Trails (newsletter)

Texas Report on Archives • Information • Library Services

Trails Number 18 • July 2001

Internal Links


77th Texas Legislature concludes


New TexShare databases available July 1


State Library plans implementation of Loan Star Libraries


170 organizations host Talking Book Week



Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum opens


It's a great time to be a Friend in Texas


Libraries and museums: 21st century learning institutions


Texas libraries kick off Texas Reading Club


Texas Treasures expands access to the Texas State Archives


State Library to contract for study Texas public library development


Study reveals school libraries contribute to student achievement


Joe Barnhart Bee County Library opens in Beeville


Studio volunteers recognized for outstanding service


Employees of the Quarter

77th Texas Legislature concludes

Every two years, Texas legislators meet at the Capitol to make decisions that powerfully impact both Texas citizens and state agencies. Each legislative session is a nervous and exciting time for the library community, as it works to call attention to the needs of Texas libraries.

Monday, May 28th marked the last day of the 77th Texas Legislature. The progression of the legislative session brought the level of anticipation at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to a peak. The agency closely watched issues affecting the library, archives and records management communities, including increased funding for libraries, public library district laws, library filtering policies, the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) and TexShare. While the library community did not receive everything that was on its wish list, due to the statewide efforts of library advocates and the leadership of the Texas Library Association and other allied groups, it fared pretty well overall.

The Appropriations Conference Committee approved the State Library's base budget to continue existing programs as well as approved two exceptional items. The agency will receive an additional $2.9 million for each year in the 2002-2003 biennium to fund the Loan Star Libraries Program. The Talking Book Program also received increased support in the amount of just over $103,000 in 2002 and almost $70,000 in 2003. This funding provides for three additional full-time employees (two reader consultants and one audio tape duplicator).

The Texas Education Agency saw a small increase in school library funding as well. The Appropriations Conference Committee approved funding of Rider 67 for school library materials at a 30 percent match, or up to 30 cents per student.

Two bills relating to public library district laws were signed by the governor and will take effect on September 1, 2001. The first, HB 440, will permit library districts to cancel uncontested elections for a trustee position. The second, HB 995, will allow a library district to use tax money as collateral and will enable library districts to make improvements on land.

HB 3591, which would allow certain non-profit libraries providing clinical medical information to participate in TexShare, was also signed by the governor. This law permits the State Library to identify areas where coordination and consolidation can yield improved services for both the current TexShare membership (academic and public libraries) and for the non-profit libraries specified in the legislation.

For many, the defeat of some library-related bills was more a source of joy than of sorrow. Three closely-related bills (HB 2824, HB 2713 and SB 1310) pertaining to library filtering stalled in committee. HB 2824 required that public libraries and schools that received certain state funding make provisions regarding Internet use, or "technology protection measures," to prevent children from accessing obcene materials online.

In addition, UCITA, SB 709 and HB 1785, stalled in committee. UCITA, a software licensing act, was the source of controversy since its introduction on February 15th. We will likely see UCITA again in the 78th legislative session.

To learn more about the 77th legislative session and the impact on the library community, please visit http://www.txla.org/pubs/texline/010529.html on the Texas Library Association's Web site. Thanks to all who advocated for Texas libraries this session!

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New TexShare databases available July 1

----$10 million in databases purchased as part of Library of Texas

In cooperation with the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board, the Texas State Library will launch an expanded menu of databases available to public and academic libraries. Beginning Jul. 1, 2001, sixty subscription databases will be available to Texas public and academic libraries and their patrons free of charge, more than double the number of databases available last year. In addition, library customers will soon be able to access them from their home or office computers. These databases offer authoritative, full-text articles from verifiable sources and are appropriate for all age levels, unlike much of what is found on the Web using conventional search engines. More than 500 public libraries and their outlets and 150 academic libraries will use the databases.

The thorough selection process for these database purchases began with a survey of all participating libraries in the current TexShare Program to understand the needs and interests of member libraries. A TexShare Electronic Information Working Group analyzed the results and sent out requests for information from database vendors. Statewide trials of the databases were conducted and, after the trial results were evaluated, eight vendors were selected to do demonstrations for the Working Group. Many conference calls and meetings ensued to discuss and evaluate the demonstrations. For more information on the selection process, please see http://www.texshare.edu/programs/electronic/data2001faq.html#process. After much hard work, the Working Group selected the final set of databases for everyone to benefit from.

Just a few of the database offerings include:

Genealogy and Local History - Trace a family tree or the history of your hometown; research folklore topics.

Texas Digital Sanborn Maps - Digitized maps detail property and land-use records depicting the architecture of more than 12,000 U.S. towns and cities throughout the past one hundred years. Pipelines, railroads, wells, water mains and dumps are also included.

Electric Library (eLibrary Classic - Big Chalk) - A wealth of information from such diverse areas as books (Frommer's travel guides, World Encyclopedia), television shows (transcripts from CNN, Good Morning America), national and international newspapers, maps and photograph collections.

Books in Print.com - Find titles, authors, ISBN numbers and publisher information for over 3.4 million books, along with 600,000 full text reviews of many of these books.

Business Source Premier - This full text database is designed to help people find information on all aspects of the business world. Full text is offered for nearly 2,140 scholarly business journals and popular national magazines covering management, economics, finance, accounting, international business and more.

Health Reference Center Academic - A full service resource for people needing health-related research. It provides an integrated collection of general interest health and fitness magazines, medical and professional periodicals, reference books and pamphlets.

Texas Almanac 2000-2001 - Provides information about the history, culture, politics, climate, and geography of the state of Texas. Find the official bird, tree and song of the State of Texas, as well as information about agriculture, former governors, state parks, population statistics and much more.

Student Resource Center GOLD - Geared towards high school students, this database offers award winning content based on national curriculum standards. Information for homework assignments, research papers and essays can be found using this database of reference materials, primary source documents, and magazines about literature, science, history and biography.

¡Informe! (Revistas en Español) - Specifically designed to meet the research needs of Spanish speaking users, this database has full text articles from such popular magazines as Latina, Actual, and Siempre!, as well as the full text of the Miami, Florida newspaper El Nuevo Herald. The database contains many articles on such subjects as cultural and lifestyle issues, health and parenting, entertainment, politics and current events. Searches can be made in both English and Spanish, with title names shown in both languages.

Encyclopedia Americana - An in-depth and accurate encyclopedia on all topics relating to the United States of America. Over 45,000 articles are included.

OCLC First Search - The OCLC umbrella of databases assists users in searching 43 million records of bibliographic information culled from the shared records of libraries all over the world.

NetLibrary eBooks - 6,000 book titles available to search and download (18,000 titles available by the beginning of 2002). The electronic books can be checked out and read on a personal computer. The end result is a diverse collection of unique titles appropriate for a broad range of ages and interests, including a special Texana collection.

Please visit http://www.tsl.texas.gov/texshare/pl after Jul. 1, 2001, for more information on all the databases selected.

A partnership between the Texas State Library and the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board made the database expansion possible as part of a new initiative, the Library of Texas. The State Library will use funds from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board to implement the Library of Texas over the next five years. In addition to information database expansion, the Library of Texas will include a virtual statewide library catalog containing library holdings from throughout the state. An electronic state government information clearinghouse will archive electronic government information, and intensive training programs will help librarians and their customers gain full benefit from the Library of Texas services.

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State Library plans implementation of Loan Star Libraries

Thanks to the efforts of library supporters throughout Texas, Loan Star Libraries, the direct state aid program for public libraries, has become a reality. Now the State Library begins the difficult work of planning its implementation. Although the State Library only received a portion of the appropriation it requested for the program, the State Library intends to use the same formula for distribution of the funds: one-quarter as a base grant, and three-quarters as a match on local expenditures. So when will your library get its check? The State Library will issue checks as soon as possible, but probably no sooner than Jan. 2002. Stay tuned for more information about this important program for Texas public libraries.

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170 organizations host Talking Book Week

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission and libraries throughout Texas hosted the first annual Talking Book Week, Jun. 4-8, 2001, a statewide outreach program to inform Texans of the free library services provided by the Talking Book Program. During Talking Book Week, 170 libraries and 100 Senior Network Alliance groups hosted a variety of activities aimed at raising awareness of the Talking Book Program, which provides free library materials in alternate formats (Braille, large-print, and audiocassette) to eligible Texans.

Watauga Public Library participated in Talking Book Week. The library prepared brief articles about the Talking Book Program in both the Watauga City newsletter and the monthly library newsletter. Watauga library staff created a display of large-print and audiocassette books within the library and coordinated with the local Boy Scouts to collect eyeglasses for the Lions Club as part of the display. Watauga Librarian Martha Chambers notes of the outreach efforts, "Watauga residents are much more aware of the program thanks to your Talking Book Week promotion, as are the library staff."

Talking Book Program Acting Director Troy Hoyles says of the program, "Our patrons often describe the Talking Book Program service as a `lifeline.' Unfortunately, currently only 8 percent of the estimated eligible population is being served. Talking Book Week is an effort to reach more eligible Texans and their communities about the benefits of the service."

Disabilities such as low vision (due to cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration), blindness, arthritis, stroke, Parkinson's, paralysis, and dyslexia prevent many Texans from participating in the joy of reading—but it doesn't have to be! Through the Talking Book Program eligible Texans can choose from among 80 national and regional magazines and more than 80,000 book titles available in audiocassette, large-print and Braille formats. The books and the equipment needed to play them are delivered free-of-charge right to patrons' doors via the U.S. Postal Service. Additionally, the Disability Information & Referral Center is available to everyone and provides information and referrals on disability-related questions.

Participating organizations in the first annual Talking Book Week received a variety of educational and promotional materials and program ideas from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission Talking Book Program. Notes Hoyles, "We hope that Talking Book Week will become an annual tradition among libraries, senior citizen groups and care providers. We are looking forward to building on our efforts next year, when we host the second annual Talking Book Week."

For more information about the Talking Book Program, call 800-252-9605 or email tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.

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Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum opens

----Texas State Archives heavily represented

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum hosted its grand opening on Apr. 28, 2001, with entertainment, exhibitors, history reenactments, food and music. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission participated in the festivities as an exhibitor, but the involvement of the State Archives goes much deeper, back to the beginnings of the development of the museum.

On display in the new museum are 21 original artifacts from the Texas State Archives, including two Mexican battle flags captured by the Texians at the Battle of San Jacinto; William Travis's letter from the Alamo; the 1875 Texas Constitution; and the treaty between Sam Houston and the Cherokees in 1836.

In addition, since construction began on the museum in 1999, Photo Archivist John Anderson and other State Archives staff have provided countless images and hours of research assistance to at least four consulting firms preparing exhibits at the museum. The State Archives remains the quintessential authority on Texas history.

The museum is open 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Visit www.TheStoryofTexas.com.

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It's a great time to be a Friend in Texas

Friends groups in Texas play a significant role in the development and delivery of library services. Certainly, raising money for their parent organizations is a major benefit to their communities; but, Friends groups provide much more to their communities. They often serve as the liaison between the library and the community. Their events draw newcomers to the library and build a solid foundation of community support. With the formation and growth of the organization Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas, the ability of Texas Friends groups to help their parent organizations is stronger than ever. Texas Friends groups are active, creative, and successful but not always visible. By joining a network of library and archives advocates throughout the state, Texas Friends groups become stronger; they learn from one another, share ideas and collaborate. They shine!

Libraries and archives in Texas are very diverse and have been creative in meeting the needs of their communities with limited resources and varying levels of support. Likewise, organizations fortunate enough to have a local Friends group have benefited from the creative efforts of the Friends group, whether it's fundraising, volunteer hours, or children's programs. For example, the Friends of the Garland Public Library raised money to decorate "Kids Town" in Garland's new South Garland Branch. "Kids Town" boasts of a floor-to-ceiling architectural façade on two walls, designed to be a reflection of old downtown Garland in the early 1920s.

It's a great time to be a library or archives Friend in Texas. The Texas Legislature's allocation of $2.9 million each year of the next biennium for public libraries will expand and enhance services for more than 500 libraries, offering more opportunities for local Friends groups to shine. The American Library Association's new public awareness campaign "@ Your Library," a five-year plan to promote the services of libraries, is a specific avenue for which Friends groups can participate. In addition, the rejuvenation of the Texas Library Association's Library Friends, Trustees and Advocates (formerly Friends and Trustees Round Table) promises to provide more good ideas and support for Friends groups in Texas.

The Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas plans to collaborate closely with TLA's Library Friends, Trustees and Advocates (LFTA) Round Table and Friends of Libraries USA to raise awareness of the value of libraries. LFTA Chair Dee Brock states, "We are delighted the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas has formed—it's a natural partnership." Membership in the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas is open to anyone who supports library and archival services in Texas, including individuals, local Friends groups, and businesses.

The Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas will work to promote the diverse services of libraries and archives in Texas and strengthen the statewide services of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The group also hopes to connect local Friends groups throughout the state by providing a channel for communication and collaboration. Texas' Friends groups have a louder voice for library and archives advocacy when they pull together—that's why the new statewide group will also be looking for avenues to collaborate with local libraries and local Friends throughout the state on projects that will bring attention to the work of libraries and archives in Texas.

The Board of the new Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas will meet during TLA's Annual Assembly to further develop program and membership ideas. Membership in the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas costs as little as $10 per year. Learn more about membership and the goals of the group on the Friends' Web site: www.tsl.texas.gov/friends, or email the Friends group at friends@tsl.texas.gov. Join today!

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Libraries and museums: 21st century learning institutions

How are the roles of libraries and museums as learning institutions changing in the 21st century? The National Museum Services Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) asked library and museum leaders from across Texas to address this question at an invitational meeting held at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on Apr. 4, 2001.

IMLS Acting Director Beverly Sheppard set the stage in her opening remarks by noting that both institutions share a common mission as essential educators within their communities. She outlined the forces at work in transforming America into a learning society, including the profound impact of technology, an increasingly diverse society, and an economy shifting from an industrial age to an information age. Sheppard suggested that libraries and museums are positioned to play key roles in meeting the lifelong learning needs of this new age. They offer authority and authenticity, are known and trusted resources, have extensive subject-matter expertise, are masterful teachers of learning skills, and are already catalysts for partnerships within their communities. (Texas State Library and Archives Commission Director and Librarian Peggy Rudd pointed out to the group that there are over 500 public libraries and 600 museums across the state of Texas - the makings of a powerful alliance.) Sheppard challenged the group to consider the implications of becoming educational leaders, urging them to identify obstacles to their work as well as innovative approaches to meeting these challenges.

Using collaboration between libraries and museums to achieve educational goals was at the heart of much of the ensuing conversation. Participants noted that while partnerships are a powerful and essential strategy, they are challenging and difficult to maintain. The coversation often held these opposing perspectives in balance, acknowledging several key tenets for effective partnerships:

1. The need to be mission-related;

2. The need to be truly complementary, drawing from each institution's strengths in an integral way;

3. The need to use the context of partnerships to address mutual problems;

4. The need to take a larger view of the environment in which partnership occurs, seeing the community in a more holistic way; and

5. The need to see partnership as casting a large net, addressing the needs of urban, suburban, rural, rich, and poor in a manner that uses the library/museum network as broadly as possible.

As the group looked more broadly at formal and informal learning as a continuum, the group's focus shifted to the collaboration process itself and its implications for libraries and museums. Many comments spoke to the need for new resources to support collaboration, mentioning endowed funds or other dedicated funding to maintain collaborative efforts over the long term. One key issue was that of staffing. Managing partnerships requires unique skills. One lethal weakness of partnerships is that they do not live anywhere, and staffs rarely have the opportunity to devote full energies to managing the cooperative process. In addition, traditional approaches to staffing may not meet changing institutional needs. New talents are needed. Libraries and museums are challenged to find and afford the uniquely qualified staffs who can work in the "intersections" established through partnerships.

Such positions include:

· Parental involvement specialists, such as those being hired by school districts to reach and motivate families;

· Community outreach specialists, with specific organizational and communication skills;

· Curriculum specialists, with the skills to interpret and integrate the information in library and museum collections to meet the needs of schools;

· Technology specialists, who can maintain equipment, develop applications, and create infrastructure.

One of the most intriguing ideas to emerge from the group was that of considering joint appointments, mutually funded positions created specifically to support and sustain the partnership efforts. The potential for joint appointments might well exist with such partners as schools, universities, churches, and other community-based institutions.

One participant noted the recent work undertaken by such entities as the Urban Institute to consider communities holistically, inventorying community assets and considering the relationships among them. Looking at community health issues, for example, would incorporate the breadth of agencies and services from health care providers to government policymakers.

Libraries and museums are likewise embedded in the systems of their communities. Subsequent conversation encouraged library and museum leaders to look at their institutions' roles in supporting the issues most central to their communities, shifting focus from their own needs to participating in wider conversations. The group also suggested that as libraries and museums engage more fully in their communities and identify the potential for mutually beneficial partnerships, they need to "learn the language" of other players and be at their tables as well. Community engagement requires a more aggressive outward reach.

The group offered a wealth of examples and resources to support the discussion and concluded with a suggestion for IMLS: An important federal role would be to inventory successful programs across the country and disseminate them to the field as best practices.

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Texas Libraries kick off Texas Reading Club

More than 600 school and public libraries are participating in the 2001 Texas Reading Club, "To the Library and Beyond!". A partnership between the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and Texas libraries, the Texas Reading Club is a summer reading program that encourages children and their families to become library users and lifelong readers. More than 425,000 Texas children are expected to participate this summer.

Texas libraries will offer creative summer reading programs for their communities as part of the Texas Reading Club. Many libraries also planned special kick off events on Jun. 1, proclaimed "Texas Reading Club Day" by Governor Rick Perry. For example, Eden Public Library hosted the "Exploration Celebration," during which children participated in a variety of activities focusing on different countries, including Japan, Germany, Mexico, India and Australia.

Each year, a statewide theme is selected for the Texas Reading Club, and the State Library publishes a handbook and other materials to aid librarians in planning their local programs. The 2001 theme "To the Library and Beyond!" emphasizes how a visit to the library can expose youngsters to new worlds, new ideas, and new challenges. Texas libraries bring the theme to life with special storytimes for all ages, reading incentives and prizes donated by local businesses, reading certificates, special speakers and programs, and many other creative ideas. Flower Mound Public Library will host special programs each Wednesday throughout June and July. Activities will include storytelling, puppet and magic shows, jugglers, hot air balloon demonstrations, and more. Friona Public Library is using the theme to highlight flight during their summer programs—both flights of fantasy and real flying. The library's programs will include local citizens who are involved in flight: a model airplane enthusiast and two men who have built flying machines. The local newspaper, the Friona Star, will highlight different aspects of flying throughout their June issues.

Hosting the Texas Reading Club at the local level is often a community-wide affair. The local libraries work with the school system, area businesses and community organizations to achieve a common goal: to foster the love of reading and books in children and their families. It's an important endeavor, since research has shown that children who participate in some kind of summer reading program maintain or improve their reading skills, helping them succeed when they return to school in the fall.

For more information about the Texas Reading Club, contact your local library or visit http://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/projects/trc/2001/index.html.

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Texas Treasures expands access to Texas State Archives

You don't have to come to Austin to see some of the treasures stored in the State Archives. The online exhibit Texas Treasures (www.tsl.texas.gov/treasures) showcases many of the most significant historical documents and images in Texas' rich history.

The exhibit recently received a brand new look and quadrupled in size, from 42 images to more than 200, and counting. The colorful, well-designed exhibit organizes Texas' history into broad categories such as the Texas Republic and Rangers & Outlaws. Visitors to the exhibit will find images of such treasures as the famous Travis letter from the Alamo and the original sheet music to "The Yellow Rose of Texas."

Digital Imaging Specialist Liz Clare worked with State Archives staff to expand the exhibit. Clare plans to further expand Texas Treasures, with future sections to include Tejano Patriots, the Archives War, and an expanded look at the Texas Revolution. The revamped exhibit is the first of several online projects the State Library has planned. A second online exhibit Portraits of Texas Governors is expected to go live later this summer.

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State Library to contract for study Texas public library development

The Texas State Library will contract with a consulting group or firm to study public library development in Texas this fall. The study results will assist the State Library in developing public libraries for the 21st century. Library stakeholders from throughout Texas met in Austin in April to discuss the scope of the study and to help prepare the Request For Proposals (RFP).

The planning group discussed several factors that should be included in the study, including, but not limited to:

· Funding, programs and services administered by the State Library to support Texas public libraries and their development

· Programs and services administered under contract by the ten state and federally funded regional public library systems

· Methods of local establishment and funding of public libraries

· Societal and demographic factors that impact the growth and development of public libraries in Texas

The RFP outlines that the resulting study recommendations should focus on options for furthering positive library development in Texas and should suggest funding opportunities and mechanisms for that development. In addition, the processes used in the study should be highly inclusive of service providers and stakeholders across the state.

The success of the study will depend heavily on the level of participation by libraries in the state. The State Library, along with a steering group appointed for the study, will help keep libraries informed of the process and encourage participation. A special Web site devoted to the study and its progress will be hosted soon by the State Library.

The RFP will be issued this summer and the study will begin in the fall.

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Study reveals school libraries contribute to student achievement

The Texas State Library contracted with EGS Research and Consulting of Austin to study the effects of activities, resources, and staffing levels in Texas school libraries on student achievement. The study revealed that resources and services provided by librarians in school libraries contribute to student performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS). In fact, in schools without librarians, at all educational levels, ten percent fewer students met minimum TAAS expectations in reading than in schools with librarians. Furthermore, 50 percent more schools had 90 percent of the students meeting minimum TAAS expectations in reading when a librarian was present in the school as opposed to schools without librarians.

The study also revealed significant gaps between the recommended levels as published in School Library Programs: Standards and Guidelines for Texas and actual levels in Texas school libraries, particularly in the areas of staffing and funding. The average operating budget per student in elementary schools is $22.14. Professional librarians currently expend the greatest portion of their time on basic library services that could be performed by library paraprofessionals if libraries were staffed as recommended.

The study recommendations included librarian technology training to help integrate networked library resources into the curriculum and thus achieve the full potential of online resources. The study will help State Library staff update the school library standards as well as provide sound support for increased school library funding.

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Joe Barnhart Bee County Library opens in Beeville

Despite a cold drizzle and a threatening sky, several hundred local townspeople and dignitaries attended the dedication and grand opening of the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library in Beeville, Texas, on Saturday, Mar. 3, 2001. A renovated two-story hardware store on the town square houses the new library. As County Judge Jose Aliseda put it, the new library is the "cornerstone of downtown revitalization" in Beeville.

Library Director Joanne Oliphant and building consultant David Hennington (former director of Houston Public Library) achieved a good balance in the library, weaving together the innovative with the traditional, and the visually exciting artistic flourishes with the classic brick envelope of the building. The library benefits from a great deal of natural lighting through its many storefront windows. Innovative artificial lighting directs light upward to the white slatted ceiling. The ceiling reflects light back onto the shelving and tables below, thus reducing the harsh glare of typical artificial lighting. An attractive combination of hardwood and carpet provides visual interest to the floor. The contractors laid the carpet in squares so that it can be replaced in sections as it wears. Stairs or the library's glass elevator, which provides a sweeping view of the courthouse square, provide access to the second floor.

The library deploys computers throughout the building in groupings or pods. Made possible by grants from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the federal E-Rate Program, and many other sources, the computers are spaced throughout the two floors to provide maximum flexibility for individual and team study and learning for all ages. The library has twenty wireless laptops purchased to offer local children homework assistance. The laptops can be used anywhere in the building and students may print materials for free. The library has a small one-room law library with just one book (Black's Law Dictionary), a computer workstation, and a microfilm reader. Director Joanne Oliphant indicated that with state and federal laws and regulations on the Internet that the library no longer needs extensive legal materials in print.

The library's meeting room has automatic window screens that can be lowered when the large-screen television is in use. The library has invested in teleconferencing equipment that will make it possible for students to take distance education classes and for the library to air special satellite programs.

Public excitement about the new library was evident. Many of the senior citizens were excited to find out that with more space and computers, staff would now be able to offer computer classes targeted to different age groups. Students were excited about the homework center and the presence of so many computers in the library. As several middle school students said, now they feel that they have access to the same technology that kids in the big cities have.

Watching the faces of young and old as they browsed through books and magazines, searched for information on the World Wide Web, and played educational computer games, it was clear that this library - this wonderful community resource - would be well-used and valued by all.

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Studio volunteers recognized for outstanding service

The Talking Book Program Volunteer Recording Studio hosted its annual Volunteer Recognition Celebration Apr. 28, 2001, and recognized twenty-three of the studio volunteers for their outstanding service during the 2000 calendar year. Studio staff added eight volunteer names to the 500 hours of service plaque: Dorothy Atkins, Noble Atkins, Dianna Dorman, Carol Esler, Betsy Graham, Margaret Hicks, Mindy Reed, and John Wood. The Studio recognized four others for 250 hours of service: Lori Brix, Paul Klemperer, Janice Langlinais, and Stan Swinton. In addition to having their names added to the "wall of fame," each volunteer received a certificate of appreciation.

The celebration also inducted fourteen volunteers into the 2000 Century Club, each having contributed more than 100 hours to the studio during the year 2000. The top volunteer for the year, Kerry Pivonka, frequently volunteered three days each week for a total of 294 hours. Others in the 2000 Century Club included Gratia, Tom Sweazea, Janice Lathin, Dianna Dorman, John Wood, Ricardo Dortignac, Dorothy Atkins, Richard Ezell, Dave Bower, Therese East, Noble Atkins, Eleanor Kanis, and Margaret Barton. The Studio Friends purchased gifts for the honored volunteers.

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Our Employees of the Quarter

Nominations for this award are made by fellow employees and reviewed by the Employee Recognition Committee. Recipients receive a certificate at the Quarterly wards Ceremony and one day's administrative leave.

Third Quarter, FY2001

Venus Booker, research assistant at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty, is cited for her consistently excellent customer service and attention to detail in her daily duties. During the ongoing renovation of the Sam Houston Center, Booker has been exceptionally helpful, volunteering to arrive at 7:00 a.m. each morning to allow access to the construction crews. She also reboxed and relocated 756 cubic feet of records to facilitate parts of the renovation. Her good judgment and professional demeanor add to the productivity of the staff.

Cataloging Head Pat Fowler has always cheerfully taken on extra duties and new challenges since beginning with the State Library in 1998. She provided valuable input into the redesign of the genealogy pages of the agency's Web site. Fowler served on a department committee to develop a cross-training program for Information Services staff. An excellent manager who maintains a positive working environment for her staff, her peers describe her as patient, warm and supportive.

Second Quarter, FY2001

Facilities Manager Brian Clinger plays an important role in the level of customer service provided by the State & Local Records Management Division. Clinger supports all building system services at the State Records Center. His responsibilities include evaluating and responding to maintenance requests, maintaining the division's truck and delivery vans, and looking out for the safety of staff who perform high risk job activities. Clinger performs all of these duties exceptionally. His proactive approach to preventing environmental or security problems saves the division money as well as ensures the safety of the records in storage at the facility.

David Ray, circulation supervisor, oversees the intake of materials returned from patrons and ensures their quick return to circulation within the Talking Book Program. During this quarter, Ray volunteered to assist the Circulation Unit in other areas while the program director worked to fill several vacancies. Ray performed the duties of his own job, as well as interim manager and outbound circulation supervisor. He also assisted the Machine Lending Unit. His outstanding dedication assured that patrons of the Talking Book Program continued to receive the high level of customer service the program is known for.

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