Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Services During COVID-19 Pandemic

RESEARCH SERVICES - Our reference archivists and librarians are continuing to respond to research questions from the public. We can be reached by ref@tsl.texas.gov or phone at 512-463-5455. Per Executive Order GA-19, the Archives Research Room in Austin and the research room at the Sam Houston Research Center (in Liberty) are accessible by appointment.

STATE RECORDS SERVICES - State agencies and local governments can continue to access their records at the State Records Center at Shoal Creek.

  • State and local agencies using our records storage and imaging services can continue to contact us as normal, and access accounts via TexLinx as always. Hours of operation are 9:00-4:00 M-F.

TALKING BOOK PROGRAM - The Talking Book Program is continuing to operations with some limitations. We are shipping out books and machines although processing time may be longer than normal.

  • The Talking Book Program call center is being handled remotely on a system of return contacts. To reach us, please call 1-800-252-9605 and leave a detailed message with your request or email tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.
  • For additional information about our operations, please see our About page.
  • General information on COVID-19 resources including disability-related information, mental health resources, personal emergency response systems, and virtual resources can also be found on the Disability Information & Referral Center (DIRC) resource page.

LIBRARY SERVICES - The Library Development and Networking Division is continuing all training and consulting services online. See: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ldn for additional details. Librarians may also access a special COVID response site.

RECORDS MANAGEMENT SERVICES - Our Record Management Assistance (RMA) Unit is continuing all training and consulting services online and is providing to state agencies and units of local government. Questions for the RMA team can be directed to 512-463-7610 or by email to slrminfo@tsl.texas.gov.

PHYSICAL ACCESS – Beyond the business operations already identified, physical access to other components of TSLAC operation remains limited to protect the health of the public and staff.

  • Deliveries are accepted at the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building as normal, Monday through Friday, 7:30 am – 4 pm. Deliveries to the State Records Center at Shoal Creek in Austin are accepted under normal working hours, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4 pm. Deliveries to the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center are accepted Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm, and Saturday, 8 am – 4 pm. SupportServices@tsl.texas.gov.
  • Interactive Exhibits and Public Spaces - To continue mitigating the spread of COVID-19, other areas of the agency remain closed for public activities, including the lobby exhibits. The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center’s museum is open by appointment. To set up an appointment, email samhoustoncenter@tsl.texas.gov or call 936-336-8821. We will continue to provide updates on physical access to the collections and facilities on our website and through social media.

DETAILED SERVICE AND ACCESS PLAN

  1. Information for the Public and Customers: How to Access our Services and Resources Online and by Telephone
     
  2. Information and Resources for Our Professional Groups Dealing with the Coronavirus and Safety Directives
     
  3. Business Continues: Our Ongoing Work Serving Texans, Communities, and Government Partners

 

I. Information for the Public and Customers: How to Access our Services and Resources Online and by Telephone

  • Call-in reference and email reference services are available. See: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/reference. Research appointment may be requested at ref@tsl.texas.gov.
  • The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty, Texas, is also providing remote reference services and research access by appointment. See the Sam Houston Center web page for contact information.
  • Service update on Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services
  • For the public: TSLAC Interlibrary loan will lend physical materials from our collection to libraries and provide scans of material from our collections to libraries.
  • For libraries: Individual Texas libraries are making the local decision whether to resume providing ILL services at this time. Please contact your local library for local ILL service options. 
  • Access online resources and the Texas Digital Archive. The public is welcome to use our online resources, enjoy our online exhibits, and conduct research. See: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/collections.
  • The Talking Book Program is continuing to operate with some limitations. To reach our Call, please call us at 1-800-252-9605 and leave a detailed message with your request. We will return calls only if needed. You may also email us at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov. For a full list of emails and additional information about our operations, please see our About page.
  • General information on COVID-19 resources including disability-related information, mental health resources, personal emergency response systems, and virtual resources can also be found on the Disability Information & Referral Center (DIRC) resource page at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp/dirc/covidinfo/html. This page will be updated regularly.
  • State and local agencies using our records storage and imaging services can continue to contact us as normal, and access accounts via TexLinx as always. Hours of operation are 9:00-4:00 M-F. Questions directed at our Records Management Assistance team can be directed to 512-463-7610 or by email to slrminfo@tsl.texas.gov.
  • Libraries needing assistance can continue to call upon our staff in the Library Development and Networking Division and can check out our professional resources. See: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ldn.
  • TexShare educational databases with thousands of journals and magazines may be accessed online through your local public library. Visit your local public library’s website to learn more. If you need to find your local public library, visit https://www.tsl.texas.gov/texshare/libsearch/.
  • The TexShare Card Program will begin reopening on August 15, 2020. Please note that local libraries participate in this program voluntarily and may designate rules for what and how materials may be borrowed, as well as how TexShare cards may be issued. The public is strongly encouraged to call their local library before traveling to the library, as times, access, and procedures should be verified independently.  

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II. Information and Resources for Our Professional Groups dealing with the Coronavirus and Safety Directives

General Resource Pages

Resource Pages for Libraries

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III. Business Continues: Our Ongoing Work Serving Texans, Communities, and Government Partners

  • State agencies and local governments can continue to request access to their records and arrange for transfer of records to our records storage center.
  • Our government information analysts continue their mission of creating training materials and working with state and local agencies to develop and update records retention schedules.

Talking Book Program

  • The Talking Book Program is continuing to operate on a very limited basis. We are now able to ship a limited number of books and machines. However, patrons will likely experience greater than normal wait times for materials. Our call center operations are being handled remotely, and we cannot take phone calls directly. To reach us through the call center, please call us and leave a detailed message with your request. We will return calls only if needed. Email remains the quickest way to reach us; we are now processing and responding to email messages within one to two working days after we receive them.
     
  • Here are some helpful email addresses:
    • For general TBP inquiries, to add books to your request list, or for Disability Information and Referral, email tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.
    • For BARD inquiries or to sign up for a BARD account please email tbp.bard@tsl.texas.gov.
    • For assistance from our Readers’ Advisory librarians in selecting books please email  tbp.ral@tsl.texas.gov.
       
  • TBP’s priority is the safety of our patrons and staff. We quarantine all books and machines we receive for at least 72 hours before starting to prepare them to be mailed out again. Currently, staff are wearing gloves when handling materials. All machines are cleaned before they are mailed, and we strive to make sure our cartridges and cases are clean. Once items leave our possession, however, we are no longer able to control how they are handled. Please use your own discretion and follow recommended CDC guidelines for handling packages. Contact us via email if you do not wish to receive materials at this time.
  • We urge you to register for BARD, the NLS Braille and audiobook download service. Through BARD, you can get all the books you want without receiving physical items in the mail and listen to them on your DTBM or other approved device. BARD has been improved in the last few years, and is easier to use than ever--especially BARD Mobile, which allows you to listen to books on your smartphone or tablet. Please contact us at tbp.bard@tsl.texas.gov if you would like to register.
  • Finally, we ask for your patience during this time. Most staff are still working remotely and may not have easy access to some of the resources we use onsite. As always, we will do our best to serve you as quickly as we are able. For updates, check our website at TexasTalkingBooks.org or call the Information Line at 1-866-388-6397.

Archives and Information Services

  • Our reference archivists and librarians are continuing to respond to research questions from the public. We can be reached by reference.desk@tsl.texas.gov or phone at 512-463-5455. You may also use that contact information to request a research appointment.
  • Our specialists are also continuing to increase the number of digitized archival materials available for the public. Check out our online collections, online exhibits, and the Texas Digital Archive, which hosts more than 50 terabytes of records!
  • Behind the scenes, our archivists and specialists continue working with vast numbers of records to describe, preserve, digitize, and make them available to the public.

Library Development and Networking

  • Libraries across the state can continue to access our training materials and courses online.
  • Our library program consultants and trainers are available by phone and email to respond to questions and support statewide projects.
  • Our library team is evaluating and procuring statewide resources for school, public, and academic libraries.
  • In addition to the resources listed above, we are developing and making available training to help libraries address issues arising from the coronavirus and providing information on supporting communities.
  • Our library team continues helping libraries across the state to improve their broadband connectivity to ensure that telework, telemedicine, and all aspects of learning and commerce are as robust as possible.

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Page last modified: September 23, 2020