Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Plan for Services During COVID-19 Health Situation
Per Executive Order GA-19, the Archives Research Room is accessible by appointment. To continue mitigating the spread of COVID-19, other areas of the agency remain closed for public activities. To set a research appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-463-5455. We will continue to provide updates on physical access to the collections and facilities on our website and through social media.
We also continue to support the research community via online and telephone reference. Additionally, TSLAC’s vast online collections can provide extensive support for many areas of learning. Through our partnerships with Texas public libraries, we are continuing to provide millions of resources to Texans statewide.
State agencies and local governments can continue to access their records at the State Records Center at Shoal Creek.
We are still accepting deliveries at the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 9 am – Noon, and again from 1 – 3 pm, at State Records Center on Shoal Creek in Austin, as well as at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty. For additional information on deliveries, email SupportServices@tsl.texas.gov.
We are including a listing of several resources below.
- Information for the Public and Customers: How to Access our Services and Resources Online and by Telephone
- Information and Resources for Our Professional Groups Dealing with the Coronavirus and Safety Directives
- Business Continues: Our Ongoing Work Serving Texans, Communities, and Government Partners
- Call-in reference and email reference services are available. See: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/reference.
- The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty, Texas, is also providing remote reference services. See the Sam Houston Center web page for contact information and updates.
- For the public: We have suspended all TSLAC borrowing and Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services. For more information about our collections see: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/arc. For libraries: Texas Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system services have been suspended at this time. For questions about obtaining material through ILL or how to suspend ILL activity during closures, please contact LD_Services@tsl.texas.gov.
- 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 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 at 1-800-252-9605 and leave a detailed message with your request. We will return calls only if needed. Email remains the quickest way to reach us; please contact email@example.com. We are now processing and responding to email messages within one to two working days after we receive them. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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/.
- As of 3/25/2020, the TexShare Card Program has been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Libraries are not currently issuing or renewing TexShare Cards. If you have questions, please contact email@example.com.
General Resource Pages
- Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) COVID-19 Updates: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/
- Texas DSHS Guidance For Employees and Managers (PDF)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/
- The Council of State Governments (CoSA) Resources for State Leaders: https://web.csg.org/covid19/
- Texas Department of Information Resources: COVID-19 Preparedness for Information Technology
Resource Pages for Libraries
- TSLAC’s COVID-19 Information and Resources for Librarians page
- Library Developments blog post: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/librarydevelopments/tag/web-resources/
- Webinar from Libraries 2.0: Librarians Respond to Coronavirus and Other Pandemics (free), March 26, 3 pm CST (Libraries 2.0)
- Coronavirus information from Medline: https://medlineplus.gov/coronavirusinfections.html (consumer information)
- 2019 novel coronavirus research guide: https://tamu.libguides.com/2019-ncov (Texas A&M University Libraries)
- Resources for libraries on coronavirus: https://www.everylibrary.org/resources_for_libraries_on_coronavirus (curated information from EveryLibrary)
- ALA checklist on individual library policies: http://www.ala.org/tools/atoz/pandemic-preparedness
- Coronavirus Resources from edge – Guidance and tools that can help libraries of any size address the challenges presented by COVID-19.
- Extremely relevant for libraries: CDC Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare and Respond to COVID-19 – Depending on whether or not the coronavirus has been detected in your community, use the bullet points to establish a checklist.
- World Health Organization (WHO) Guide for Getting Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19 (PDF) – Good bullet point list of things to consider.
- In Case of Emergencies: Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning online course from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine course – walks you step-by-step through terminology and things to consider to create a continuity of operations plan.
- Guidance from the Office of Personal Management (Federal) on Accomplishing Work During a Pandemic Health Crisis – Includes actions to consider to adjust business operations for staff.
- This Facebook post from the West Linn Public Library does an excellent job of communicating to their community what precautionary steps the library is taking to keep the community safe.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For BARD inquiries or to sign up for a BARD account please email email@example.com.
For assistance from our Readers’ Advisory librarians in selecting books please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 email@example.com 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 email or phone at 512-463-5455.
- 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.