Texas academic library directors first proposed an academic statewide resource sharing project in 1988, which was first funded in FY94 under the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The 53 publicly supported four year academic and medical libraries were the original TexShare members. Selected TexShare members and Amigos Library Services administered TexShare under contract to the THECB. The first biennium was devoted to planning and starting programs such as funding for Internet connectivity and Ariel workstations. Between 1994 and 1996 the online database, ILL protocol, card program, and TexTreasures grant programs were begun, as well as the TexShare web site and electronic mailing lists.
During the next biennium, program development continued, and there was a strong TLA legislative program to increase funding and expand membership. This effort culminated in HB 2721 (75th Session) that expanded TexShare membership to independent academic institutions and community colleges. In addition, TexShare was established as a program of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, although it continued to be administered by contract to Amigos and UT/Austin at this time.
The 1997-1999 biennium brought several changes. The courier and education programs were added to TexShare and during the 76th Session HB 1433 was passed, which brought public libraries into TexShare. In September 1999 the State Library assumed full administrative responsibility for TexShare, with Amigos and UT/Austin continuing their roles as Strategic Partners.
On June 15, 2001, 60 databases became available for both academic and public libraries through funding from a Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board (TIF) grant. The TIF grant provided the opportunity to build a premier, consolidated database program. A major goal was to deliver full text information 24 hours a day to the citizens of Texas.
September 2, 2001, the TexShare program expanded eligibility by enacting HB 3591. HB 3591 allowed Libraries of Clinical Medicine to become full members of TexShare.
In 2005, Senate Bill 483 (79th Legislature) gave the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) the authority to negotiate group purchasing agreements on behalf of K-12 public school libraries. From fall 2007 – spring 2011, a rider in the Texas Education Agency’s budget provided funding for K-12 public school library databases. Education Service Center – Region 20 (ESC-20) became a TexShare Strategic Partner, providing advice and services related to technical support, training and outreach to K-12 public school libraries. Funding for the K-12 Database program was discontinued in the 2011 Legislative session. However, the 83rd Legislature re-established funding for that program in the TSLAC budget.
The TexShare Affiliate Membership program, added in 2009, further broadened participation in TexShare services by providing a structure for nonprofit libraries to benefit from TexShare services. Libraries that participate as affiliate members must fund their participation in TexShare services and show how their membership will enhance resource sharing for all TexShare libraries.
At the heart of TexShare is the synergy that occurs when librarians work together to serve customers better.
Texas State Library and Archives
PO Box 12927
Austin, TX 78711-2927
512-463-0188 or tollfree in Texas: 800-252-9386