TexShare Advisory Board Meeting

9:30 am until 11:30 am

March 31, 2009

Houston Public Library

500 McKinney Street

Program Place, 4th Floor

Houston, TX


1. Approval of Minutes From December 8, 2008: The minutes were approved.

2. Public Comment: none

3. Set Dates for Future Meetings: The next meeting will be at the time of the Texas Library Association (TLA) Annual Assembly in late July. The fall meeting will coincide with the annual Texas Council of Academic Libraries (TCAL) meeting.

4. TSLAC Update: Peggy Rudd reported.

Building Renovation: Ground floor renovation is complete and staff have moved in. The Friends of Libraries and Archives of Texas have raised all the money for the furniture purchased to this point. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) has asked the legislature for more money to complete the project. Many foundations are unable to help us because of the tough economic situation; they are focusing on direct aid to those in need.

Legislative Activity: The Senate placed $8.8 million for TexShare into Article 11, and the House placed the entire amount we asked for into Article 11. Article 11 is a “wish list” of items that may be considered for funding at a future time. Both sides have appropriated additional money for Loan Star Libraries grants. TSLAC building renovation money is in Article 11 now. The state has received federal stimulus funds of which 89% is required to be spent on K12 and higher education. Libraries, especially academic libraries, should petition for this modernization and renovation money. We have a list of libraries that have been identified as being first in line for this type of renovation project funding. The best website for tracking stimulus money in Texas is from the comptroller’s office where there is a table for the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” and a point-by-point discussion where the money is going. The governor’s office hasn’t decided where to put the stimulus money.

5. TexShare Summit Implementation Task Force Update: Ann Mason reported. Task Force members participated in a facilitated meeting in February. The Task Force agenda included discussion of a survey about potential TexShare services, discussion about outreach to TexShare users and potential users, and an overview of proposed statutory changes. See the TexShare Administrative Report for a summary of the Task Force discussion and meeting outcomes. The task force wanted to know what the advisory board felt about using focus groups in conjunction with a survey; the board likes the idea of using focus groups to gather stakeholder input.

6. ICOLC Statement on Economic Crisis: Beverley Shirley reported. On January 19, 2009, the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) released a public statement on the global economic crisis detailing the situation for library consortia and recommending specific strategies for publishers that do business with consortia. The statement has two purposes. “It is intended to help publishers and other content providers from whom we license electronic information resources … understand better how the current unique financial crisis affects the worldwide information community. Its second purpose is to suggest a range of approaches that we believe are in the mutual best interest of libraries and the providers of information services.” In consultation with TexShare Advisory chair, Joan Heath, we added the TexShare consortium to the list of institutions endorsing the document.

7. ILL Study Update: Sue Bennett reported. The Interlibrary Loan Study Implementation Task Force, created to evaluate the 2007-2008 study of Texas’ TexNet statewide interlibrary loan system, continues to work on recommendations. The task force met on January 16th, 2009, and has started work developing the functional requirements that will form the basis for purchase of a new system. The group hopes to issue an RFP in July and to award a contract by the end of this fiscal year. The project is on track with their timeline. They are still looking for any comments and questions. Sue attended regional library system meetings last fall and has been gathering comments about the study proposals on a webpage. The TLA Interlibrary Loan Round Table and Public Library Division cosponsored a well-attended open program at the TLA Annual Conference. The majority of the comments received to date regard cost to the library, timeline, courier and subsidies, and workflow. State library staff continue to hear constituent concerns about delivery costs for sending ILL materials to other libraries. Many libraries feel that they will need help with the cost of either postage or courier delivery of items. Another consistent message is that academic libraries feel strongly that the ILL reimbursement program should continue. The ILL reimbursement program provides funds to the academic libraries performing as net lenders to the public libraries. The task force has formed three subcommittees: one for the functional requirements, one for delivery, and one for communications. TexNet ILL intertwines with TexShare in a number of ways. It is important to get input from the entire TexShare community regarding new directions for statewide ILL.

8. Working Group Reports:

A. Card Program Working Group: Paul Sharpe reported. He presented a seven-year summary of service statistics. There is an overall growth pattern in terms of volumes borrowed, but in any given year the rate fluctuates. The statistics are compiled from TexShare card usage reports submitted by participating libraries, and may vary from year-to-year depending upon the number and mix of libraries that submit their reports. The board asked TexShare Coordinator Ann Mason to review response rates for the seven-year period to see if there is a correlation between response rate and increases/decreases in number of volumes borrowed. The loss rate for materials continues to be extremely low.

B. Interlibrary Loan/Courier Service Working Group: Sue Bennett reported. The working group added three new members, and Mary MacWithey is the new Chair. There are now three options for TExpress courier service: 2-day, 3-day, and 5-day delivery. The subsidy to libraries participating at the 2-day and 3-day levels is half of that for 5-day delivery. A few more libraries have recently joined the courier program.

Recently the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) reminded the courier that USPS mail bins should not transport ILL materials, as they are property of the Postal Service. The working group discussed the possibility of purchasing bins or reusable bags to transport ILL materials. Reusable bags could cut supply costs and save staff time. The working group is researching an implementation of reusable bags for library courier services in Florida. The group would need to work out the logistics of purchasing a sufficient quantity of bags as well as a time frame for doing so.

The contract for the next ILL Workshop was just awarded to a hotel in Austin for October 9th. A day and a half event is being planned, including an ”ILL 101” training session scheduled due to its popularity at previous workshops.

C. Education Services Working Group: Mary Sikes reported. The next meeting will piggyback on the TLA Annual Assembly in July. The group recommends that TexShare should spend some of the database cost share on database training. Beverley Shirley responded that TexShare staff would bring a budget report to the board at an upcoming meeting in order to inform the board’s decision regarding use of cost share funds for database training.

D. Electronic Information Working Group: Kerry Keck reported. The next major re-vending effort is scheduled for 2010, with the existing core of databases funded through this date. Recognizing potential changes to the state budget, however, the working group began to discuss 2009 database renewal/non-renewals under three potential scenarios: 1) additional, exceptional-item funding; 2) base budget funding; and 3) a 10% funding reduction. Use statistics, at the vendor level, and data on cost per use are being examined to inform our recommendations about potential eliminations.

In response to recommendations that were generated in the FY2004 Statewide Resource Sharing Summit, the TexShare Advisory Board asked TSLAC to provide TexShare members with a mechanism for forming their own “buying co-ops” to enable them to get database subscription at lower, consortial rates. In collaboration with strategic partners at Amigos, TSLAC developed a web-based tool to provide this functionality. The tool has been available for over two years, and it has never been used. The working group recommends doing away with the utility.

Danielle Plummer, THDI Coordinator, led a discussion of developing a program of free catalog record downloads for public-domain e-books, etc. This program would involve identifying library partners to either generate cataloging, or to identify existing no-cost, quality catalog records. In addition, it would require identifying a site to host record collection and permit downloading into local library catalogs. The group recommended exploring a small-scale trial for Texana material (e.g. Clayton Family History Collection being digitized by the Houston Public Library).

The working group reviewed existing and potential TexSelect vendors and database offerings; the ongoing project to develop weeding suggestions for the netLibrary e-book collection; and potential changes to the statutory language which controls TexShare membership.

The working group assisted in marketing & training to our small and rural libraries this spring by giving feedback on the “Bridge to TexShare” website. During our March meeting, Russlene Waukechon mentioned several community outreach projects under development, with assistance from a core database vendor.

Diane Lozano has joined the Working Group, representing the K-12 group.

E. Database Cost Sharing Working Group: no report

F. Communications Working Group: no report

G. Library of Texas Working Group: Judith Hiott reported. The group continues to work on usability issues with the new version of Library of Texas (LoT). The members are contacting seven academic and 32 public libraries that have not made their catalogs available for searching in LoT. The group is exploring widgets (search boxes that can be added to library homepages) for making LoT more visible and usable on library websites.

H. Texas Collections Working Group: Ann Mason reported. On December 1, 2008, TSLAC announced that they were accepting applications for TexTreasures grants. At the close of the application period on February 27, 2009, they had received twenty-two grant applications from thirteen university libraries, five public libraries, two medical libraries, one community college library, and one seminary. Funding requests totaled $364,449. The applications will go through an internal staff review after which the applicants will address staffs’ questions. A peer review panel will score the applications on May 18th, and recommendations for grant awards will be taken to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission at its August meeting.

9. Strategic Partner Reports:

A. University of Texas at Austin: no report

B. Amigos Library Services: Bonnie Juergens reported. Amigos has had good results with the 2- and 3-day courier service. Over the past year, they’ve increased the program by 70 participants. Current participants benefit from this growth, as they are able to send more packages via courier without having to pay more themselves. There are also small, regional groups that deliver among themselves and are then linked up to the TExpress courier, which expands service area even further. Amigos is asking for libraries to report service disruptions to them immediately so they can take care of the problems as early as possible. Statistics for the courier program are very important and helps us with funding.

C. Education Service Center, Region 20: no report

10. Administrative Report:

TexShare Database Fees. We have collected $1,568,225 (99%) of the TexShare FY09 Database Program Fees. 658 libraries have paid (98%). Because of the economic crunch this fiscal year and our uncertainty regarding potential 2.5% budget cuts, two of our vendors have agreed to no increase in database subscription costs this year and one vendor has agreed to a smaller increase than planned. Our appreciation is extended to our vendors for helping to see us through difficult economic times.

ICOLC Statement on the Economic Crisis. See agenda item #6.

Library promotion. EBSCO has created radio spots promoting use of public libraries.

Spots specifically targeting Spanish language audiences have also been created so a broader, more diverse audience penetration could be achieved. As the spots roll out in various cities, TSLAC sends emails to library directors in the area alerting them to the ads. The regional systems are asked to post messages to member libraries informing them about the announcements as well. These radio spots will be run over 300 times in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, El Paso, Lubbock/Abilene/Amarillo, and Brownsville/Corpus Christi. Listen to one of the spots from the TSLAC homepage www.tsl.texas.gov

EBSCO has also created a quarterly TexShare newsletter. While the content will be of interest to any library professional, the newsletter will focus on articles of special interest to small and rural libraries.

Google Scholar project. Google Scholar is a tool created by Google to provide a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. One special feature of Google Scholar allows libraries with the appropriate technology to make their subscription-based resources searchable and retrieved through the Google Scholar tool. In partnership with EBSCO, TSLAC has taken all the technical steps to enable this feature of Google Scholar for all TexShare community college members. EBSCO has also created a brief online tutorial providing instruction on how to use Google Scholar.

Card Program Coordination. TexShare Coordinator, Ann Mason, recently presented a short program to the North Texas Regional Library System on the TexShare card program.

TexTreasures. See agenda item #8-H. Also, Ann Mason, along with this year’s five TexTreasures grant recipients, presented information on their projects at the annual THDI meeting held on February 13, 2008 in Lubbock. Their presentation generated considerable interest and we hope will encourage future partnerships among libraries, and between libraries and museums or other cultural heritage institutions for future TexTreasures grant submissions.

Courier. The TExpress Courier is being rebid this year. TSLAC issued a bid document on March 10, 2009. Bids will close the morning of April 14, 2009. This year’s bid document asks for proposals to specify any enhanced services that can be offered to TexShare membership (e.g. options for how many times the courier will come per week, option for next-day delivery, pick-up-on-demand options, linking to regional couriers, etc.)

ILL Study. See agenda item #7.

K-12 Libraries. ESC-20 has developed a face-to-face module for training in the Encyclopedia Britannica. The training modules developed by ESC-20 are available to all interested persons through Collective Commons licensing. This module is in addition to the updated face-to-face and online training modules EBSCO Basics, EBSCO Advanced, Curriculum Integration, and Teacher-Librarian Collaboration.

As part of the contract with them, Encyclopedia Britannica schedules regular webinar training sessions provided to Texas K-12 librarians free of charge. Last year, 750 educators participated in these webinars. Britannica is now registered as a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider and future webinar attendees can receive CPE credits. In order to assist us in our outreach efforts, Britannica sent an 8,000-piece mailing to all Texas schools, reaching librarians, technology coordinators, or principals.

New to the K-12 support package this year are the K-12 Databases Mini10s (Mini Tens). These are ten-minute training modules designed to support awareness, use, and integration of the resources included in the state-funded K-12 Database Program. They are presented in a video-format enhanced with PowerPoints, handouts, and other supplementary materials. Each module is a brief, targeted, and flexible training session, includes all materials needed, and is accessible online. Mini Tens available now are “Have You Heard – State-Funded Resources Available Now,” and ”Parent Connection – Help Your Students Make the Grade.”

Rule Review. Texas Government Code §2001.039 requires state agencies to review and consider for readoption each of their rules every four years. A state agency's review of a rule must include an assessment of whether the reasons for initially adopting the rule continue to exist. In accordance with this requirement, TSLAC will publish a notice in the Texas Register, asking for comment as to whether the reasons for adopting Chapter 8, concerning the TexShare Library Consortium, continue to exist. As TexShare statistics for TexShare services reflect a high level of use and success, we anticipate readoption of the TexShare rules at the completion of the review process.

Resource Sharing Summit Update. See agenda item #5.

The TexShare Resource Sharing Summit Implementation Task Force met on February 26, 2009 to start work on the charge assigned the task force by the TexShare Advisory Board last July. At this meeting they discussed:

Goals for a survey on TexShare services. The group identified several areas in which libraries need data to inform their future decision-making. They recommend that

* Ultimately, we want to find out what services Texans need and want and to identify which of these needs can be met through collaborative services.

* There are multiple audiences to survey, including academic, public, or K-12 library patrons, users, or nonusers.

* Some data elements would be better addressed by an environmental scan than through a survey (What is current usage of services? What are the bandwidth needs in the state? How many K-12 schools do/don’t have a librarian on staff?)

* Some of the areas identified would be better addressed by focus groups than through a survey (Why are nonusers not coming to the library? How can we get the nonuser to the library? What services do library users want?)

* Focus groups and surveys could serve a dual purpose of information gathering and of outreach to nonusers.

Outreach strategy. Group members identified the following as important to any outreach strategy:

* Target audiences for outreach and customize the message to the audience, and remember to keep outreach jargon-free

* Survey (or focus group) results should inform an outreach plan

* Market the outreach – member libraries need to know about tools we provide them that assist them in outreach

* Set priorities (To meet the greatest need, go to the rural and underserved libraries. To have the greatest impact, go to the academic and large public libraries.)

Expanding TexShare. As a result of the strategic planning session, we are seeking a statutory change that would move determination of TexShare membership from statute to rule. It would also add a category of “TexShare affiliated member” for organizations that are only interested in a limited number of TexShare services.

* The group brainstormed a list of potential new members for TexShare.

* They identified questions we would need to address in establishing procedures for adding new members (How do we assure funding so that we don’t expand beyond our budget? How would we address the category of TexShare affiliate? Would we have a tiered membership? How would the membership voice their opinions in the process of adding new members? How would organizations “apply” for membership?)

LRS staff will develop plans around the task force recommendations and follow up with a conference call sometime this spring.

Next board meeting will be Monday, July 27, 2009.


TexShare Advisory Board Members:

Megan Cooper, Leander ISD *

Cathy Dean, San Antonio

Joan Heath, Texas State University San Marcos

Kathy Hoffman, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Larry Justiss, Tom Green County Library System

Farzaneh Razzaghi, University of Texas – Pan American

Melissa Rippy, Pasadena ISD *

Sheila Ross Henderson, Pasadena Public Library System

Martha Tandy, Weatherford College

* K-12 representatives serve in a non-voting capacity

Texas State Library and Archives Commission:

Sue Bennett, Library Resource Sharing Division

Julie Hughes, Library Resource Sharing Division

Ann Mason, Library Resource Sharing Division

Peggy Rudd, Director and Librarian

Beverley Shirley, Library Resource Sharing Division

Working Group Chairs:

Kerry Keck, Electronic Information Working Group

Paul Sharpe, Card Program Working Group

Mary Sikes, Education Services Working Group

Strategic Partners:

Bonnie Juergens, Amigos Library Services


Joyce Taggart, library volunteer

Page last modified: January 28, 2011