TLACast • Volume 32, No. 2 • March 2013


Corporate Members

Baker & Taylor
Follett Library Resources
Gale Cengage Learning
H-E-B Read 3
Library Interiors of Texas
Media Source
Sourcebooks, Inc.

Corporate Sponsors


Media Source


Baker & Taylor


Little, Brown


Library Interiors


Aladdin & Atheneum

Escue & Assoc.

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Fort Worth, Here We Come
This year, the TLA conference allows our community to return to Fort Worth for the first time in 16 years. From the Kimball and Amon Carter museums to the Stockyards and Botanical Gardens, Fort Worth offers an amazing range of activities, attractions, and experiences.

The 2013 TLA Annual Conference in Fort Worth, April 24-27, features great authors, library experts, and programs. Advocacy and promotional activities will take center stage as the library community comes together “Promoting Our Values, Proving Our Worth.” With three general session speakers – J.R. Martinez, Dan Ariely, and Neil Gaiman – this year’s conference (the association’s 100th conference!) offers an expanded schedule of programs and activities.

Of course, you’ll want to take time to visit TLA’s famous Exhibit Hall, where hundreds of corporate partners and industry representatives will be available to show you the latest in technology, trends, tools, resources, and (of course) books and informational content! The Exhibitor’s Guide included in the spring issue of Texas Library Journal provides a detailed listing of our vendors and corporate partners.

The mainstay of the TLA conference is the extraordinary talent of speakers. TLA’s teaching conference offers hundreds of sessions and learning opportunities from experts. Featured speakers this year include David Lankes, Buffy Hamilton, Joyce Valenza, José Aponte, Jamie LaRue, Mike Eisenberg, Gary Strong, Jim Self, Tony Diaz, Andrew McCarthy, Nia Vardalos, and Chris Haley.

The full schedule of programs and events was mailed to TLA members as a special winter edition of the Texas Library Journal. For additional conference information including live registration, visit the TLA 2013 conference site.

  • Mobile App – Download the mobile app for TLA’s Fort Worth conference. To access the app, go to your mobile device’s App Store feature and search for TLA2013. This free app is available for both Apple and Android devices. With it, you will be able to schedule your conference activities, receive updates and alerts, view the Exhibit Hall map and vendor information, locate other maps, create a profile, schedule events, and so much more! Please maximize your conference experience by signing up today!
  • Conference Blog
  • TWITTER: Use hashtag #txla13 to tweet about conference events
  • General Conference FAQ and Information A-Z: Be sure to check out transportation facts, including information on getting around Fort Worth and travel from both airports.

Conference Updates
The Opening Author Session Luncheon sponsored by LiFTA on Thursday, April 25 at noon features author and actor Andrew McCarthy and the newly-scheduled Susan Elizabeth Phillips, author of The Great Escape, Call Me Irresistible, and Glitter Baby. Andrew McCarthy is formerly known for films like Saint Elmo’s Fire and Less Than Zero and is now a travel writer for National Geographic and author of his own recent book on relationships, The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down. Phillips is the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award, and she was honored with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

Due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict, Nia Vardalos has graciously agreed to speak on Saturday, April 27 at 1:15 p.m. instead of at the Opening Author Session Luncheon. No ticket is required to hear this popular author, screenwriter, producer, director, and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She will speak about her amazing parenting journey detailed in Instant Mom: I Thought I Knew Love, and Then I Met My Daughter.

Connect to Know at Conference
Connect with friends and colleagues and meet some new TLA members at the first-ever CONNECT TO KNOW membership pavilion (Booth 1207 in Exhibit Hall E). Come by and take a load off. You can:
•    just sit and visit while you re-charge your electronic gadgets,
•    make a donation to TLA’s text to donate program (which, during April 24-27, will benefit the Tarrant County Food Bank),
•    meet with TLA’s membership manager, Kathy Pustejovsky, to ask membership questions,
•    enjoy reading all the comments on the Twitter Wall, and
•    participate in a grand drawing with a couple of fantastic prizes.  

Lights! Camera!
Haven’t you always wanted to be captured on camera for everyone to see? You'll have your chance this year at the CONNECT TO KNOW booth, where everyone who comes by can have a photo op and a chance to share a TLA or conference story. After the conference, TLA will combine all the snippets and post the final version on YouTube. For agreeing to be a star in our very own TLA production, you will be entered in the drawing for donated lounge furniture (which will be on display) from Brodart or a set of bookends commemorating TLA’s 100th conference. The drawing will be held 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 27th.            

TLA Conference Fun Facts Survey
As part of TLA's centennial conference in Fort Worth, the TLA Executive Board invites you to share your favorite Texas Library Association conference memories and fun facts. TLA will unveil a series of top 10 lists relating to TLA conferences past in the days leading up to conference. The TLA Executive Board has developed 10 categories of trivia and fun, and we ask you to submit your entries. These experiences can either be personal events you experienced or they can be public happenings. We will post the submissions on a separate survey and let the membership vote on favorite entries. Think of the David Letterman Top 10 List for TLA conferences! Please feel free to share up to five entries per category. The categories include: favorite conference themes and programs, best speaker lines, “behind-the-scenes” moments, community reaction to local and world events, fun facts, experiences, and funniest moments.  You may also respond multiple times to the survey if you think of other entries to add! Thank you for participating. See you in Fort Worth! Go to TLA Conference Fun Facts Survey.

General Conference FYI

•    David Lankes will participate in the TLA conference via video conferencing during his sessions.
•    TLA will no longer be audio recording any of the sessions.
•    TLA will offer expanded exhibits-only passes:
  • Exhibits Only – (Thu., Frid., and Sat.): $40
  • Exhibits Only + General Sessions – (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday): $100
  • Exhibits Only – Thursday Only (11 am – 6 pm): $25
  • Exhibits Only – Friday Only (10:30 am – 7 pm): $30
  • Exhibits Only – Saturday Only (9 am – 12 noon ): $20

Schedule Updates

  • Show Me a Story – Tom Lichtenheld will no longer be speaking.
  • Spirit of Texas Reading Program (High School) – Ashley Perez will no longer be speaking.
  • Lone Star Reading List and Authors – Marie Lu added to program panel.
  • Newbery Video Fun in 90 Seconds or Less - Program cancelled.
  • Teen Parents: Learning, Literacy, and Life Skills – Sara Lapin Nordhausen will no longer be speaking.
  • School Librarians as Facilitators of Learning – David Lankes Video Conferencing presentation.
  • Opening Author Session – Speaker Change: Nia Vardalos replaced by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Vardalos will speak on Saturday.
  • Maximizing Social Media for Marketing – Speaker additions: Britney Cossey; Tremain Jackson; Rachel Parker.
  • Getting a Read On Your Borrowers: Utilizing Analytics to Drive Key Decisions – Joseph Fackel replaced by Chris Briggs.
  • Moving Past the Deficit Model and Demonstrating Our Worth – David Lankes Video Conferencing presentation
  • Converses with Students Webinars (Contributed Papers Session II) – Beth Wagner will no longer be speaking.
  • 50 Apps in 50 Minutes (Net Fair II) – April Kessler replaced by Laura Young.
  • PubMed for the Rest of Us: Searching the Medical Literature for the Non-Expert (Hands On Lab) – Karen Vargas replaced by Emily Hurst
  • Early Literacy as Library Culture – Patricia Peters replaced by Kristen Nevin
  • Library and Community Matchmaking: Augment Your Marketing Opportunities, Resources, and Programs – Program cancelled.
  • Book Buzz -- Get the Scoop on Forthcoming Books – Virginia Stanley replaced by Annie Mazes.
  • Developing and Implementing a Diversity Action Plan – Speaker Change: Robert Earley replaced by Dresdene Flynn-White; Carol Everhart replaced by Shani Moore; and Gleniece Robinson will no longer be speaking.
  • From A(norexia) to Z(its): Providing Health Information to Teens and Young Adults – Karen Vargas replaced by Michelle Malizia,
  • Thinking Outside of the Book: Providing Library Services to the Blind and Visually Impaired – Danielle Elder will no longer be speaking; Shannon Lyon added.
  • Powerhouse Authors of Young Adult Literature – Rick Yancey replaced by D.J. MacHale.
  • Building and Growing a Digital Repository Service at the University of Texas Libraries (Net Fair III) – Amy Rushing replaced by Colleen Lyon
  • Animal Crackers: Animal Health Information from A(ardvarks) to Z(ebras) – Karen Vargas will no longer be speaking.
  • Program Addition for Nia Vardalos: Book Buzz -- Get the Scoop on Forthcoming Books 1:15 pm (April 27)

Hands on Lab
Want a chance to roll up your sleeve to gain practical hands-on experience in the latest technology, applications, resources, and tasks? Who doesn’t?
Be sure to sign up for TLA’s Hands on Labs at conference. You must preregister online to secure your spot. Here is a list of all of the Hands on Labs.

Thursday, April 25:

  • Developing a Powerful PLN (Personal Learning Network), 10:15 – 11:20 am
  • What’s all the Hype about Skype – How Can I use It in My Library?, 11:30 – 12:30 pm

Friday, April 26

  • Legal Reference and Literature Searching, 10:15 – 12:50 pm
  • Lights, Camera, Libraries! Act 1: Using Windows Live Movie Maker, 11:30 – 12:20 pm
  • PubMed for the Rest of Us: Searching the Medical Literature for the Non-Expert, 1 – 2:50 pm
  • Caring for the Mind: Providing Mental Health Information at Your Library, 3 – 4:50 pm

Prizes at Book Cart Drill Team Competition: Calling all you book cart fans out there: It’s time to spruce up your ride, don unique bibliographic garb, and rev up your engines for our Annual Book Cart Drill Team Competition. So grab a posse of your library cohorts and enter this spirited competition that shows librarians can make even a BOOK CART tell a story! This year, Demco is offering prizes for first, second, and third place. The prizes are Demco gift cards of $250, $150, and $100 respectively. For more information, click on I’m a dancing book cart machine! (Friday, April 26, 7 – 7:45 pm)


Calling all TLA 2013 organizational and institutional members! 

You are invited to exhibit in the hall at a 70% discount or $375 for a 10x10 inline space. As an exhibitor, you can promote your library’s products and services, recruit prospective employees, and be a part of history as an exhibitor at TLA’s 100th conference! To learn more, contact Cindy Boyle.


TLA supports libraries and literacy throughout Texas! If you would like to support TLA, Text TLA to 20222 and a one-time donation of $5 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. The donations are applied to the “area of greatest need” within TLA’s Library Endowment & Advancement Fund (LEAF).

Legislative and Budget Update

State budget writers in both the House and the Senate are concluding their budget recommendations. The Senate just finalized its version of the budget. Soon, the full House will consider its version of the budget.

House Version (as approved by the Appropriations Committee)
Recommended funding: Agency’s current funding PLUS $7,250,000 for Shared Digital Content (amount includes funding for TexShare, K-12 database access, and additional e-content). The agency requested a total of $9,250,000 for this item. The $2 million not funded in this request was pended in Article XI of the proposed state budget.

Note: Article XI is basically the state’s “wish list” for items to be funded should the legislature have additional funds to spend. While items in Article XI are not funded, as included items within the budget document, budget writers can continue to deliberate on these items until both chambers approve a final version of the Appropriations Bill at the end of the session. In other words, library supporters can continue to advocate for funding for items in Article XI. Items not funded or included in Article XI are technically no longer eligible for consideration.

Other items placed in Article XI: $3,400,000 for the Partnerships for Innovation Grants for all types of libraries; a combined $1,450,000 for archives staff; and $64,000 increase for the salary of the State Librarian.

Senate Version
Approved Funding: Agency’s current funding PLUS $7,496,992 for Shared Digital Content (amount includes funding for TexShare, K-12 database access, and additional e-content) and $1,250,000 for archives staff.

Other items placed Article XI: $1,753,008 for Shared Digital Content (amount not funded in the agency’s budget); $3,400,000 for the Partnerships for Innovation Grants for all types of libraries; and $200,000 for archives staff.

Federal Funds
The State’s ability to receive full federal funding applicable for 2015 is contingent on Texas making a persuasive case for a waiver of federal requirements. Our best argument is to show a strong reinvestment is statewide library programming. We need the legislature to fund the library programs requested.

Next Stages
The work remaining is for library supporter to continue promoting funding for library initiatives (including those not yet funded) in the State Library’s budget. The House floor debate may begin within the next few days. There may be some floor amendments to support library funding. All librarians and library supporters should be ready to call or email their legislators to ask for supportive votes in these matters. It is absolutely crucial for every legislator to hear from constituents to support any floor measures offered to increase funding for libraries.

The House and Senate will then have to reconcile the differences in their respective versions of the budget. This process happens through a specially-appointed conference committee. This stage is the 4th quarter of the game, and all library supporters must remain vigilant and active.

The Ongoing Message
Please ask your legislators to support libraries by voting to fund initiatives supporting statewide library programs through the State Library and Archives Commission. For additional information including a list of bills TLA is monitoring, see

CE Corner: Upcoming TLA webinars for April 2013

i-DO-Manage (part of the i-DO-Make-A-Difference series); April 1 and 8, 7-8:30 pm (course includes self-paced work and discussions on free Edmodo site) • Special pricing for TLA and TASL members. More details.

Take charge of your professional future. Using an interactive online learning environment, enhance your skills and find out how to convert your expertise in delivering concrete curriculum-related services to marketable outcomes that will help demonstrate your influence in the educational process. In this module, establish and meet the “big picture” of administering a strong school library program. Course designed by Mary Long, taught by Jennifer LaBoon.

Reaching Your Target Audience through Virtual Communication; April 2, 12:30-1:30 pm;   $25 for TLA members, $50 for nonmembers

Today's workplaces - no matter how big or how small - use a variety of modes and methods of communication and discussion. Whether you are a solo librarian, a manager of many, trying to connect with your Friends group or keeping your Board informed of library activities - matching the right communication tool to the target audience is a process to customize for you, your libary, and your outcomes. Join us for a unique look at the virtual and digital world of balancing online and in-person communication. Should I email, text, blog....use snail mail for a letter? a handwritten note? We'll get you started! Instructors will be Mary Jo Venetis and Julie Todaro. A portion of the program will be signed on camera (with verbal interpretation). This webinar carries 1 hour of CE credit. It will be recorded, a link to the recording will be sent to all registrants.

Open for Business: Using Business Methods to Enhance Service; April 4, 2:00-3:00 pm; $25 for TLA members, $50 for nonmembers

This webinar will look at opportunities to enhance services that libraries provide by reviewing the parallels between libraries and business, including setting and measuring service goals, how do we identify and measure success, and how do we appeal to our customers to want to use us and keep coming back. This webinar carries 1 hour of CE credit. It will be recorded, a link to the recording will be sent to all registrants.

Enhancing Your Organization’s Email Effectiveness and Etiquette; Aprl 10, 2:00-3:30 pm; $25 for TLA members, $50 for nonmembers
When you are copied (cc:) on an email, is it proper to respond to that email? When is it ok to select Reply All?  Do you feel like you spend all day responding to emails and never get to your To Do list? Are you still sending mass emails to donors via Outlook? If any of this sounds familiar to you then you need this workshop! During this session with nonprofit consultant Mary Beth Harrington, participants will learn:

•    the do’s and very much don’ts of email etiquette,
•    how to design your email marketing to be effective, and
•    super-secret ways to cut your email communication time in half!

This webinar carries 1.5 hours of CE credit. It will be recorded, a link to the recording will be sent to all registrants.

i-DO-Teach (part of the i-DO-Make-A-Difference series); May 1 and 6, 7-8:30 pm (course includes self-paced work and discussions on free Edmodo site) $100; Discounts are available for TLA and TASL members. More details.

Unpack the standards and identify the fit for school libraries in the classroom. Learn how to develop and promote your role as an instructional expert. Course designed by Dr. Mary Long, this module taught by Teresa Diaz.

i-DO-Technology  (part of the i-DO-Make-A-Difference series); May 13 and 20, 7-8:30pm (course includes self-paced work and discussions on free Edmodo site)
$100; Discounts are available for TLA and TASL members. More details.

Find out how to become tech savvy, convert that skills into quality instructional tools and infrastructure, and learn to become recognized for you technical leadership. Course designed by Dr. Mary Long, this module taught by Renee Wood.

You can now receive Continuing Education credit for viewing selected archived webinars from TLA! Register for the webinar just like a regular one, but look for “Archived Webinar” titles. A link will be sent to you by email. View the program and take the short quiz at the end; send your correct answers to You will receive permission to print your CE certificate within 72 hours. New titles are being added all the time! Check out these current recorded programs with CE credit:

  • Archived Webinar: Best Practices for Dia de los Ninos
  • Archived Webinar: Communicating Clearly and Persuasively
  • Archived Webinar: Diversity in Collection Development

Marisa MendezPROFILE: Marisa Mendez-Brady, Student, UT Austin’s School of Information
TLA’s 2013 Spectrum Scholarship Recipient

On why she choose the field of information and library science and her professional goals:
At the core of managing information systems is an essential appreciation for the impact that the presentation of information has on social consciousness. It is this understanding that spurred my determination to further my education in library and information sciences. Both my academic and professional pursuits have given me the desire to enter a career in librarianship. The process of receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Haverford College in history engaged me in a discipline that relies heavily on information systems and databases. The TLA Spectrum Scholarship, as well as my four-year employment at Haverford College's Magill Library, piqued my interest in the mechanisms for presenting information.

Since graduating in 2009, I have worked at both the Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas and the Austin Public Library. My post-graduate employment and my current enrollment in the MSIS program at the University of Texas School of Information has deepened my understanding of the impact that information systems have on both the cultural narrative and on the individual. My goal in earning an MSIS from the iSchool is to pursue this passion for studying information within broader historical and social narratives and to prepare for a lifelong dedication to the dissemination of knowledge. Through embarking on a career in librarianship, I aspire to help ensure and protect the accessibility  of information.


TBA Winner
Postcards from Camp by Simms Taback has won the 2013 Texas Bluebonnet Award. This year, 173,836 students voted across 1,623 institutions. Postcards from Camp received 15,189 student votes. Mr. Taback passed away last year. The award will be presented posthumously at the TBA Luncheon at annual conference. Nancy Paulson, the book’s publisher, helped issue the announcement of the award this year. Representatives for Mr. Taback will receive the award.

2013 Lariat Short List
The Lariat Committee, a group from the Programming for Adults Round Table, has completed its short list (pdf) of 125 books which will be considered for the final list, which will be unveiled at the 2013 TLA Conference in Fort Worth. This annual list calls attention to the outstanding fiction published during the previous year and that merit special attention from readers. Copies of previous years’ lists are also available on the Lariat site.

PTA/Library Collaboration Award Nominations
It is time to honor your hard-working PTA who has helped you collaborate on a project, event, or other joint venture this school year (or last spring.) Please consider entering your school and the PTA for the Shirley Igo Library/PTA Collaboration Award. If you apply and win, you will create enormous good will with your PTA, your school, and your community! The deadline is April 8, 2013.

2012 Shirley Igo Award2012 Shirley Igo Award Winner
By Robin Dwight, Chairman of the Shirley Igo Committee

The Shirley Igo Librarian/PTA Collaboration Award was presented to Doss Elementary of Austin ISD in July by TASL Chair, Mary Woodard, and honored at the PTA annual summer leadership conference in Austin. The Doss Elementary librarians, Bonnie Lang and Jane Willis, and Doss Elementary PTA teamed up, formed the Read Across Doss (RAD) committee, and devised a plan to expand existing PTA activities and events. A true collaborative partnership began during the 2011-12 school year between the librarians and the PTA.

Goals were set and a timeline for the entire school year was created. Plans for the new program included: author visits (Doreen Cronin, Nick Bruel, and Mike Artell), thematic units, special reading programs and incentives, plus enhanced communications to promote literacy to parents and students. Upon reviewing the yearlong plan, the PTA graciously committed $3,000 to support the program. The joint RAD team surpassed all of their goals for the year with huge success. The results were amazing and support was tremendous.

Success was seen all around campus and RAD developed a community-building program. The relationship between the PTA membership and the library staff and its supporters grew dramatically. Students and teachers experienced a vibrant library program that reinforced the love of reading and excitement about discovering a new book, genre, and author. They made a connection in the library and knew that books were an endless source of pleasure. This RADical collaboration was the highlight of the school year and a great source of pride for all involved. Congratulations to Doss Elementary PTA in Austin and librarians, Bonnie Lang and Jane Willis, for a fantastic collaboration.

The 2013 Best Small Library in America
Library Journal honors the best small library in America each year with an award, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The award encourages and showcases the exemplary work of libraries serving populations under 25,000. It recognizes one winning library and two finalists each year. This year, the Southern Area Public Library in West Virginia received the top honors. However, two Texas libraries were the selected finalists also to be honored.

The two Texas finalist libraries will each receive a $10,000 cash award, conference costs for two library representatives to attend the 2014 PLA meeting and award celebration, and more. These two libraries were chosen from among an impressive array of national nominees and following a lively selection process by this year’s panel of judges. Both libraries selected as finalists demonstrate winning efforts in innovation, technology usage, model programming, and responsive service. They finalists are:

Bell Whittington Public Library, Portland: RoseAleta Laurell, Director
Serving a population of 15,099 in a satellite community near Corpus Christi, this library does an awful lot with the $29 per capita budget at its disposal. The judges noted innovative outreach that can easily be duplicated by other libraries, while judge Julie Hildebrand called it “amazing considering the size of their staff,” just three full-time, four part-time. The library’s recent record of programming with high attendance numbers and a strong focus on technology is well demonstrated by the “Seniors in Cyberspace” program held in partnership with senior centers and other community sites such as the local Dairy Queen restaurants. Attendance for the course reached 1,758, with evaluations showing 100 percent rate of achievement in signing up for new email addresses.

Alpine Public Library: Paige Delaney, Director
The 9,232 people in Alpine, a very remote town near Big Bend, benefited greatly from the opening of the new public library in 2011. Community engagement shepherding the efforts of local businesses and individuals drove the fundraising for most of the $1.4 million needed, and it continues in operations through robust volunteerism. The varied population that includes Spanish-speakers, the homebound, and the incarcerated are aided by a variety of impressive outreach programs. Meanwhile, the library is savvy about technology in-house, with 11 public access computers for adults and another three for kids, and an impressive “online [Geographic Information System]–based map-interface catalog” that allows patrons to locate materials in the region by clicking on a map.  – Full Library Journalarticle on the 2013 Best Small Library in America Awards.

TMLDA Honors
The Achievement of Excellence in Libraries Award is an annual award given by the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association to libraries that demonstrate their service excellence. The award recognizes work with underserved populations, literacy efforts, and collaborative initiatives in the community.

The list of honorees this year includes:

•    Abilene Public Library
•    Aubrey Area Library
•    Bedford Public Library
•    Patrick Heath Public Library - Boerne
•    Zula B. Wylie Public Library - Cedar Hill
•    Cedar Park Public Library
•    William T. Cozby Public Library - Coppell
•    DeSoto Public Library
•    Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library - Edinburg
•    Euless Public Library
•    Flower Mound Public Library
•    Frisco Public Library
•    Nicholson Memorial Library System - Garland
•    W. Walworth Harrison Public Library - Greenville
•    Haltom City Public Library
•    Harker Heights Public Library
•    Highland Park Library
•    Hurst Public Library
•    Keller Public Library
•    Leon Valley Public Library
•    Lewisville Public Library
•    Mansfield Public Library
•    McKinney Public Library System
•    Richardson Public Library
•    Rowlett Public Library
•    Sachse Public Library
•    Temple Public Library
•    Watauga Public Library
•    Rita & Truett Smith Public Library - Wylie
•    Plano Public Library Syst

The 2012 awards were announced in late January by this affiliate of the Texas Municipal League.  Winners will be recognized in April at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in Fort Worth. Of the 561 public libraries in the state of Texas, 30 received the 2012 award. 

TBF Announces Contest

Texas Book Festival, in partnership with the University Interscholastic League, announces its 12th annual Fiction Writing Contest, sponsored by Kirkus Reviews, to encourage and reward creative writing in Texas schools. This year's fiction writing contest theme is "from the back of the truck." The topic was selected by Texas Book Festival fans on Facebook, who voted it as their favorite of three choices.

Texas junior and high school students (grades 7-12) are invited to submit a piece of original fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length. Entries must be submitted online no later than July 27, 2013. Submitted entries are considered in three divisions: grades 7-8; grades 9-10; and grades 11-12. There is no entry fee, and schools are limited to three entries per division. The submissions will be judged by educators, authors, and community leaders. Judges will look for excellence in use of dialogue, character development, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. Winners will receive a cash prize: $250 for first place, $100 for second, and $50 for third. In addition, first place winners will be awarded a plaque, will have their stories published on the TBF website, and will be invited to participate on a panel during the Texas Book Festival weekend Oct. 26-27. The Book Festival will provide accommodations for the first-place winners and their family for one night.

Since 2001, the Texas Book Festival has partnered with UIL to host its annual fiction writing contest. The mission of the Texas Book Festival is to celebrate authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination. The writing contest serves to promote that culture to students across Texas and to educate them on the opportunities available to writers.

Names in the News

  • Herb Canales, director of the Corpus Christi Public Library, retired at the end of January.
  • Rhoda Goldberg, director of the Harris County Public Library, has announced she will retire at the end of May.
  • Stephanie Green of Klein ISD is one of 20 notable leaders recognized by the National School Boards Association each year in the field of educational technology.
  • Mary Jo Humphreys of Round Rock ISD retired at the end of January.
  • Kevin Marsh is the library director at Copperas Cove Public Library.
  • Kathy Pustejovsky of the TLA Office has announced that she will retire at the end of June.
  • Martha Tandy has retired as director of Weatherford College.
  • Mary Vernau is the new Tyler city librarian.


  • Mel Boggins, retired from UT Austin’s School of Library and Information Science, died on February 6.
  • Kewpie Duncan, a former, longtime librarian at Stonewall County Library (Aspermont), passed away last week.
  • Marilyn Dunham, who worked in academic libraries throughout her career most recently at TWU, passed away.
  • Mary Margaret Farabee, longtime library supporter, advocate, and philanthropist, passed away in March. She was co-founder of the Texas Book Festival.
Created on Mar 25, 2013 | Last updated March 28, 2013