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TEXAS STATEWIDE RESOURCE SHARING STRATEGIC PLANNING SESSION

20-21 January 2004


Summary Report

By Ann Joslin


April 2004

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Executive Summary
2. Meeting Report
3. Strategic Plan
 
4. Appendices
A. Agenda
B. Participant List
C. Introductions
D. TexShare Principles
E. Database Program - Small Group Reports
F. Other TexShare Programs - Small Group Reports
G. Top Recommendations for All Programs
H. Recommendations in N/3 Order
I. Recommendations in N/3 Order by Program

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In January 2004, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) convened a Statewide Resource Sharing Strategic Planning Session. The purpose of the planning session was to bring representatives of all stakeholder groups together to discuss future programming that would ensure the continuity and growth of TexShare and its services. Recent and significant cuts in funding for statewide resource sharing programs contributed to the need to reassess current programs and to identify priorities for TexShare. Recommendations developed at the meeting were to be forwarded to the TexShare Advisory Board.

DESIRED OUTCOMES

The Statewide Resource Sharing Strategic Planning Session convened on January 20 and 21, 2004. The desired outcomes for the session were:

  • Affirmation of the TexShare principles
  • Recommendations on the structure of the statewide database services and partnerships
  • Recommendations on changes in TexShare programs,
  • Recommendations on potential new TexShare programs,
  • Recommendations on TexShare priorities through 2008, and
  • Recommendations on next steps in legislation and communication

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RESULTS

Small groups met in two sessions to develop recommendations on statewide database services, changes in TexShare programs, and potential new TexShare programs. Of the 28 recommendations identified as highest priorities within the groups, four clearly rose to the top among all participants:

Database program: More flexibility in funding and administration options, participation (including K-12, with more money) and targeted databases.

Education: Outreach to all libraries:

  • Establish partnerships that consist of academic, public, school libraries,
  • Mentor those in geographical area (between libraries),
  • Cooperative hosting between academic, public and school libraries,
  • Develop presentations/toolkits that include cost benefits for the various TexShare programs that are web accessible and assist librarians in educating their communities, their leaders, their patrons about the services and benefits of TexShare programs.

Database program: Bring K-12 into TexShare (Gives K-12 access to all TexShare programs, requires change in legislation, requires funding, until legislation and funding are accomplished, hold current members harmless and work to offer databases to K-12 in other ways).

Communication and marketing: Create a Communications/Marketing formal working group. The group could focus on the different audiences we want to communicate to – legislature, libraries, patrons.

There was not a clear recommendation for implementing new programs. Digitization and virtual reference emerged with about the same level of support as a recommendation that resources should be focused on improving existing programs rather than starting any new ones.

After identifying a sense of priorities, the group was asked to consider implementation steps dealing with legislative action and communication of the meeting outcomes. Participants generally agreed that others, such as TSLAC staff and the Texas Library Association, are better qualified to identify any legislative action needed to achieve the priorities. Likewise, they felt that the Communications/Marketing Working Group (a priority recommendation) should be created as soon as possible and be responsible for coordinating all TexShare communications including the meeting outcomes.

During the course of the meeting, the participants clarified and reaffirmed the TexShare principles derived from the 2000 TexShare vision, and confirmed that their priority recommendations to the TexShare Advisory Board supported those principles.

The full summary report includes a more detailed description of the 2-day meeting and strategic planning elements compiled from the meeting recommendations.


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MEETING REPORT

BACKGROUND

In January 2004, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) convened a statewide resource sharing strategic planning session. The purpose of the planning session was to bring representatives of all stakeholder groups together to discuss future programming that would ensure the continuity and growth of TexShare and its services. Recommendations developed at the meeting were to be forwarded to the TexShare Advisory Board.

TexShare is a legislatively mandated program that serves various types of libraries across the state and is designed to improve library services to Texans. A strategic planning conference for resource sharing held in 2000 to explore the future of TexShare resulted in action plans to expand resource sharing among Texas libraries. Recent and significant cuts in funding for statewide resource sharing programs contributed to the need to reassess current programs and to identify priorities for continuity and growth of TexShare.

TSLAC contracted with Ann Joslin to facilitate the 2-day strategic planning session and write a summary report for the TexShare Advisory Board. The facilitator met with TSLAC staff for a half-day planning session in December. A tentative agenda and background materials describing current TexShare programs and other resource sharing activities were distributed to invitees early in January.

TSLAC staff identified a list of critical questions that formed the framework for the meeting content. Those questions were:

  • Can we affirm the TexShare principles?
  • How should we structure statewide database services and partnerships to best meet needs?
  • How should TexShare programs move forward?
  • What are the priorities for statewide resource sharing and TexShare over the next 5 years? Where should we put our resources?
  • Do the priorities support the TexShare principles?
  • What legislative action is needed to achieve these priorities?
  • How can this information best be communicated? How will I help communicate this information?

The meeting process was designed to gather input from the participants through small group work and to get a sense of agreement, priorities, and concerns through discussion in the full group. The full group met in an auditorium equipped with a technology podium and large screen for displaying small group reports and key points of discussions. TSLAC staff members were assigned to facilitate the small group discussions and record recommendations; each recorder had a laptop and template that enabled the small group reports to be displayed easily and quickly for the full group.

DESIRED OUTCOMES AND INTRODUCTIONS

The Statewide Resource Sharing Strategic Planning Session convened on January 20 and 21, 2004. (See Appendix A for the agenda, and Appendix B for the list of participants.) The desired outcomes for the session were:

  • Affirmation of the TexShare principles
  • Recommendations on the structure of the statewide database services and partnerships
  • Recommendations on changes in TexShare programs
  • Recommendations on potential new TexShare programs
  • Recommendations on TexShare priorities through 2008, and
  • Recommendations on next steps in legislation and communication

After a welcome from Sandra J. Pickett, Chair of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and Peggy D. Rudd, State Librarian, and a review of the 2-day agenda, participants were asked to introduce themselves and briefly describe one thing they’d like to see from the planning session. Responses ranged from visionary, new ways of thinking to practical, doable ideas that provide clear direction. (See Appendix C for the list of responses.)

To provide an overview and opportunity for questions about the printed background materials, TexShare Coordinator Ann Mason presented a summary of TexShare programs. She briefly described the purpose, progress, and issues for:

  • Statewide databases
  • TExpress (courier service)
  • TexTreasures (Texas Collections grant program)
  • TexShare Card
  • Education
  • Interlibrary loan
  • Communications and marketing

The TexShare summary was followed by a status report on the Texas Library Association Resource Sharing Task Force from Rhoda Goldberg. The Task Force charge is to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of resource sharing, with particular emphasis in group purchase and training with online databases for all types of libraries.

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TEXSHARE PRINCIPLES AND VISION

The first critical question addressed by the participants was: Can we affirm the TexShare principles?

TSLAC staff had identified four core principles in the vision statement developed in the 2000 strategic planning session:

  • Serve all Texans, regardless of geographical location, age, education, or financial status
  • A partnership of libraries to offer a seamless continuum of service
  • Empower Texans to access and use information to achieve educational, economic, and personal goals
  • Efficiently and cost effectively deliver information; cost management

Participants were asked if they had additions to or concerns about these core principles. A wide-ranging discussion followed that included editing, observations, and questions. (See Appendix D for the list of comments.) The group agreed to review the full vision statement to better understand the context of the principles.

TexShare Vision Statement, 2000

All Texans will be served by a partnership of libraries that empowers them to access and use information confidently and effectively. This partnership will:

  • Offer a continuum of library and information services to persons regardless of geographical location, age, education, or financial status;
  • Realize the benefits of cost management and efficiency, even as services are expanded;
  • Provide seamless access to the state, national and worldwide resources.





    This library partnership will enable Texans to realize their economic, educational, and personal goals.

After reviewing the full vision statement, the participants affirmed the TexShare principles. There was general agreement on the following wording if there is a need to use the core principles of TexShare rather than the full vision statement:

  • Serve all Texans, regardless of geographical location, age, education, or financial status,
  • Offer a seamless continuum of service through a partnership of libraries,
  • Empower Texans to access and use information to achieve educational, economic, and personal goals,
  • Deliver information efficiently and cost effectively.

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STATEWIDE DATABASES

The second critical question addressed by the participants was: How should we structure statewide database services and partnerships to best meet needs?

Syma Zerkow summarized current issues and concerns with the database program. Kevin Marsh gave a demonstration of the newly available Library of Texas (LoT) and explained its relationship to the statewide database program.

Participants broke into their assigned small groups with instructions to:

  • Identify needs that are being met by the current statewide database program
  • Identify needs that are not being met,
  • Develop recommendations for changes, additions, expansion, etc. to the database program to better meet needs.

They were to record those recommendations that had substantial agreement among group members and identify the group’s top two recommendations. Some groups recorded all of the recommendations made by group members rather than only those that had substantial agreement; all groups identified their top recommendations.

After working for 90 minutes, each small group reported identified needs and recommendations to the full group. (See Appendix E for small group reports.) The full group adjourned for the day, and the facilitator and TSLAC staff met to review the top recommendations for the statewide database program. Staff identified duplication and overlap among the 11 recommendations and proposed that the participants be asked to clarify the distinctions or combine the similar concepts.

The second day began with a recap of the first day’s progress and a review of the database recommendations. The participants agreed to consolidate the 11 recommendations into six (see Appendix G).

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OTHER TEXSHARE PROGRAMS

The next critical question for the group was: How should TexShare programs move forward? TSLAC wanted input on five other TexShare programs and activities:

  • TExpress (courier service)
  • TexTreasures (Texas Collections grant program)
  • TexShare Card
  • Education
  • Communications and Marketing

Each small group was assigned one of the above programs or activities and was asked to select a second; they were to develop recommendations for changes, additions, expansions, etc. and identify their top two priorities for each program. They were also asked to identify a new TexShare program and develop a purpose statement and basic description for it.

The small groups worked for 90 minutes and again each reported to the full group noting its top two priorities for each program. There were 22 recommendations addressing the five current and potential new programs (see Appendix G).

SENSE OF PRIORITIES

The next critical question was: What are the priorities for statewide resource sharing and TexShare over the next five years? Where should we put our resources?

A total of 28 recommendations from both small group sessions (see Appendix G) were placed on flip charts at the back of the auditorium. Using the N/3 method of identifying a sense of priorities, each participant was given 9 colored dots (28/3 = 9.3) and asked to place one on each of his/her highest priorities. Those recommendations with the highest number of dots reflected the sense of priorities for the group. At least 32 participants placed dots; apparently some didn’t use all 9, and some may have placed multiple dots on the same recommendation.

Four recommendations clearly rose to the top. (See Appendix H for the list of 28 recommendations in N/3 order and Appendix I for the list arranged in N/3 order within TexShare program.)

36 Database program: More flexibility in funding and administration options, participation (including K-12, with more money) and targeted databases.

26 Education: Outreach to all libraries:

  • Establish partnerships that consist of academic, public, school libraries,
  • Mentor those in geographical area (between libraries),
  • Cooperative hosting between academic, public and school libraries,
  • Develop presentations/toolkits that include cost benefits for the various TexShare programs that are web accessible and assist librarians in educating their communities, their leaders, their patrons about the services and benefits of TexShare programs.

    24 Database program: Bring K-12 into TexShare (Gives K-12 access to all TexShare programs, requires change in legislation, requires funding, until legislation and funding are accomplished, hold current members harmless and work to offer databases to K-12 in other ways).

    23 Communication and marketing: Create a Communications/Marketing formal working group. The group could focus on the different audiences we want to communicate to – legislature, libraries, patrons.

Participants were divided in their preferences for implementing new TexShare programs. Two recommendations for expanding existing activities into statewide programs were balanced with a recommendation that no new programs be initiated at this time.

16 Texas Digitization Program to allow for regional digitization labs and a plan for long-term preservation of digital files.

12 No new programs, improve existing ones.

11 Ask Texas / TEXANswers, a statewide collaborative virtual public service element to build on the Library of Texas / Virtual Reference Service.

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IMPLEMENTATION STEPS

After identifying a sense of priorities, the group was asked to consider implementation steps by responding to two more critical questions.

Natasha Rosofsky, Legislative budget analyst, reviewed the legislative process to help participants answer: What legislative action is needed to achieve these priorities? Several participants questioned if it was necessary for this group to identify legislative actions. Whether or not a specific recommendation needs legislative action may depend on how it is implemented. Others, such as TSLAC staff and the Texas Library Association, are in a better position to identify any legislative action that is needed. There was agreement that the group not address this question.

The other critical question was: How can this information best be communicated? How will I help communicate this information? Participants questioned the need for this group to plan communication of the meeting outcomes. Other than affirmation of the TexShare principles, the outcomes are recommendations, a combination of global and very specific statements, to the TexShare Advisory Board (TSAB). The small group discussions had identified the need to “simplify and unify” the TexShare message. Having members of this group communicate to the library community in the absence of TSAB decisions could further confuse the message.

One of the priority recommendations of this group was to create a Communications/ Marketing Working Group. There was agreement that the new Working Group should be responsible for coordinating all TexShare communication, including the outcomes of this meeting. However there was concern about the timeline for implementing this recommendation; the feeling was that it needed to be done now.

TSLAC staff clarified that TSAB would receive the list of recommendations at its January 22 meeting. Several TSAB members participated in this strategic planning session and may speak to the discussions. The final strategic planning report is due in April but TSAB may choose to act on some recommendations prior to that time. It is also possible that existing TexShare working groups may begin considering recommendations from this meeting that are in their purview.

At the conclusion of the discussion, several participants volunteered that they plan to report on this strategic planning session to their administrators and to act as “missionaries for TexShare” and its principles.

PRIORITIES AND PRINCIPLES

The last critical question addressed was: Do these priority recommendations support the TexShare principles that the group reaffirmed? After reviewing the recommendations in N/3 order again, the participants agreed that the priorities did in fact support the principles.

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MEETING WRAP-UP

The bin, a list of related topics identified during the full group discussions, was reviewed by the group. The two items not addressed during the course of the meeting were referred to the TSLAC staff:

  • Take a census of all resource sharing programs, branding, task forces, etc.
  • Issue of digital archiving was not addressed in any of the recommendations; this is an education issue.

Several next steps were identified as follow-up to the meeting:

  • The recommendations in N/3 order, the notes of the introductions of the participants (“One thing I’d like to see from this meeting”), and the notes of the discussion on the TexShare principles will be distributed to the strategic planning session participants by TSLAC staff.
  • TSAB decisions regarding these recommendations will be distributed to the participants.
  • The draft strategic planning report, due by February 23, will be distributed to the participants; comments are due back to the facilitator by March 12. The draft report may be used as approved by TSLAC.
  • The final strategic planning report is due by April 23.

The facilitator reviewed the desired outcome for the meeting. The group achieved five of the six desired outcomes, and agreed that the sixth, next steps in legislation and communication, was better addressed by others.

Participants were asked to spend a few minutes describing in writing what worked well about the meeting and what they would change to make the meeting better. Volunteers were then asked to share some of their thoughts.

  • On the “plus” side, participants mentioned the small group work, having the agenda and background materials prior to the meeting, and the use of technology.
  • On the “change” side, participants cited the need for clearer instructions for the N/3 exercise, more time to clarify and synthesize the recommendations and discuss their implementation, and earlier understanding of how the recommendations would be presented to TSAB.
  • Observations that appeared under both “plus” and “change” included stakeholder representation (good cross section; important ones were missing), program structure (good, flexible, well organized; not well thought out, didn’t flow logically), the full group discussions (worked well, stayed on track; a few people dominated, not always on topic), and level of discussion (good discussions; should have been at strategic directions level; not enough detail on funding and implementation).

The following strategic planning elements are derived from the recommendations and discussions of the 2-day strategic planning session.


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STRATEGIC PLANNING ELEMENTS

STRATEGIC VISION

This vision statement was developed in 2000, and it was reaffirmed by the participants in the 2004 Strategic Planning Session.

All Texans will be served by a partnership of libraries that empowers them to access and use information confidently and effectively. This partnership will:

  • Offer a continuum of library and information services to persons regardless of geographical location, age, education, or financial status;
  • Realize the benefits of cost management and efficiency, even as services are expanded;
  • Provide seamless access to the state, national, and worldwide resources.


    This library partnership will enable Texans to realize their economic, educational, and personal goals.

MISSION

A mission describes the business the organization is in, or who is served, what services are provided, and why the services are provided. The TexShare mission was not addressed in the 2004 Strategic Planning Session. If the objective to bring K-12 (and other types of libraries) into TexShare is realized, the mission statement will need to be revised. The mission as it currently appears on the TexShare website is:

TexShare, a statewide consortium of academic libraries, public libraries, and libraries of clinical medicine administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, employs traditional and innovative strategies to resource sharing. TexShare is founded on the belief of Texas State officials and librarians that citizen health and well being is furthered by efficient information exchange in all communities and institutions where quality teaching, research excellence, and lifelong learning are valued. TexShare maximizes the effectiveness of library expenditures by enabling libraries to:

  • share staff expertise,
  • share library resources in print and electronic formats, including books, journals, technical reports, and databases,
  • pursue joint purchasing agreements for information services,
  • encourage cooperative development and deployment of information resources and technologies.

    TexShare programs contribute to the intellectual productivity of Texans at the participating institutions by emphasizing access to rather than ownership of documents and other information sources.

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STRATEGIES AND TACTICS

Italics indicate recommendations that were in the top group of the N/3 order.

TEXSHARE STRATEGIES AND TACTICS

1. Bring all types of libraries into TexShare. [Supported by TexShare Vision]

a. Amend the TexShare statute to open membership to all types of libraries.


b. Modify the TexShare mission statement.


c. Secure funding needed for participation by all types of libraries.

2. Determine if resources exist to develop new programs, or if resources are best used to strengthen existing programs. If new programs are developed:

a. Establish a digitization program as a TexShare project.

1. Develop a state plan for libraries, museums, and other entities.


2. Develop standards for digitization projects to ensure quality and allow cross-searching.


3. Develop regional digitization labs.


4. Plan for long-term preservation of digital files.

b. Establish a collaborative statewide virtual reference service under TexShare.

1. Evaluate existing virtual reference programs.


2. Develop a pilot project and/or create a network of existing programs to provide statewide coverage.


3. Design as a public service element to build on the Library of Texas.

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DATABASE PROGRAM STRATEGIES AND TACTICS

1. Develop more flexibility in funding, administration, and participation options for the database program.

2. Bring K-12 into TexShare.

a. Until legislation and funding are in place, identify other ways to offer database access to K-12.


b. Amend the TexShare statute.


c. Secure funding needed for K-12 participation.


d. Give K-12 access to databases [and all other TexShare programs].

3. Increase the flexibility in choice of databases.

a. Reassess core databases.


b. Broaden the core as much as possible.


c. Offer a broader choice of non-core databases.

4. Improve gathering and use of database statistics statewide.

5. Capture other partners’ funding, such as K-12, hospitals, and health care providers, to bring their libraries into the program.

6. Identify the best modes of database training for library staff and patrons: in person, online/virtual tutorials, train the trainer, etc.

EDUCATION STRATEGIES AND TACTICS

1. Provide education outreach to all libraries to enable staff to better use TexShare services and better serve their patrons.

a. Establish partnerships that consist of academic, public, and school libraries.


b. Mentor those in geographical area (between libraries).


c. Offer cooperative hosting among academic, public, and school libraries.


d. Develop training centrally that is customized by type of library, need, and/or audience.


e. Investigate a variety of training modes (online, in person, etc) to increase knowledge about and participation in TexShare programs.


f. Partner with other CE providers (regional library systems, ESCs, etc) to develop and schedule one-on-one training based on need.


g. Expand training to include information on collecting and using statistics of all TexShare programs.

2. Provide education outreach to all libraries to enable staff to educate their communities, their leaders, their patrons about the services and benefits of TexShare programs. (also under Communications/Marketing)

a. Develop presentations and/or toolkits that:

1. Are web accessible and can be used as a link from a library’s webpage.


2. Include cost benefits for the various TexShare programs.


3. Showcase information and PR materials.

3. Conduct needs assessment and evaluation to monitor relevance and effectiveness of training.

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COMMUNICATIONS/MARKETING STRATEGIES AND TACTICS

1. Create a Communications/Marketing Working Group to:

a. Implement the communications and marketing recommendations from the 2004 Strategic Planning Session.


b. Develop a multi-media approach to marketing TexShare programs.


c. Target specific audiences, including the Legislature, libraries, and patrons.


d. Refine the brief message that identifies TexShare and its importance.

2. Identify an umbrella term that simplifies and unifies all the resource sharing names and programs.

a. Build on existing TexShare name recognition.

3. Provide education outreach to all libraries to enable staff to educate their communities, their leaders, their patrons about the services and benefits of TexShare programs. (also under Education)

a. Develop presentations and/or toolkits that:

1. Are web accessible and can be used as a link from a library’s webpage.


2. Include cost benefits for the various TexShare programs.


3. Showcase information and PR materials.

4. Provide and encourage use of a uniform web page template or logo to identify services provided by TexShare to member libraries.

TEXSHARE CARD PROGRAM STRATEGIES AND TACTICS

1. Promote broader participation in the TexShare Card Program.

a. Convene a focus group of non-participating libraries to identify barriers to participation.


b. Aggressively market the card program to the public and to non-participating libraries.


c. Bring K-12 into the card program [as statute allows].


d. Develop marketing packages for those libraries who don’t participate.


e. Identify statistics on benefits, loss, etc.

2. Increase the visibility of each TexShare Card participant’s lending and borrowing policies.

TEXPRESS COURIER STRATEGIES AND TACTICS

1. Restore and increase TexShare’s subsidy for TExpress participants.

a. Create a more flexible subsidy scale.

2. Promote broader participation in TExpress.

a. Publicize and promote the shared use of stop locations.


b. Aggressively market the courier service to non-participating libraries.

TEXTREASURES STRATEGIES AND TACTICS

1. Restore and increase funding to make it proportional to the number of libraries in TexShare.

2. Publicize the outcomes of the TexTreasures grant awards.

3. Develop training on how to implement a TexTreasures project successfully.


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