Minutes for TexShare Texas Collections Working Group Conference Call,
Oct. 18, 2006

Beverley Shirley explained some background information on the grant rule process. The agency is consolidating all the grants under one subchapter of the rules. Each TSLAC grant program will have a separate section for their specific rules, but the general rules will apply to all grants. Some of the details will not be put in the rules, but will be addressed in the guidelines for each grant program.

The task of the working group was to look at the existing TexTreasures rules and recommend changes. The changes considered include:

  1. Do we still see the purpose of TexTreasures grants as “seed” money, or do we want to allow the grants to fully fund discrete projects? As more libraries have acquired the hardware and software to accomplish their digitization and access goals, do we have less need for “seed money” to get projects started? Would we benefit more by providing funds to allow for more materials within the collections to be digitized or made accessible in other ways?
    The recommendation of the group was to drop the seed money and allow funding to discrete projects. The issue of allowing applicants to apply for additional funding for the same project for up to 3 years of funding was also discussed, but we didn’t come to a final recommendation.
  2. Microfilming is now in use as a preservation technology, not as a strategy for increased access to collections. Would it, therefore, be appropriate to remove “microfilming” from the list of eligible project activities (which we will move to the guidelines)?

    The group agreed that microfilming was principally a preservation technology, and that these grants are not specifically for preservation activities but is meant for access and resource sharing projects. The group recommends that “microfilming” be removed from the list of eligible project activities.
  3. TexShare member libraries have forged a number of valuable partnerships enabling their joint digital projects (e.g. Museum of Houston, Texas Digital Library, EPals, Regional Library Systems, etc.). Should we allow non-profit organizations applying on behalf of TexShare members to be eligible? Should we allow TexTreasures funding to be applied to non-member partners in the project as well as to TexShare member collections?

    After a lengthy discussion, the group agreed that the applicant should be a TexShare member, and the funds should be awarded to the applicant. TexShare members can apply on behalf of a partnership that includes non-members, and the funds can be directed to non-profit organizations in the partnership.

    4. Other competitive grants offered by TSLAC do specify a match in the grants’ rules; rather match is specified in the grant guidelines and does not come into play for amounts at the $20,000 - $25,000 level. Should we remove the match requirement from TexTreasures grants? If so, should we ask applicants to address sustainable access to their collections in the project design portion?

    The recommendation of the group is to remove the match requirement from the grant rules, but award points in the scoring for cost effectiveness to encourage leveraging local resources. The group proposes adding a question to the rules under Award Criteria, Cost Effectiveness – “Does the project proposal leverage local resources?”

    5. Other competitive grants offered by TSLAC do not specify a cap on the amount of the grant. Should we continue to cap grants to individual applicants at $20,000? Would it be appropriate to have a larger cap for collaborative projects - $25,000?

    The group recommends keeping the cap at $20,000 for a single applicant and raising the cap to $25,000 for collaborative projects. This should be taken out of the rules and put in the guidelines to be consistent with the other TSLAC grants.

    6. The commission will also be considering a proposal that for FY2008 and FY2009 portions of each competitive grant be reserved for regional library system applications, should systems choose to apply. We ask the TexShare Advisory Board to make recommendations to the commission regarding this proposal as it relates to TexTreasures grants.

    There was concern expressed by the working group that the grant funds available are too small to reserve a portion of it for the Systems. The working group would be scoring all applications, while only giving out 2 or 3 grants each year based on those scores. The time and energy necessary to go through the process of awarding the grants would be disproportional to the small number of grants awarded on the basis of that scoring process.

Submitted by Ellen Safly
Chair, TexTreasures Working Group

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