TLACast • Volume 33, No. 5 • December 2014

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TLA's 2015
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Capstone
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LEGISLATIVE SESSION
As we prepare for the start of the 84th Legislative Session, let’s begin by taking stock of libraries.

Who is served by Texas libraries?

  • Almost 24 million Texans served by 560 library systems with almost 880 public outlets
  • Almost 6 million Texas students and teachers
  • Over 1.4 million college students and faculty served by over 200 colleges & universities
  • Any person, researcher, entrepreneur, student, or parent statewide can use the resources at Texas libraries 

In short, Texas libraries contribute to the success and well-being of our state and the people who live here.

While the session will be filled with debates about funding and education, the imperative for the library community remains as it has always been: WE MUST SPEAK OUT, SPEAK LOUDLY, AND SPEAK OFTEN FOR LIBRARIES.

TLA has a one page synopsis of the budget issues we are pursuing this session. This funding is essential for all types of libraries statewide. Please contact your state legislators and urge them to support those funding requests. See library funding priorities.

School Librarian Certification

A group of stakeholders recently met with staff from the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) regarding school librarian certification requirements. SBEC and TEA convened this group to gather information regarding the two-year teaching requirement for certification.

Members of TLA and TASL were on hand to offer perspectives and present the Association’s position that the requirement of two years of classroom teaching experience is an important component for a certified school librarian.  Participants in this stakeholder meeting included: Nicole Cruz (Sharyland ISD), Elizabeth Philippi (Houston ISD), Jane Claes (University of Houston – Clear Lake), Julie Briggs (Richardson ISD and TASL Chair), Jennifer LaBoon (Fort Worth ISD and TLA Legislative Committee Co-Chair), Becky Calzada (Leander ISD), Len Bryan (Texas State Library and Archives Commission), Diana Jackson (Lubbock-Cooper ISD), and Cristal Isaaks (Levelland ISD).

Three of the main points discussed at the meeting included:

  1. Librarians are teachers, and as instructional partners, need the credibility of having taught to put them on equal playing ground with their peers.
  2. The current shortage of school librarians is more a product of the perceived instability in the job market—not overly rigorous standards. 
  3. The practice of local control is already implemented and is not upended by strong certification requirements.

It is likely that the SBOE will formally consider this matter in early 2015. Members of SBEC will hear the recommendations emerging from the stakeholder meeting. 


Syncing Up for Conference 2015

The challenges for libraries today abound. From delivering vigorous and engaging services to ensuring skillful operations and management, librarians and library workers contend with many demands and requirements. The 2015 TLA Annual Conference – “Sync UP! Imagine, Collaborate, Innovate” – offers a broad range of programs for all types of libraries.

From April 14-17, 2015, library stakeholders will converge in Austin for a week of professional development, networking, and inspiration. Conference planners have designed programs that delve into some of the hottest topics and most persistent concerns now facing the field. 

Conference Highlights

Spotlight ON:  PROGRAMS

Taking the Capitol by Storm: Libraries, Legislation, and Leadership (Ticketed)
9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Tuesday, April 14

With the 84th Legislature in full swing, join colleagues and experts as you study key library issues and become an articulate and knowledgeable advocate with decision-makers. The first half of the preconference is an intensive training and skill-building workshop. The second half is an afternoon of actual visits with legislative offices coordinated through TLA. Participants will earn a badge of honor to wear throughout conference. Lunch will be provided. TLA is offering 10 stipends to help new advocates attend this program. See details below!

You Have your Degree, Now What? Planning a Rewarding Career (Ticketed)
9:30 am - 12:50 pm Tuesday, April, 14

In this interactive workshop, a panel of professionals offers observations on opportunities for different career paths and engages you in activities designed to help you prepare for your career. Leave with a personal career plan, guidelines for success, new ideas about paths to pursue, and an expanded professional network. Lunch will be provided.

Carol Pitts Diedrichs, Ohio State University; Miguel Figueroa, Center for the Future of Libraries, American Library Association; Sara Lestrange, Office of the Dean of Students, University of Texas at Austin; Gretchen McCord, Digital Information Law; and Maureen Sullivan, consultant and a past president of ALA.

Spotlight ON: ACTIVITIES

Sync Up Station: Your Destination for Imagination, Collaboration, and Innovation

What is the Sync Up Station? It’s a dedicated space where TLA members can come together to share, learn, create, meet, and so much more. It will be open during conference show hours.

You can gather at the Station’s tables and chairs to have a quick meeting, hold an impromptu session, continue a conversation with a speaker, or just recharge your batteries. Sign up for a time slot if you want to plan ahead or just show up. The area is big enough for several groups to meet at once. Check out the topics each day to see what interests you. Find the Sync Up Station near Registration Area in Exhibit Hall 5.

Charity Event: Don’t Forget to Pack Some EXTRA Pajamas!

TLA is partnering with Pajama Program, a 501(c)(3) founded in 2001, for our 2015 Conference Service Project. The goal of this organization is to provide new pajamas to children in need as part of a literacy effort. Pajama Program serves children of all ages throughout the nation and has four chapters in Texas. The Austin Area Chapter works with 37 shelters and will provide a book with each pair of pajamas we donate. Remember that kids in need come in all sizes from newborn to adult XL. 

Join TLA as we Sync Up! with Pajama Program’s One Million Good Nights campaign to collect one million new pajamas and the resources needed to get them in the hands of children in need by December 31, 2015. Bring your donations to the Sync Up Station located in the Registration Area in Exhibit Hall 5. If you would like to know more about this organization, go to pajamaproject.org.

Spotlight ON: HEALTH EVENTS

TLA TRIlogy: Come Bike, Swim, and Run Your Books Off: TLA is offering fun ways to keep the conference goer physically active and networking with colleagues in the wonderful Austin environment. Like three books in a trilogy, TLA conference planners have organized the TRILogy – our bookworm version of a triathalon. Sign up for one, two, or all three health events: Cycling for Libraries Austin Style, Tuesday, April 14; Barton Springs Swim, Wednesday, April 15; and the Hetherington XXVIII Fun Run/Walk, Thursday, April 16. There will be recognition for participating in all three. Brag to your friends that you biked, swam, and ran your books off at TLA! 

Cycling for Libraries Austin Style: The First Volume of the TLA TRIlogy (Ticketed)
8:00 am - 2:00 pm (Tuesday, April 14)

This moderate-paced 20-mile roundtrip adventure (beginning and ending at the convention center) will be an excellent way of networking with other librarians and participants while cycling and visiting Austin libraries including the George Washington Carver Branch Library and the Regional Foundation Library. Lunch and snacks will be provided. We will also be cycling Austin's new Southern Walnut Creek Trail. Bring your own bike or rentals will be available. All participants receive a commemorative t-shirt.

Barton Springs Swim: The Second Volume of the TLA TRIlogy (Ticketed)
6:45 - 7:45 am (Wednesday, April 15)

Join the “Polar Bear Club” and take an invigorating plunge in the fabled waters of Barton Springs! Swim laps with Ironman trainees or just dip your toes into the water and hang out at the Philosophers’ Stone for a literary wake-up. The group will gather at the Philosopher’s Rock sculpture near the entrance of Barton Springs at 6:45 am, then head down to the pool around 7:00 am. We will return to the bus at 7:45 am to be back to the convention center by 8:15 am. Be sure to bring a towel and something warm to wrap up in after your swim! Showers and changing rooms are available onsite. All participants receive a commemorative t-shirt.

Hetherington XXVIII Fun Run/Walk: The Third Volume of the TLA TRIlogy (Ticketed) (Thursday, April 16)
7:00 - 8:30 am

The 28th annual 5K Fun Run/Walk will be at Austin’s famous hike and bike trail. This premier outdoor destination is located along Lady Bird Lake. Hetherington Run/Walk participants will have the chance to celebrate the city’s history and beautiful outdoors! Check-in is at 7:00 am at the run site. All participants receive a commemorative t-shirt and refreshments. First, second, and third place awards will be given for the men’s run, the women’s run, and for the walk. 

Body Resistance to a Beat
7:00 - 8:00 am (Friday, April 17)

Work out to a fabulous and funky beat with certified personal trainer Roz Mays Davis. Roz incorporates stretching, weight training and boxing while moving to the latest R&B tunes. Roz specializes in helping the average person get fit while having fun! Join us to de-stress and energize before your trip home. 

Roz Mays Davis, PFTA-CPT, NASM-CPT. 

Spotlight ON: FUN ACTIVITIES

One Book/One Conference
2:00 - 2:50 pm (Thursday, April 16)

Join colleagues for a true professional treat. TLA’s One Book, One Conference program offers the chance to bring out the book lover in you. Share your passion for reading as we discuss Suzanne Rindell's debut novel,  The Other Typist, with the author herself.  A book-discussing dynamo will facilitate this session and model how to lead a book discussion with the author present. Don't miss the chance to partake in this featured event. A book signing will follow the event. Blair Parsons, of Austin Public Library, will also be on hand to demonstrate how to host a book discussion with the author.  

Book Cart Drill Team
5:30 – 6:30 pm (Thursday, April 16)

It’s back! Come see your creative and talented colleagues show off their skills with a choreographed routine with book carts. Yes, book carts! Book carts are good for more than just books! Cheer your favorite team to victory in the Book Cart Drill Team Texas Championship. Team preregistration is required. Visit the TLA website for details and an entry form.

Spotlight ON: PARTIES

Exhibit Hall Grand Opening and Welcome
5:30 - 7:30 pm (Tuesday, April 14)

Join your colleagues as you settle in for the 2015 Annual Conference. Meet up with friends and exhibitors during this uncontested time and begin four days of networking and socializing. Light refreshments will be provided at stations throughout the Exhibit Hall.

President’s Party Austin Style!
8:00 – 10:00 pm (Wednesday, April 15)

Enjoy a true Austin experience with a 1980’s sing-along provided by Alamo Draft House. Austin snacks (think local food options) will be on the playlist!  

Spotlight ON: SERVICES

Exhibits

Plan now to spend plenty of time at the TLA 2015 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.

Placement and Career Development Center

Check out TLA’s one-stop shop for all things career related. Whether you are looking for a job or employees, the Center offers resources and access to the people and positions you want. 

Tuesday

  • 9:30 – 12:50 pm #200 You Have your Degree, Now What? Planning a Rewarding Career (Preconference)
  • 2-3:20pm #270 Speed-Mentoring for New Attendees and Members
  • 2-3:20pm #264 Hiring Smart: The Legal Aspects of Employee Selection 
  • 2:30-3:50pm #276 Essential Skills and Qualifications of Cataloger/Metadata Librarian in the Digital Era

Wednesday

  • 10:15-11:50am #308 Cool Jobs: 2015 Edition
  • 1-1:50 pm #343 Oh Behave! Behavioral Interviews
  • 3-3:50 pm #342 Salary Negotiation: You Owe it to Yourself

Thursday

  • 9-9:50 am #494 Resume Refresh
  • 10-10:50 am #496 Cover Letter Cleanup

Friday

10-11:20am #523 Careers in Community College Libraries

Invitation to TLA Poster Session

It is time to “Sync UP!” by presenting your most imaginative, innovative, and collaborative ideas in the form of a poster. The TLA Poster Session will showcase your stories and accomplishments as they relate to all aspects of libraries and librarianship. If you or your institution have launched a new program or been very successful in an ongoing program, share that experience with others!

The 2015 Poster Session submissions may be for print or electronic posters or both. If you have a wonderful display that is beautifully represented on a poster board, then select your table size below and get creative. However, if your content is better illustrated electronically, then feel free to bring your mobile device and visual display area. The goal is to “Sync Up!” people and information!

In addition to presenting your poster at the sessions on Tuesday April 14th at the Convention Center in Austin, you will have the opportunity to sign up to present again in the “Sync Up!” station. You can decide now or at conference if you would like to be part of this new venture.

Please have all proposals submitted by February 28, 2015.

TLA is giving away four $50 gift cards, drawn randomly, to individuals who
complete and return the Session Preference Form by the end of February.
The form can be submitted online after registering for conference.


ASSOCIATION NEWS

TLA Membership Initiatives Pass Fall Ballot Measure

All four propositions brought before the TLA membership in September passed with Props 1-3 passing by 97% plus percent, and the dues adjustment passing by 77.4 percent. Voting TLA members made a strong statement about the need to invest in the association and plan for a vibrant future.

A total of 565 eligible members cast ballots. With a total of 6,398 eligible members, the participation rate was 8.83%. 

  • Amendment 1: Amendment to change the notice required by Council to vote on a change to TLA’s Bylaws from three months to 45 days in Article XVI of the TLA Bylaws.
  • Amendment 2:  Amendment to permit Council to hold a special virtual meeting by adding the bolded sentence to Article VI of the TLA Bylaws.
  • Amendment 3: Amendment to Article IV of the TLA Bylaws to define the process to fill a vacancy in the office of Immediate Past President and to re-number 3-6 as 4-7. 
  • Amendment 4: Amendment to Article III of the TLA Bylaws to substitute the annual dues schedule as printed below and to authorize the TLA Council to make adjustments based on the CPI.

Membership renewal information and the revised dues schedule are available at: http://www.txla.org/sites/tla/files/MemApp2015.pdf. To renew online, go to: http://www.txla.org/join.

ELECTIONS

You must renew your membership by February 1, 2015 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.

The TLA Nominating Committee (Mark Allan, Carolyn D. Brewer, Joan Heath, Loretta Wallace, and Ann Vega) has submitted the following slate of candidates.

President Elect (academic)

  • Walter Betts, Systems Librarian, Texas Christian University
  • Edward (Eddy) Smith, Executive Director, Abilene Library Consortium

Representative-At-Large (academic)

  • Kimberly Gay, Head of Reference & Information Services, Prairie View A&M University
  • Lee Hilyer, Head of Information & Access Services, University of Houston

Representative-At-Large (public)

  • Beth Scudder,  Former Director, McKinney Public Library System
  • Linda Stevens, Coordinator of Marketing & Programming, Harris County Public Library

ALA Councilor 

  • Dale McNeill, Assistant Director for Public Services, San Antonio Public Library
  • Mark Pumphrey, Assistant Director, El Paso Public Library

In the Spirit of Charitable Giving

The library community supports a wide range of important community services. From literacy efforts for children and adults to aid for libraries affected by natural disasters, TLA members contribute to the greater good. Whether volunteering their time or offering financial assistance, librarians and library supporters (who know and see so well the needs of others) give generously. We thank you for your spirit of compassion and citizenship. Please let us know on Facebook about your favorite holiday activities and how you and your libraries reach out to those in need.

There are some fun ways to contribute to the library community through support of TLA activities. So, if you are so inclined, here is a checklist of easy ways to support library activities. 

  1. Renew your membership in TLA. It helps you and helps the Association support the library community. Keep in mind, as tax season approaches, the majority of your TLA dues are tax deductible. As a 501(c)3, TLA is a charitable organization. All but $3.71 (the cost of the Journal yearly subscription) of your membership dues is tax deductible!
  2. Getting your holiday shopping done? Go to https://smile.amazon.com/ and select Texas Library Association as your charity of choice! Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to TLA, which promotes literacy and education by supporting the tireless work of Texas educators and librarians.
  3. You can make a donation (which is completely tax deductible) to any of TLA’s funds. Go to http://www.txla.org/Donate for additional information.

Summary of Executive Board and Council Actions

The TLA Executive Board met by conference call on July 3, 2014, to review the proposed 2014-2015 budget and investment transfers, as recommended by the TLA Budget Committee at its meeting on July 2, 2014. The Executive Board recommended that the budget document be transmitted to the TLA Council for its action during the 2014 TLA Annual Assembly. 

The Board also approved a Budget Committee recommendation that “once a unit commits to a contribution to TLA or another unit, the transfer will be automatically made with the understanding that transfers can only be reversed with the Executive Board approval.” This recommendation was also forwarded to the TLA Council for its consideration and action.

The Executive Board met twice during the TLA Annual Assembly on July 8 and 11, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency in Austin. In addition to routine business matters such as approving minutes of previous meetings, the TLA Executive Board moved the following items:

  • Approved the decision to honor Maureen Sullivan and Jack Siggins for their 20 years as facilitators of the TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute.
  • Recommended that the TLA Council approve the Tejas Star Reading List Task Force as a Standing Committee.
  • Moved that in lieu of a New Officers Briefing at Annual Conference, that the TLA staff members make a recorded webinar that covers information for new officers to be viewed each year after conference. The webinar should include a checklist and timeline of unit activities. 
  • Approved the revised Upstart Award Policy and Procedures Guidelines, revised 7/10/14. 

The TLA Council also met twice during Annual Assembly on July 10 and July 11, 2014. In addition to routine business matters, the Council took the following actions:

  • Approved the Tejas Star Reading List Task Force as a Standing Committee of the Association and approved a charge to be included in the Rule 9 of the Standing Rules.
  • Approved the inclusion in Standing Rule 8.A. that: “Once a TLA unit commits to make a financial contribution to TLA or another unit and the transaction has been made, the transaction can only be reversed with Executive Board approval.”
  • Declined to approve an addition to Standing Rule 9.F. that would assign the Executive Board the responsibility of promoting and monitoring adherence to a Code of Conduct for all individuals at TLA events.
  • Approved a resolution to support the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s Legislative Appropriations Request for TexShare, TexQuest, workforce initiatives, statewide training, the state archives, state and local records, and electronic records initiatives for state records in its base budget and exceptional items requests that address all of these critical state priorities.
  • Approved a resolution that the TLA endorse the proposed new Minimum Criteria for Accreditation of Public Libraries and present them to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for adoption.
  • Approved a resolution that TLA adopt the newly revised Public Library Standards and present them to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for adoption.
  • Approved a resolution that TLA urge the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Texas Education Agency to update current school library standards that reflect the dynamic role of professionally-run school library programs as crucial to the increased academic achievement of Texas school students.
  • Approved a resolution that TLA urge the Texas Legislature to extend the state’s telecommunications discount program for schools, libraries, and institutions of higher education to ensure that broadband access remains widely available to all Texans.
  • Approved a resolution that TLA urge the Texas Legislature to support workforce development and college and career readiness initiatives promoted by Texas libraries and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
  • Approved a resolution that the American Library Association (ALA) affirm the right of all library users to enjoy equal and equitable internet access free from commercial bias, whether provided in the library, or through remote access to library resources; that ALA reiterate its support for effective network neutrality legislation such as the Internet Freedom Preservation Act (S.2917) and the Network Neutrality Act of 2006 (H.R. 5273); that ALA support the FCC’s codification of network neutrality principles; and that ALA call upon library supporters to actively advocate for effective and enforceable network neutrality as telecommunications reform legislation proceeds in Congress.
  • Revised the Membership Dues Schedule for consideration and action by the TLA membership in the fall, 2014.

Full minutes are available from the TLA Office. 


TLA Staffing Updates

Leading Library Technologist Joins TLA Headquarters

Billy HoyaThe Texas library community has a new guide in its mission to deliver the highest quality technology and Internet access to stakeholders. Billy Hoya has joined the staff of the Texas Library Association (TLA). Hoya received his MSLS from the University of North Texas and was previously the systems librarian/Web management librarian for the W.I. Dykes Library at the University of Houston-Downtown. 

Hoya will be responsible for the Association’s technology infrastructure and will work with TLA members to support innovative library technology practices statewide. "I think one of the biggest problems in technology, not just in libraries but everywhere, is that technology is often used to recreate existing physical or bureaucratic structures. I would like to help libraries to think beyond these structures and use technology to solve old problems in more efficient, novel ways," he notes. 

Hoya’s extensive background dealing with the operational and programmatic components of library technology is particularly well-suited to the Association’s on-going work to partner with members and state libraries to maximize the use of resources to benefit library customers.

"Professionally, I am particularly interested in technologies that open learning to large numbers of individuals,” Hoya says. “For instance, I find MOOC's - Massive Open Online Course – to offer interesting concepts for libraries. It's interesting to see the various ways that people both try to recreate and step beyond the metaphor of the traditional classroom." 

TLA Executive Director Patricia Smith notes that Hoya brings the strengths of both a computer science professional and a librarian. “We feel very pleased to have Billy on board. He brings a fresh perspective and has already a great rapport with the library community. We look forward to envisioning new ways the Association can serve its members.” 

Hoya notes that he sees the impact of technology in human terms: "I would like to help libraries lead the charge in diversifying race and gender in information technology. Many libraries already have various programs to expose youth to programming and robotics, but I would like to see libraries pair with MOOCs or other education institutions to provide college level computer science classes to young adults who might not have access to them." He adds, “For me, it’s all about making information and learning easier, more engaging, and more productive for people.”

TBA Coordinator

The Texas Library Association is advertising for the next coordinator of the Texas Bluebonnet Award program. The Texas Bluebonnet Award (TBA) Coordinator is primarily responsible for guiding and directing the educational focus of the TBA program; reviewing and implementing the goals, objectives, guidelines, and policies and procedures of that program; chairing committee meetings of the Texas Bluebonnet Program Committee and the Texas Bluebonnet Selection Committee; preparing and overseeing the budget of the program; and working with Texas Library Association (TLA) staff and the Executive Boards of TLA, the Children’s Round Table, and the Texas Association of School Librarians.

During tenure of service, the coordinator shall attend annually: the TLA conference, annual assembly, and the October selection meeting. The TBA coordinator is strongly encouraged to attend ALA’s annual conferences and midwinter meetings. Additional travel to Austin may also be required. There is provision for travel reimbursement for all these meetings/conferences with the exception of the TLA conference and annual assemblies. The TBA coordinator must be a member of TLA and a member of either Children’s Round Table or Texas Association of School Librarians.

The position is a part-time, non-renewable one with a salary of $8,400 per each year the selected individual serves as TBA coordinator. This position will be filled at the TLA annual conference in Austin, Texas (April 14-17, 2015) and will begin immediately as the individual serves a one-year (non-paid) term as intern coordinator and then begins a three-year tenure as coordinator.

An application form and job description are posted on the Texas Bluebonnet website. These documents are also available from Glenda Genchur (glendag@txla.org) in the TLA office. Applications should be returned to Glenda Genchur either by email or through U.S. Mail (Glenda Genchur, Texas Library Association, 3355 Bee Cave Road, Suite 401, Austin, Texas 78746-6763) by March 1, 2015.


CE Corner

The Texas Library Association is proud to announce a new webinar series for library support staff. More information is available at www.txla.org/CE

A to Z: Diverse and In-Depth Training for Library Support Staff will be a comprehensive program designed to enhance the skills of library employees who serve in circulation, reference, and technical services. The webinars include sessions on dealing with difficult customers, communication skills, supervision, cataloging, basic reference, electronic resources, children’s services, volunteer coordination, and project management. Anyone who takes the three core classes and two electives will receive a special certificate in Library Support Staff Training.

One webinar will be held each month. Registration is open for most webinars now. Some webinars will be scheduled later to best fit the needs of attendees. Registration fees will be $15 for TLA members, $25 for nonmembers.

Core classes

  • The Big Picture: Crucial Roles of Support Staff in Libraries (January 20, 11am Central Time) 
  • Dealing with Difficult Situations (February 18, 11am Central Time)
  • Communication Skills for Library Support Staff (date to be announced)

Electives

  • Supervising, Coordinating, or Managing Others (March 12, 11am Central Time)
  • Cataloging: Introduction to Organizing Information (April 2, 11am Central Time)
  • What’s New in Library Collections and Services (June 4, 11am Central Time) 
  • Maximizing the Life of Resources: Books, Discs, Flash Drives, and More (July 16, 11am Central Time)
  • Children’s and Youth Services for Support Staff (date TBA)
  • Working with Volunteers (date TBA)
  • Introduction to Managing Projects (date TBA)

Apply now for the TALL Texans Leadership Institute 

The online application form for the TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute is open and active, due by January 30. Applicants are required to have five years of work experience in any library, and must also be members of TLA by February 1.

The TALL Texans Institute is a 4-day seminar on leadership and management taught by instructors who conduct similar programs at Harvard, Princeton, and Simmons universities. Up to twenty-four people are selected to study strategic planning, advocacy, conflict negotiation, risk taking, coaching, teambuilding, and personal career planning. Participants learn to be more effective leaders and effective followers as they discover how to transform libraries, communities, and themselves for the future. The 2015 program will be July 19-22 at the Montserrat Retreat Center in Lake Dallas.

The TALL Texans registration fee is $615, which covers all instruction, classroom materials, room and board. Several sources of financial aid are available through community organizations, library vendors, and TLA round tables and divisions. No one has ever been unable to attend due to lack of funds. 

Interested parties should register for the free webinar How to Apply to the TALL Texans Institute scheduled for December 4, 2-3pm Central Time. For more information, see the TALL Texans homepage.

AWARD & GRANT Opportunities

TLA AWARDS: It is awards season again. Be sure to check the TLA website for information about association-wide awards and unit-level awards.

  • Librarian of the Year Award: Recognizes extraordinary leadership or service within the library community within the past 12-18 months.
  • Distinguished Service Award: Recognizes outstanding and continuing service in one or more areas of the library profession.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Recognizes an exemplary career in librarianship.
  • Outstanding Services to Libraries Award: Given to an individual or to an organization in recognition of outstanding lay advocacy.
  • Wayne Williams Library Project of the Year AwardRecognizes a project that exemplifies the highest levels of achievement, professional standards, and inspiration to other libraries.
  • Libraries Change Communities Award: Given to a collaborative community effort that recognizes positive achievements and promotes outstanding library-based initiatives in Texas.
  • Benefactor(s) Award: Recognizes substantial donations.

For additional information about submitting nominations, please contact the Awards Committee Chair, Mary Jarvis (mjarvis@wtamu.edu). 

PR Branding Iron AwardsBe sure to apply for TLA’s Public Relations Branding Iron Awards. With multiple categories, make sure you and your staff are being recognized for all the good work you are doing promoting your library and its services!

TLA Scholarships, Grants, and Stipends: The Scholarship and Research Committee of the Texas Library Association invites TLA members to submit applications for scholarshipsresearch grants, and conference stipends to be awarded in the spring of 2015. To apply for any TLA scholarship, grant, or stipend, applicants will need to complete the online application found on the TLA website. Applicants must be TLA members to apply. Scholarship applicants must also be accepted as a graduate student at a Texas ALA-Accredited Library Program.

Unit Awards, Division (CULD, PLD, TASL) and Stipends: Numerous unit awards and stipends are also available. Information is provided at the TLA awards website.

SPOTLIGHT ON!

Supervisors, Managers, and Administrators Round Table (SMART) Conference Stipend

The Supervisors, Managers, and Administrators Round Table (SMART) is offering a stipend award of $250 to assist one round table member with registration at the 2015 Texas Library Association Annual Conference. The purpose of the stipend is to encourage active membership in TLA and SMART.

The librarian or support staff member needs to be: employed in any type of library in Texas, have management or supervisory responsibilities as part of their job duties, be a member of TLA and SMART, must attend the SMART meeting at the TLA conference to be recognized as the stipend recipient, and must agree to serve on a SMART committee (or a committee within their division) in the upcoming year.

The applicant must fill out an application and email it to the Stipend Selection Committee chair along with 2 letters of recommendation by March 1, 2015. Send applications to: Sarah.Abrams@unt.edu. For additional information, go to: http://www.txla.org/groups/smart.

Legislative Pre-Conference Stipends

The TLA Legislative Committee is offering ten stipends to TLA members to participate in the pre-conference, “Taking the Capitol by Storm:  Libraries, Legislation, and Leadership” on April 14, 2015, in Austin. With the 84th Legislature in full swing, this kick-off event to the 2015 TLA Annual Conference will provide intensive training on the key library issues and give participants an opportunity to visit legislative offices with experienced leaders.

These legislative program stipends are designed to help new professionals and recruits to the library community learn about the legislative process and issues. Eligible are librarians, library school students, and citizen advocates who are relatively new to the field.  The stipend will cover the registration fee for the all-day event which runs from 9 to 5 p.m. 

The application process is straight-forward.  All that is required is your name, address, telephone, email address, current position, library or institution name, number of years as a TLA member, and a list of your primary legislative concerns. This simple application form is available on the TLA website at http://www.txla.org/legislative-preconference-stipends.   The applications are due on January 30, 2015, and the decision will be made by Legislative Committee leaders in mid-February.

 Diversity Grants

The Junior Library Guild is partnering with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of TLA to offer two conference stipends of $750 to defray the cost of attending annual conference. Both librarians and paraprofessionals are encouraged to apply. Membership in TLA is required. The grants are aimed at members of a diverse background and new members. One grant will be awarded in each category. The definition of eligible diverse applicants is: “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."

  • Recipient must be a member of the Texas Library Association
  • Recipient must include a statement of need.   
  • Recipient must agree to be a volunteer during the conference
  • Recipient must be employed as a librarian or paraprofessional in a Texas library.
  • Recipient must submit a completed application form and letter of reference on or before the stated deadline.  

The deadline for submission is January 31. For full details, requirements, and the application, go to: http://www.txla.org/JLG-Diversity-Stipends.

Jeanette and Jim Larson Mystery Grant Program for Public Libraries

Longtime TLA member Jeanette Larson and her architect husband, Jim, have established a fund to help a public library or public library branch annually acquire materials in the mystery genre to delight their customers. The purpose of the grant award is to help a library foster and expand enthusiasm for the mystery genre in print, audio, film, and/or electronic form. The application deadline will be January 15 with notification of the successful application on April 1, 2015. For the full application, go to: http://www.txla.org/sites/tla/files/LarsonGrant.docx


ANNOUNCEMENTS

Texas Book Festival Draws Crowds

The 19th annual Texas Book Festival, which was held October 25 -26, 2015 in Austin, wrapped up with one of its biggest events ever. For the first time, the Texas Teen Book Festival was held under the auspices of the Texas Book Festival on October 18 at St. Edward’s University. TLA’s own Texas Bluebonnet Award Reading List and 2x2 List were unveiled at the Festival.

We thank all of our TLA volunteers who manned the TLA booth. They are: Shelby Counts (TLA’s TBF Committee Chair),  Anita Sigler, Nancy Quesada, Marty Bruner, Elizabeth Polk, Ellen Thibodeaux, Sharon Amastae, Claudia Gibson, Ana Loya, Maya McElroy, Sara Pope, Rita Painter, Kay Gooch,  Elizabeth Bartell, Donald Bos, Randi Sather, Ana Loya, and Lynn Cipriano.

Since the Texas Book Festival’s (TBF) founding in 1995, it has been a part of the TBF’s mission to promote Texas libraries and literacy. Each year, funds raised at the annual Texas Book Festival support grants that are distributed the following year. Since 1996, the organization has funded 1,010 grants totaling more than $2.6 million to over 600 libraries across Texas. See past winners. Grants are awarded each year at the annual TLA conference.

Applications for the 2014-2015 Library Grant cycle will be available in mid December 2014. Be sure to check out the TBF grants resource page for the latest information. 

Texas Libraries Snapshot Day Fall 2014

Library Snapshot Day provides a way for Texas libraries of all types to show what happens in a single day. As always, the range of programs is simply impressive. It’s amazing how much libraries do in one single day!

This annual tradition has librarians selecting one day in October as Snapshot Day to gather and submit information about library activities. The event provides a framework for hosting activities and promoting the library.  We thank all the libraries (and their staff and stakeholders) who participated Fall of 2014. 

Summaries 

  • A total of 160 librarians reported information for over 600 library facilities. 
  • On average, Texas libraries report over 850 visitors per day and almost 10,000 hits to databases and e-resources.

Sample of services from participating libraries…

  • Every day, librarians at academic institutions instruct 560 students on technology issues.
  • The average public library building sees about 100 kids every day for storytime and almost 190 people attending programs. 
  • The average school library hosts almost 230 students participating in non-class related activities such as book clubs and individual study, and almost 400 students on a campus receive instructional assistance from school librarians every day.

A Sample of Responses 

What are three to five examples of reference questions asked on Snapshot Day?

  • How do I download an ebook?
  • Where can I find the Voter’s Guide?
  • Which database do I use to find a scientific journal?

What are three to five examples of student/customer comments?

  • I love the library and the librarians! They provide research and worksheets that my students and I find helpful. Keep it up team- – you're doing awesome
  • My favorite thing that happened at the library was the day the librarian helped me find my great, great grandfather who was a slave.
  • I am currently unemployed. Keeping refreshed on my computer skills during this time is critical. If the library didn't offer these free courses, I would not be able to afford courses elsewhere.  

What are some examples of programs and/or training sessions you held on Snapshot Day?

  • We had a 5th grade book club; we taught digital citizenship, databases, and we read aloud a bluebonnet book. The students checked out books!
  • I held a Murder Mystery in the library. Classes came in and were walked through a "crime scene" and then given a case report and additional pieces of evidence. They worked in teams to solve the murder. In doing so, the students had to pull textual evidence to "prove" their theory. This worked on skills necessary for students to pass the ELA EOC exams.
  • We had three introductory sessions for first time in college students. They got a tour of the library and learned how/when/why to access the online catalog and electronic resources

Please make any comments you would like to add.

  • Thank you for organizing this event. We collect monthly stats, but this event makes us focus on student comments and advertising from a different perspective.
  • Love this. Please keep doing this.
  • Our Snapshot Day was fun as our students, parents, and staff enjoyed seeing the Literacy Cake Parade and coming to the library to see the cakes on display after the parade.

The majority of participants reported that the primary way they will use information is to promote library activities to administrators. And that is exactly why Library Snapshot Day is such a great event! Thanks to all who participated! 

BOND ELECTION

Several library initiatives were on the ballot box during this past November’s elections. Libraries from across the state reported victories.

  • Fort Bend ISD area residents passed a $484 million bond package. The bond will serve to fund significant investments to address the District’s growth, improve safety and security in schools, and upgrade the District’s technology infrastructure. Notable projects include four new elementary schools. All 73 campuses in the district have staffed libraries with a certified school librarian responsible for the campus library program. At this time, funding for library materials on campuses is provided both at the district and the campus level.
  • Voters in the City of Arlington approved approximately $6 million for library construction and improvement.
  • Port Arthur residents passed a bond for three new schools, which will include three new facilities and updated library equipment and technology.
  • Buda Public Library’s proposition for $21 million passed. The measure called for a municipal facility to include library, city hall, municipal court, community multi-purpose space and emergency preparedness space.
  • Brazosport ISD had a bond election overwhelmingly approved (67%) that stipulates $250,000.00 per library as well as three new elementary campuses that will surely include new library facilities. The purpose of the library funds is to create collaborative learning centers

Librarians at SXSW

Several librarians and educators will be featured at the 2015 South By Southwest Festival taking place in Austin. This mammoth event includes several conferences, including EDU (a convention for educational technology and innovation), Interactive (forums for start-ups and entrepreneurial interests in technology and education), and music and film showcases.

SXSW is an increasingly important venue for business, technology, and education stakeholders to discuss key issues on learning, communication, the Internet, educational technology, and community support for innovation. Accordingly, library-related topics can offer much to the discussion. Some of the programs on the schedule are:

Schools and Libraries Together: Rethinking Learning 

  • Vanessa Rosenbaum (Skokie Public Library)
  • Amita Lonial (Skokie Public Library)

Makerspaces & STEAM Labs: Creation and Programming 

  • Colleen Graves (Lewisville ISD)
  • Leah Mann (Lewisville ISD)

If you would like to support fellow librarians who will be representing the library community at SXSW, you can volunteer in several ways: hosting out-of-town librarians, offering transportation services, providing support services,  offering Austin hospitality, or staffing library related booths (note: volunteers for booth staffing or onsite events will need to purchase their own badges). All other volunteer services – mainly in the hosting capacity, for some days between March 9 -17, 2015 – are “off-site” contributions and do not require the purchase of a SXSW EDU or Interactive badge. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, send an email to: tedw@txla.org . For additional information about SXSW, check the website: http://sxsw.com/


Names in the News 

  • Nancy Anderson has retired as dean of libraries at Howard Payne University.
  • Cedar Park Public Library Foundation received the Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award for creative fundraising projects for the library’s enrichment program and technology needs.
  • Jacob Galindo is now with the University of Texas at El Paso.
  • Michele Gorman is the new deputy director of customer experience for Houston Public Library.
  • Lori Grumet formerly of Las Cruces (NM) is the new city librarian in Abilene.
  • Lorraine J. Haricombe (currently dean of libraries at the University of Kansas) will begin serving as the new vice provost and director of libraries at The University of Texas at Austin on February 1, 2015.
  • Angela June Kent (Texas State Library and Archives Commission), Bethany Tschaepe (University of Houston Downtown), and Peace Williamson (University of Texas at Arlington) have been selected for ALA’s 2015 class of emerging leaders.
  • Irene Kistler, librarian at Ed White Middle School in North East ISD, has been named a Texas state finalist for Teacher of the Year.
  • Lisa Loranc has left Brazoria County to become assistant director of the Harris County Library.
  • Howard Marks is the new director at the University of Texas at Permian Basis, effective in July 2014.
  • Edward Melton is the new Harris County Public Library director.
  • Midland Centennial Library received a 2014 Library Interior Design Award, sponsored by ALA and the International Interior Design Association.
  • Mendell Morgan is director of the El Progreso Public Library in Uvalde.
  • Alexia Riggs is the new dean of libraries at Howard Payne University.
  • Dede Rios is the new director of the University of Incarnate Word's Optometric and Clinical Library Services in San Antonio, effective December 1.
  • Patricia Strawn, who retired last May, was honored on November 19 with the naming of a school library (John Jay High School).
  • Julie Todaro, dean of library services for Austin Community College, is a candidate for president of the American Library Association.
  • Pat Tuohy has joined the Board of Trustees of the Tocker Foundation.
  • Sylvia Vardell, professor at Texas Woman’s University School of Library and Information Studies, received the Scholastic Library Publishing Award from Scholastic Library Publishing.
  • Paul Waak has joined the staff of the Central Texas Library System as its assistant director.

Deaths

Helen Hollis Croft, longtime TLA member and champion for public libraries, passed away September 25, 2014. 

Created on Dec 3, 2014 | Last updated January 14, 2015