature, such as serial and journal subscriptions, library books and materials, and library equipment and supplies which are excluded from some General Services Commission purchasing guidelines. This category includes sole source procurements of electronic subscriptions, database access, and computer software and hardware maintenance. These sole source procurements represent a majority of the expenditures in the "other services" area. HUBs have not yet entered the electronic database subscription market.
Purchases From Historically Underutilized Businesses
- 1993 = 12%
- 1994 = 25%
- 1995 = 17%
- 1996 = 12%
- 1997 = 29%
- 1998 = 19%
- 1999 = 13%
To increase procurements from HUBs, agency purchasers will participate in Economic Opportunity Forums sponsored by the General Services Commission in the central Texas area. The Forums provide an opportunity for HUB vendors to become more familiar with agency procurement needs. In addition, Purchasing staff will make a diligent effort to procure non-proprietary goods and services from certified HUB vendors.
Changes in key management staff
In 1999, the director and librarian resigned and the assistant state librarian retired. The director of the Information Resources Technologies Division retired in FY2000. In addition, six of seven division directors are new to their positions. The change in the agency's management represents an opportunity for new organizational learning; however, the loss of so much institutional knowledge, history, and experience is unfortunate. As a result, the risk of major policy or administrative error may increase for a short time as the new administration becomes familiar with agency and position responsibilities.
Prolonged under-staffing has resulted in a growing backlog of records in the State Archives that need to be evaluated or described. Records of unknown archival value are routinely transferred to the State Archives by agencies facing an emergency need for space or an impending move. Rather than risk harm or destruction of potentially historically significant records, large quantities are placed in storage at the Archives or the State Records Center. The appraisal process, which could identify non-archival records for deaccession and eventual destruction, is currently an unfunded process at the agency. Funding for additional staff is needed to eliminate the current backlog of records waiting to be appraised.
Increased storage costs
The agency has completely utilized all available storage capacity at the de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. As a result, the agency must store some 11,000 cubic feet of records at the State Records Center, a facility less secure and environmentally protected than the Archives Building. Per state law, the agency must pay the State Records Center for this storage space. Accessions of 1,200 to 1,500 cubic feet of records per year will further increase storage costs. Some of these costs could be avoided, however, if the Archives and Information Services Division had sufficient staff to appraise currently-stored records for archival value before transferring to the State Archives. Additional money must be appropriated to cover the costs for storing these documents. Otherwise, the agency will not be able to continue accessioning state records, one of its primary functions.
The 76th Legislature (1999) authorized public libraries to join TexShare, which had previously supported only academic libraries. This legislative change will quadruple TexShare's size, from 150 libraries to over 600. Accommodating this growth while maintaining the current high service level is a major challenge for the Library Resource Sharing Division, which has the responsibility of administering TexShare.
New advisory board
The 76th Legislature (1999) directed the agency to adopt rules no later than January 1, 2001, to permit county clerks to receive and record documents electronically, particularly those instruments recorded in county real property records.
To assist the Agency in developing initial rules and to recommend any later amendments, Senate Bill 888 created the Electronic Recording Advisory Committee. This nineteen-member body is comprised of county clerks and judges, representatives from the title industry, and delegates from the State Comptroller, the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Information Resources, the General Services Commission, and the State Library and Archives Commission. Senate Bill 888 ensures Texas' leadership among states in facilitating and encouraging the electronic filing and recording of documents with county clerks.
Records management officers and information resource managers
The 76th Legislature (1999) amended the appointment requirements for state records management officers (RMO) to make them more commensurate with those for appointment as the agency's information resource manager (IRM). In addition, the Legislature directed the Agency and the Department of Information Resources to provide joint training for RMOs and IRMs in order to foster greater knowledge of the duties of each by the other. By working together and combining practices from the disciplines of records management and information technology, RMOs and IRMs will be in a better position to ensure the accountability and accessibility of electronic state records.
Public Information Act
An amendment to the state's Public Information Act approved by the 76th Legislature (1999) named the agency as one of six state agencies to participate as a member of the newly formed Open Records Steering Committee.
The Universal Service Fund under the Federal Communications Commission requires that the State Library approve technology plans for public libraries that apply for the E-rate federal technology discounts. The approval process requires staff time and resources for training, technical assistance, and review of plans. Other new technology programs, such as the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund and grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Library Foundation, also require extensive participation by agency staff for client groups to reap the benefits of these programs. The agency is also required to participate in the Education Technology Coordinating Council to maximize the benefits of state tax funds spent on technology.