TLACast • Volume 33, No. 1 • January 2014

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Federal Funding Update

Austin - The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) has successfully appealed a decision last September by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) that would have resulted in a loss of over $6.5 million in federal funds to support library services in Texas. As a result of the appeal, Texas will receive its full allotment of federal funds for statewide library programs.

Because of reductions in state funds appropriated to TSLAC in the 2012-2013 biennium, Texas was at risk of losing 67 percent of its allocation of funds appropriated under the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). The award of LSTA funds is dependent on the maintenance of effort of state funding. TSLAC had applied for a waiver of the shortfall in state funds but in September was notified that the waiver would not be granted and that the agency would be allowed to appeal.

In a letter received this week from IMLS Director Susan Hildreth, IMLS has approved the appeal, based on the restoration of state funds in the 2014-2015 biennium. “Once the State was in a position to take action to support the State’s library programs and services, it did so by restoring funding,” states Hildreth in her letter. The letter also emphasizes the importance of maintaining ongoing support by the state for library programs in Texas.

TSLAC allocates LSTA funds to Texas libraries in the form of competitive grants, interlibrary loan, digital content, and other statewide programs. Texas receives approximately $10 million per fiscal year in LSTA funds administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

“IMLS allowed us a second appeal, and we’re grateful for that,” said Mark Smith, TSLAC director. “This gave us the opportunity to emphasize the restoration of state funds and how a cut to our federal funds would have put in jeopardy library programs that Texas libraries and library users rely on.”

“Moving forward, we will continue to work with state lawmakers to further strengthen the state’s support of its libraries,” said Smith. “We’ve made progress in that direction, but there is more to be done.”


Annual Conference

With an unprecedented 400+ programs, events, and activities, the TLA 2014 Annual Conference in San Antonio delivers in-depth and wide consideration of the topics and practices of most concern to the library community. Nationally recognized experts in all areas of information services will bring the latest strategies and insights to our collective professional landscape.

The TLA Conference, to be held April 8-11, is above all else a nexus for premier professional development opportunities and accessibility for the library community. Featured speakers are ARL President Elect Carol Pitts Diedrichs, school librarian specialist Kristin Fonticiaro, LJ’s 2012 Librarian of the Year from San Francisco Luis Herrera, technology trend spotter Joe Murphy, technologist Jessamyn West, library futurist Joan Frye Williams, child development specialist Ross Todd, emerging technology expert Michael Stephens, digital projects guru Brian E.C. Schottlaender,  and communications and code expert Adromeda Yelten.

Other presenters include: David Tyckoson (“Mr. Reference”) of California State University (Fresno);  intellectual freedom defender Dave Askey of McMaster University; Educopia’s Katherine Skinner; Debbie Abilock of NoodleTools, Inc.; Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Center; Catherine Hakala-Ausperk of the Northeast Ohio Regional Library System; anythink ™ Libraries’ Ronnie Storey-Ewoldt; inquiry design specialist Mega Subramanian; Char Booth of Claremont Colleges Libraries and expert in digital classroom learning strategies; and Bob Steiner of The Institute for the Future of the Book speaking on social reading platforms. And MANY others!

This year’s conference also brings focus on today’s hottest issues: scholarly communications, ebook and epublishing; learning strategies for physical and digital classrooms; development of cooperative and creative library staff teams; emerging services, and countless others.

  • ACADEMIC librarians will also have the opportunity to participate in many programs, including sessions on MOOCs with Michael Stephens; “flipping” academic instruction of Lane Wilkinson of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Yale’s book delivery service with Julian Aiken; the transformation of research collections with Carol Pitts Diedrichs; embedded librarianship with David Shumaker of the Department of Library and Information Science at the Catholic University of America (Washington, DC); and scholarly communications with several featured speakers.
  • PUBLIC librarians have also the opportunity to participate in the state’s open forums on accreditation and standards; “Leadership from the Frontlines,” “Market Like You Own IT: Library Marketing on the Edge,” “Library User Experience, Service, and Value,” “Completing a Comprehensive Library Valuation Picture: Tools of the Trade,” and “Keeping Texas Competitive: Workforce Development and Libraries.”
  • TechCamp, a new feature at TLA, is an intensive “boot camp” for SCHOOL librarians and focuses on today’s technological and curriculum demands. Presenters include Bruce Ellis, Todd Nesloney, Jennifer LaGarde, and Matthew Nichols.
  • Programming for SPECIAL librarians ranges from digital innovation (curation, outreach, and partnerships) to competitive intelligence activities and specialized audience services. “Cataloging Special Materials: The Case of the Metropolitan Opera Library” with Tanisha Mitchell offers an in-depth look at one of the nation’s premier special libraries.

TLA is pleased to present a slate of programming rich in diversity and multicultural themes and issues.  From the Diversity Inclusion Summit: “Breaking Down Silos for a Unified, Diverse Society” and “Working with Diverse Communities” to “Texas Libraries Becoming Daring, Dynamic, and Diverse Organization” and “Promoting Options and Opportunities for Diverse New Library Users,” the programming at conference tackles issues including customer services, resource selection, staff training, community outreach, recruitment and retention, and diverse authors and perspective in library collections and services. Speakers include Kelvin A. Watson, Angela Williams, Lana W. Jackman, Camila Alire, Daren Downing, Tracie Hall, Hilda Tagle, Janice Simmons, William Welburn, Ann Symons, John Ayala, Andrew P. Jackson, Charles Greer, and others.

Some special events include “Reaching Reluctant Readers through Urban Fiction” (Black Caucus RT Author Session Brunch ) with Sharon Draper and Jacqueline Woodson and “Latino Bookfest: A Celebración of the Best in Latino Literature for Youth with Diane Gonzales Bertrand, Monica Brown, Margarita Engel, Xavier Garza, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Duncan Tonatuih, and Gwendolyn Zepeda. Other authors include Sandra Cisneros, Pat Mora, Nikki Grimes, Janet Wong, Rosemary Catacalos, Carmen Tafolla, Varian Johnson, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, A.C. Arthur, Deborah Mello, Maureen Smith, and Kimberly Terry.

For a full list on TLA’s 150+ authors, including General Session speakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Patterson, and Henry Winkler, go to www.txla.org/authors. Make your plans now to attend the TLA conference. For the conference program, general information, and details on registering, go to TLA Conference.

TLA 2014 Exhibitors, Sponsors, and Conference Mobile App!

Plan now to spend plenty of time at the TLA 2014 Conference in our world-class exhibit hall!  The online hall map and Buyers Guide are available year round to prepare for your time in the hall. We especially appreciate our sponsors (see right sidebar) who enhance our conference in many ways!  Please thank our sponsors when you visit with them. We are excited to announce that the TLA 2014 Conference mobile app will go live in the coming weeks with exhibitors and sponsors included. Plan now for TLA 2014!


Legislative and Policy News

One outcome of the 83rd Legislature was support for libraries and digital content for all types of libraries. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) received a partial restoration of funds ($7.5 million) to support TexShare and to provide e-content access to the K-12 community. TSLAC working with the recommendations of the TexShare Advisory Board is now formulating the framework to begin offering digital content access to public schools in the coming months and prioritizing needs for TexShare.

As the library community prepares for the 84th Legislative Session, we must build on our success and continue our work promoting the work of libraries in supporting workforce development, college readiness, and education attainment at all levels. Toward this end, TLA is publicizing the work of libraries in advancing workforce and college readiness. 

The state has placed a high priority on these skills, and state leaders tout the need to establish an educated population with the skills needed to complete educational goals and meet the demands of employers. Libraries of all types are critical components of this educational and economic engine.

TLA recently sent out information to all state legislative offices about the resources and training available in Texas libraries. In addition to providing legislators with news items they could include in their own newsletters to constituents, TLA provided a synopsis of some of the key state-supported digital content available in libraries. They include online resources covering: school, job, and career acceleration and learning tools; business; science and math; health and medical information; genealogy research; and the military and government.

Over the coming months, TLA working with the support of LearningExpress, LLC will deploy advocacy and promotional tools in the area of workforce development, college readiness, and educational attainment. The goal of this effort is to increase public and legislative awareness of the role of libraries in these key areas. Building off of library workforce programs, job skills and training materials, and other related statewide resources, the library community can deliver a powerful message leading up to the 84th Legislature: libraries help prepare a strong workforce.

To Ask or Not to Ask…

Last fall, librarians noticed something amiss at Ask.com. The article, “Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs with the Least Amount of Work” by Erik Neilson, featured librarianship as one of those jobs. Well, that was enough to get Texas librarians riled up. Many librarians contacted Ask.com to protest the article and offer details about librarianship today. In response, Ask.com administration responded with appreciation for feedback and stated (in part):

Hearing from knowledgeable people in the library science industry is just the kind of feedback we rely on in order to know how and where to make changes…I’ve asked our content team to remove the article, and that has already happened across our North American sites. It will be removed from our international sites tomorrow… Please accept my apology.

Our thanks to Ask.com for its responsiveness, and we send a high-five to all those librarians who took up the matter. All this goes to show: librarians make things happen.

Fair Use

After eight years of litigation, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York today upheld the fair use doctrine when the court dismissed Authors Guild v. Google, a case that questioned the legality of Google’s searchable book database.

In 2005, the Authors Guild sued Google over the scanning of over 20 million library books from several research libraries without the prior authorization of rights holders. The purpose of the digitization project was to create a searchable index of books that would allow key word searching of the collections of major research libraries. The searchable index is accessible to the public who would not otherwise be able to search research collections. 

As reported by the American Library Association, the Library Copyright Alliance welcomed the  decision to protect the search database that allows the public to search more than 20 million books. In his dismissal of the case, Judge Chin enumerated the public benefits of Google Book Search by calling the project transformative and a fair use under the copyright law.

To learn more about the case, see Gretchen McCord’s article “Fair Use Alive and Well for the Time Being” in the most recent issue of the Texas Library Journal. McCord has been selected as special counsel to the Association. This partnership will allow the Association to provide expert leadership and practice in a broad range of Intellectual Property matters arising from the rapidly changing world of digital information, including issues related to copyright, privacy, and social media.


ASSOCIATION NEWS

TLA Reading Lists

The TLA Lariat Committee has finalized the Lariat Adult Reading List for this year. This annual list calls attention to outstanding fiction published during 2012 and 2013 that merits special attention from readers. The 25 titles are “riveting reads” selected by committee members. Visit the Lariat site to see the current titles, as well as previous years’ lists.

The 2x2 Reading List for children age two through second grade also has a new edition. Under the umbrella of the Children's Round Table, the list includes activities and labels in both Enghlish and Spanish to accompany the titles. Thse resources will be added to the site soon.

The Spirit of Texas Reading Programs for middle school and high school offer recommended reading lists developed by public and school librarians from the Young Adult Round Table (YART). The purpose is to encourage youth to explore a variety of current, quality books from Texas authors and illustrators, develop critical reading skills, and to encourage greater interaction between Texas authors and illustrators, Texas librarians, and Texas youth. 

TLA Membership

Renew your membership today in TLA. The Association offers a variety of membership opportunities to support the people, organizations, and corporate partners.

Institutional Membership for Libraries

  • Discounts for legal services with Digital Information Legal Specialist, attorney Gretchen McCord. See: www.copyrightofficeroncall.com.
  • Access to GrantStation’s extensive searchable database of funding sources and technical resources for the discounted price of $79 per year. 
  • Discounted Directors and Officers Insurance for institutional member libraries.
  • Ability to utilize purchase orders for all TLA financial transactions.
  • Seventy percent (70%) discount on exhibit booth rentals in the TLA Exhibit Hall to promote your library’s products and services and to recruit prospective employees.
  • Highlighted on TLA’s website.
  • Subscription to publications and access to TLA services.

Corporate Membership for commercial partners

  • TLA Membership Directory
  • Annual feature article in the Texas Library Journal
  • Recognition in TLA Publications TLACast , Texas Library Journal which includes the TLA Conference Program (winter issue), Buyers Guide to TLA Exhibitors, and TLA Pocket Program
  • Promotion on TLA’s website, including a featured article from your corporate representative. This article links from the TLA main page throughout the year.
  • Subscription to TLA publications
  • Visible on signage throughout the entire TLA Annual Conference and TLA Annual Assembly.
  • Corporate Member ribbon for every company representative who attends the TLA Annual Conference and TLA Annual Assembly.
  • TLA Corporate Membership logo sent to Member for promotion throughout the calendar year.
  • Recognition for contributing to the promotion of library services through strategic communications.
  • Membership for one corporate representative.

Individual Membership

Celebrating Diversity at TLA

Spectrum Scholar: TLA’s 2013-2014 Spectrum Scholar is Elena Baeza, who is attending Texas Woman's University. Spectrum Scholars are selected based on their commitment to diversity, commitment to entering the library profession, demonstrated community outreach, academic ability, and achievements and leadership potential. 

The Spectrum program continues to fund scholarships through its endowment and the generous contributions of individuals and organizations whose donations support named scholarships in the Spectrum Family of Funds. The Texas Library Association (TLA) announced in 2011 that it would support one Spectrum Scholarship a year. 

Cultural Diversity Grants: The Junior Library Guild/Diversity & Inclusion Committee Conference Stipend will award an annual stipend of $750 to two TLA members to cover conference registration and expenses. The definition of eligible applicants includes “A member of a racial/ethnic minority group, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender, or a person with a disability or who works extensively with members of one of these communities.”

The Junior Library Guild will sponsor an additional two $750 stipends to two new members in the profession. The stipends are to cover conference registration and expenses.

The purpose of these stipends is to encourage membership and participation in TLA, minority caucuses, and provide a means for supporting participation in the annual conference. The recipients will gain insight into the Association by volunteering during the annual conference. The deadline for applications is January 31. See http://www.txla.org/JLG-Diversity-Stipends for additional information and an online application.

Be sure to check out all TLA and unit awards.
Deadlines are fast approaching.

Elections

You must renew your membership by February 1, 2014 to be eligible to vote in TLA elections. Members can vote for candidates for the TLA Executive Board and candidates in any units with contested slates that are participating in the TLA online voting process.

Voting will be open from February 20 through March 28, 2014 at 11:59 pm. TLA contracts with an independent third-party election company, SBS, to conduct its elections. To preserve voting integrity, TLA does not know or track which members do/do not vote nor how they cast their vote.

All members eligible to vote will receive an email with voting instructions and login credentials from the election company, SBS. If you did not receive that email or need your login credentials resent, please contact the company directly at support@directvote.net

To view information about candidates, see TLA Elections Candidate Background. Also, you are invited to participate in a special webcast (or view video online) of the candidates presenting their platform for their potential position in 2014-15, then answering a few questions from the audience. You will be able to send questions to the candidates via the chat feature on the YouTube screen. The webinar will be held on January 16 at 4 pm CST.

To participate, you will need to sign into Google+ or YouTube. These accounts are free, and you will need an account to sign in and add comments.

In Google+, go to the TLA Election page at https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102457703076894705349/102457703076894705349/admin/.

In YouTube, go to the TLA Election Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2pVvO0Bz0g-PONt1DuVBlg.

On either page, you will see a large box marked Texas Library Association Election Special 2014. Click on the box to view the event. You can make comments and add questions through the comment box.

For President Elect:

  • Susan Mann, Library/MIS Director, City of Hillsboro
  • Kerry McGeath, City Librarian, City of Southlake Public Library

(TLA elections draw from each type of library in an ongoing cycle; for 2014-15, the presidential candidates are from public libraries)

For Treasurer:

  • Gretchen Pruett, Library Director, New Braunfels Public Library
  • John Trischitti, Library Director, Midland County Public Libraries

For School Library Representative at Large:

  • Naomi Bates, Library Media Specialist, Northwest High School, Justin ISD
  • Maria Medina, Librarian, James Bowie Elementary School, San Angelo ISD

For Special Library Representative at Large:

  • Danielle Plumer, Digital Collections Consultant, DCPlumer Associates
  • Karen Vargas, Outreach & Evaluation Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region

Continuing Education Corner

For additional information about CE programs, CE credit, and registration, go to www.txla.org/ce.

January 16, 4-5 pm (CST): TLA Election Special 2014

Candidates for positions on the Texas Library Association Executive Board will share their experience and goals. Know before you vote!

January 18, 10-11 am (CST): You’re Not Bilingual, So What?

Librarians all over Texas serve an ever-increasing bilingual population, but many librarians are not Spanish speakers themselves. Dr. Jo Anna Patton will give tips and strategies for providing excellent service to K-12 students, even if you don’t speak Spanish.

February 12, 2-3 pm (CST): Organizing Friends of School Libraries

Ty Burns, Director of Library Media Services at Clear Creek ISD, will describe how his district’s Friends of the Library group was started. Districts and schools wishing to organize their own Friends may learn some of the advantages and potential challenges in founding such an association.

February 19, 2-3 pm (CST): E Pluribus Unum: How the Path to US Citizenship Can Start at the Library

Alana Rosenbaum from the United States Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services will offer resources that libraries can use to help patrons seeking American citizenship.

February 26, 2-3 pm (CST): Grants Management

Jennifer Peters, Executive Director of the Texas Association of Partners in Education, will discuss the key issues facing library staff after a grant is awarded.

March 25, 2-3 pm (CST): Get Global With Your Collection Development: International Literature for K-12 Readers

A diverse collection development strategy can enrich your library and your patrons. Consultant Nancy Hadaway will focus on literature from the US Board on Books for Young People and its Outstanding International Book Lists.



Texas State Library & Archives Commission Update

Strategic Planning

State Librarian Mark Smith invites the library, archives, and records management community to participate in the agency’s strategic planning process. Agency staff will meet with constituent groups throughout January and February, and stakeholders are invited to attend the State Library’s Commission meeting on February 10, 2014 as well as to contact staff and Commissioners with input.

Smith will host a webinar on January 28 at 10 am to provide an update on TSLAC news and activities and to take comments on the development of our agency strategic plan.  For additional details on the webinar and other public forums, visit www.tsl.texas.gov.

PLEASE NOTE: In keeping with the State plan to move state agencies to the texas.gov domain,
TSLAC’s new website address is www.tsl.texas.gov.
Staff emails are also now transitioned to @tsl.texas.gov.

TSLAC Grants: Texas State Library and Archives Commission approved 70 library grant awards totaling $1.6 million for numerous Texas libraries, institutions of higher education, and related nonprofit organizations.  To see the full list of recipients, go to: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/funding/lsta/recipients14.html .

TSLAC Service Updates: Texans can now access rare primary source materials related to the history of Native Americans and the West, including Texas. Two new databases of digital resources, American Indian Histories and Cultures and The American West, have been added to the statewide resource sharing program known as TexShare by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Beginning January 11, 2014, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission will expand its hours of operation to accommodate researchers. The Commission’s three public service areas – the Texas State Archives, Texas Family Heritage Research Center and the Reference and Information Center – will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the second Saturday of each month.


Announcements

Fort Worth Selected to Participate in National Initiative

The National League of Cities has selected Fort Worth as one of six cities to receive the Municipal Leadership to Promote Educational Alignment for Young People Grant. The 15‐month award is valued at $75,000 and provides practical guidance on how to implement and improve alignment between early learning programs and schools system for children from Pre‐K to third grade.  

Researchers, educators and policymakers increasingly agree that children benefit from an approach to education that consists of multiple organizations addressing academic, behavioral, health and family issues. It is believed that children will succeed throughout their academic careers if they can read at grade level by the completion of the third grade.

With the support of Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, the Fort Worth Library will lead the project, formulating goals, objectives and an implementation plan, and recruiting community participants and partners. “We are excited about this opportunity,” said Library Director Gleniece Robinson, “and look forward to partnering with other city departments, Mayor Price, the Fort Worth ISD and community organizations to ensure that children are reading at grade level and above.”

Spotlight on Sharyland

Sharyland ISD librarians garnered national praise for their video: Ode to Librarians Sharyland ISD. The rap audio was selected as part of Flocabulary’s resources and project to aid in middle school student achievement.

Congratulations to the hardworking and talented librarians at Sharyland. The video is available at the library services link on the SISD website (http://www.sharylandisd.org/Page/11939).

Celebrating Support of Texas History

David B. Gracy, II is a former State Archivist and the Governor Bill Daniel Professor Emeritus in Archival Enterprise, UT School of Information, and Editor Emeritus of the journal Libraries & the Cultural Record. An expert and author on Texas history, Gracy will present two lectures celebrating the centennial of The University of Texas Littlefield Fund for Southern History.

The lectures will take place at the UT campus. 

  • “Working to Keep from Going Broke: The Life of George Washington Littlefield”: Feb. 19th, 4-6 pm, Avaya Auditorium, ACES 2.302
  • “It Is But Just to the Cause: George W. Littlefield, Patriotic Memory, and the Littlefield Fund for Southern History”: Feb. 20th, 4-6pm, Legislative Assembly Room, SAC 2.302

Gracy is also the author of The State Library and Archives of Texas: A History, 1835-1962, which offers an insightful look at the development of the state agency central to the development of library and archival services in Texas. The State Library and Archives of Texas provides a context for the information landscape today while serving as a study in the practices and perspectives that both challenge and facilitate the progress of information services today – a must for Texas librarians.

Student Architecture Contest Launches Statewide

High school students are challenged to redesign a school library in the 2013–14 Claycomb Student Architecture Contest. The contest, which debuted last year in a pilot program, is now open statewide. Claycomb Associates, Architects, developed the competition as part of the Texas Association of School Boards Partners program.

The focus for this year’s contest is the school library. Once a quiet place to research and store books and periodicals, today’s school libraries are undergoing a transformation. For architects, the library or media center is a critical element in new school design.

“Technology is changing the way our students learn,” said Bo Ledoux, Claycomb vice-president. “As learning evolves, so do our learning spaces. For this year’s challenge, we want to see how students would reinvent a library in their district into a place that will help prepare all students for future success.”

The contest is open to students enrolled in Texas's public high schools. First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in each category (individual and group). First place wins $1,000, second place $500, and third $250. Prize money will be divided equally among group winners.

Contest guidelines are available online at claycomb.tasbpartners.org. Entry forms are due March 3, 2014, and the project submission deadline is April 1. Winners will be notified in May.

Beth Ann Rogers Literacy Grant
Through the Beth Ann Rogers Literacy Initiative, the ATPE Foundation provides $1,500 grants to Texas public school libraries to purchase literacy materials and modernize literacy resources. Seven grants will be awarded during the 2013-14 school year.

For additional information, visit the ATPE Foundation web site at atpefoundation.org to view the criteria, guidelines and application form. Applications must be postmarked by Feb. 3, 2014.

El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children's Day, Book Day
April 30th and every day of the year

Día means “day” in Spanish. In 1996, author Pat Mora learned about the Mexican tradition of celebrating April 30th as El día del niño, the day of the child. Mora thought, “We have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Yes! We need kids’ day too, but I want to connect all children with bookjoy, the pleasure of reading.”

Mora was enthusiastically assisted to start this community-based, family literacy initiative by REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children's Day, Book Day, also known as Día, is a daily commitment to link all children to books, languages and cultures, day by day, día por día. Many resources and an annual registry are available at the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Every year, across the country, libraries, schools, and community organizations, etc. plan culminating book fiestas creating April Children's Day, Book Day celebrations that unite communities.

Please mark your calendar now for this wonderful national celebration. To learn more about this program, visit Pat Mora’s site and the ALSC website. Also, plan on attending a special TLA conference program on El día activities featuring Pat Mora and Texas State Librarian Mark Smith on April 11, at 10 am in San Antonio.


Updates from the American Library Association (ALA)

Edge Initiative

The Edge Initiative is a voluntary assessment program that provides libraries with benchmarks, best practices, tools and resources that support continuous improvement and reinvestment in public technology services. Edge helps libraries connect their services to community priorities.  

Edge will be available to public libraries nationwide later this month. See http://www.libraryedge.org for more information.

E-rate

The ALA has urged the Federal Communications Commission to swiftly reform the federal E-rate program so that our nation’s learners are connected to high-capacity broadband through libraries and schools. In reply comments filed (PDF) with the Commission, the ALA reaffirmed its earlier call to increase available funding and simplify the application process.

“High-capacity broadband drives innovation and underpins modern library services in public and school libraries,” said ALA President Barbara Stripling. “As we make a massive transition from physical to digital collections, boost wireless access and deploy digital media creation labs, a robust and future-focused E-rate program is vital for supporting our nation’s learners. We cannot afford to dumb-down services due to bandwidth limitations.”

ALA proposes two limited-term programs that build on President Obama’s ConnectED initiative—ConnectUS and FINAL. These catalytic initiatives are intended to address the greatest barriers to increasing bandwidth: access and cost. ConnectUS would jumpstart high-capacity connections to libraries and schools where such broadband is not currently available. Fast Internet Networks for All Libraries (FINAL) is a pilot proposal for communities where high-capacity connections are available, but the library lacks the funding and/or technical expertise to realize major broadband upgrades.

In addition to encouraging the Commission to follow through on the President’s ConnectEd initiative, ALA continues to push for a streamlined program that benefits the greatest number of applicants while using the funds effectively and efficiently. The Commission can move swiftly to make these changes:

  • Allow direct payment to applicants
  • Encourage multi-year contracts
  • Treat dark fiber on par with lit fiber
  • Recognize and better support the additional costs incurred by rural applicants for broadband connectivity

ALA opposes the use of E-rate funds to pay for end-to-end connectivity at home or elsewhere outside the library or school grounds. While such broadband capacity is needed, such services are better placed in other parts of the Universal Service Fund, not in the already well-oversubscribed E-rate program. See more: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2013/11/ala-urges-swift-action-e-rate-reforms.


Names in the News

  • Stephanie Robinson Borgman retired after 14 years as the Children’s Specialist for Harris County Public Library, on September 30. 
  • Charlotte Gustafson of Churchill High School in North East ISD was the winner of TASL’s membership raffle and received an iPad mini from Mackin Educational Resources.
  • Former Texas librarian Corinne Hill, now the director of the Chattanooga Public Library, is the 2014 Library Journal Librarian of the Year. Hill will be speaking at the 2014 TLA Annual Conference.
  • Larry Justiss, director of the Tom Green County Library, retires at the end of January.
  • Meller Langford retired September 27, 2013, from her duties as deputy director of customer experience at Houston Public Library.
  • Leticia S. Leija, University of Texas-Pan America library director, was named the 2013 Woman of the Year by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.
  • Marc Marchand is now library director in Burleson
  • Dana Rooks has announced that she is stepping down as Dean of Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell Chair and will accept an appointment in serve in the Office of the Provost as the University of Houston.
  • Pat Tuohy, executive director of CTLS, will retire on March 28, 2014. 

Deaths

  • T.O. Allan, Texas representative for Sauder, passed away last November.
  • Susan Andrews, retired West Texas librarian, passed away Oct. 10.
  • Ricki Brown, director of the Abilene Public Library, passed away in December.
  • Mary Frances McKay passed away on December 4 at the hospice in Wichita Falls.  
  • Martha June Morehart passed away peacefully on February 5, 2013.
  • Karen P. Tobola, a school librarian at Schertz Cibolo Universal City ISD, passed away in October, 2012.
  • Elizabeth Young, former Bay City Public Library Board president and school librarian, passed away October 16, 2013.
Created on Jan 14, 2014 | Last updated January 15, 2014