Spotlight Texas Library Innovators graphic

TSLAC Spotlights Texas Library Innovators

2012 Spotlights

Academic Library:     University of North Texas at Denton

Large Public Library:  Arlington Public Library

Small Public Library:  Coleman County Public Library
                                  Rio Grande City Public Library

These spotlighted libraries all:

  • Provide extensive learning opportunities for all ages, including computer and research training and classes that address workforce and career development
  • Leverage community and donor relationships to offer creative solutions to patron needs
  • Furnish enhanced technological solutions (i.e. equipment, software, databases) that enhance patrons’ library experience and lives
  • Bring library resources into their communities


University of North Texas at Denton

 University of North Texas Libraries - The Power of Ideas Starts Here

Provides the TexShare Database system – UNT is the 2011 top TexShare user record holder with 9,562,587 total searches.

  • Extensive focus on electronic resources including articles, databases, e-journal titles, e-newspapers, e-books, e-course materials for students and faculty
  • Offers numerous research tools, including quick reference pages, subject guides and class pages.
  • Furnishes 24-Hour General Access Computer Lab in the Willis Library and laptops are available to UNT faculty and students and wireless hotspots and library online databases available throughout campus.

Photo of University of North Texas Campus QuadThe mission of the University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries is to acquire, preserve, provide access to, and disseminate recorded knowledge in all its forms. The University Libraries house collections of over 6 million cataloged items, in a variety of formats, in five libraries located in five separate facilities, and provide electronic access through the University Libraries' website. The Willis Library contains a majority of the holdings of the Libraries, along with such special areas as the Music Library, Government Documents, the Digital Library Division, Archives, and the Rare Book and Texana collections. The Eagle Commons Library, located in Sycamore Hall, contains the science and technology collections.  The Discovery Park Library collections support the College of Engineering, and the College of Information.  The Media Library, with its specialized collections of audio-visual materials and computer software, is located in Chilton Hall. The Library Annex contains lesser-used research materials from the collections and houses the Libraries' Technical Services and Preservation departments. The University Libraries serve as an Affiliate Archive for the National Archives and Records Administration and to date have received over $4.0 million dollars in external funding for research in digital preservation and for the creation of digital collections with partner institutions. 


Arlington Public Library

 Arlington Public Library - Live, Learn, Connect, Grow - Arlington, Texas

The Arlington Public Library loaned more than 2,042,710 items last year to 158,305 cardholders. Library staff answered more than 961,194 questions, and more than 65,615 people attended programs for adults and children. APL serves its community with a network that includes a Central Library, 6 branch libraries, and a growing number of LibraryLiNK locations.

Arlington offers a vast array of classes and software for all ages, including Resume Maker Software, Educational Learning Center Software, Computer basics, GED training , a Science Lab, homeschool classes, book clubs, after-school clubs and tutoring, ESL classes, “Citizenship Preparation“, “Start Your Own Business”, college prep, tutoring, “Workplace skills improvement, skill building, “Downloadable Books Clinic”, “Gadget Workshop and Petting Zoo” and “PowerPoint Basics”. They also offer more than 3000+ Kindle accessible e-Books.

Learn more at: and this post to the TEAL Blog.

View Arlington Public Library's flickr photos


Coleman County Public Library

 Coleman Public LibraryColeman Public Library serves as a community center by providing technology, educational resources, and reading materials for the enjoyment of its patrons. Now in its 125th year of continuous service to the citizens of Coleman and Coleman County, the library is busier than ever. Serving a county population of over 8,000 people, the library circulates more than 42,000 items a year. Their wireless accessibility brings all ages to use and enjoy their facility, which in turn makes them aware of other projects and encourages participation.

CPL technology expansion includes using BTOP grant funds in collaboration with the Texas State Library to purchase of twelve (12) new Dell computers for the existing computer lab, five (5) new Dell computers designated for public access in the Young Adult Section, six (6) new Dell laptops to expand the mobile laptop unit in the Tillman Building, and new color HP printers for heavy media use. CPL is partnering with the local 4B Economic Board, several businesses, the workforce solutions office, Howard College, Coleman ISD and other county schools (through Texas Education Agency grants) to bring enhanced job skills training opportunities to Coleman County.  When librarians witnessed an influx of job seekers into the library, Sue Dossey, Library Director, knew that the library would not be able to fulfill the demand for services on its own; reinforcements were in order.  She turned to the local 4B Economic Board because it shared the common goal of putting people back to work and improving the quality of life in Coleman County. Sue approached the Board and found that they were ready and willing to help the library help job seekers.  Utilizing generous funding from the 4B Economic Board and the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, the library purchased a subscription to online LearningExpress Library resources, providing the community with access to GED and other tests prep tools, licensing and certification exams for a variety of occupations, as well as interactive courses designed to improve basic computer and software skills, through a portal on the library’s website.  Read more at: and on this post to the TEAL Blog.

If you are interested in learning more about this job skills project, you can contact Sue Dossey directly at (325) 625-3043 or

Rio Grande City Public Library

Photograph of the entrance to the Rio Grande Public Library

Rio Grande City Public Library provides life-long learning resources and offers access to ideas to the entire community. Originally named the Starr County Public Library, the library was established in 1990 with partial funding provided by a cooperation grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The library has 19,464 items in their collection, 6,543 library card holders, and averages over 1,400 visitors a month. The circulation of library books, audio and visual items has increased substantially over the last few years. It reported 4,951 circulated items in 2008 and 13,104 in 2011.

Rio Grande City Public Library participated in Project Compass, a nationwide effort to support public libraries as they strive to meet the urgent and growing needs of the unemployed and job-seeking patrons. As a result of this commitment, RGCPL joined forces with Workforce Solutions to obtain three computers for the purpose of expanding access to job-seeking customers. Library staff have been trained by Workforce Solutions on all links and services. In August 2012, a kickoff party was held and attended by Workforce Solution's CEO Bonnie Gonzalez, Workforce Solutions Board Chair Dalinda Guillen, Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal, City Manager Juan Zuniga, Library Advisory Board and staff were present. Here is a photo of the event:

Group photo of kick-off party attendees

Standing (l to r): Juan Zuniga, City Manager; Sandra Garcia, Library Advisory Board Member; Bonnie Gonzalez, Workforce Solutions CEO; Norma Gomez Fultz, Library Director; Rose Benavidez, Workforce Solutions Board Member; Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal; Judith A. Solis, Library Advisory Board Chair; Maricela Gutierrez, Library Advisory Board Member. Sitting (l to r): Rosa E. Gonzalez, Library Advisory Board Member; Dalinda Guillen, Workforce Solutions Board Chair.

For more about Rio Grande City Public Library, be sure to visit their website and Facebook page.

Page last modified: December 4, 2013