Texas Reference Sources

Projects: Texas Reference Sources


After a two-year period of "relative inactivity", RRT Chair Lee Jones encouraged a brainstorming session at the 7 April 1972 business meeting in Galveston focusing on potential programs or projects to undertake. During the discussion, Lois Bebout brought up the need for a Winchell-type reference source for Texas. The standard general Guide to Reference Books was then known throughout the library community as "Winchell" in recognition of its editor for many years, Constance Winchell. A motion passed to have RRT sponsor a presentation of Texas reference sources at each TLA district meeting.

After the meeting, Lois Bebout was selected to chair the Committee on Sources of Information about Texas. Committee members were chosen to represent each TLA district. The committee charge included (1) to promote The Texas List of serial holdings in the state and the Texas '70 index to Texas periodicals, (2) to acquaint Texas librarians with sources of information about Texas by carrying some type of exhibit or program to the ten TLA district meetings, and (3) to consider the feasibility of publishing a "Texas Winchell".

During the next few months, Lois Bebout and Lyn Benton, in consultation with the staffs of the University of Houston and the Deer Park Public libraries, drew up a preliminary core list of resources about Texas. The September 1972 list included 26 titles in seven categories. It was noted that the list was a working document and some titles were included only as indicators of the types of materials available.


The first recorded meeting of the committee was held 4 April 1973 in Room 305 of the Fort Worth Sheraton Hotel. In discussing how to achieve its mission, the group decided to develop cooperatively a list of basic Texas information sources (particularly including The Texas List and Texas '70) to be presented at district meetings in whatever manner fitted best with the format of the meetings. Each district representative on the committee was responsible for making the necessary arrangements with their respective district program chairpersons. The initial assumption appears to be that a physical display of volumes of Texas reference sources would be a part of this presentation. Out-of-print resources would be included in the displays to make librarians aware of their existence in nearby libraries and to encourage reprinting of some important titles. The final basic list of resources to include was to be completed by August 1.

Little was discussed at the initial meeting about compiling a "Texas Winchell", except to designate Lois Bebout as the General Editor for such a work and to determine that subject responsibilities would be assigned. The means for publishing the work would be determined by the length of the eventual compilation.

In a letter sent by Lois Bebout to committee members 14 April 1973, she elaborated on the steps to accomplish the tasks discussed at the meeting. Committee members were to solicit suggestions from other librarians in their districts for additions or deletions to the 1972 basic list and report to Lois Bebout by June 1. She envisioned a list of no more than 50 titles, preferably about 30. By June 15, she was to send a revised list to each committee member for review by July 15. At that time, she would compile the final list, presenting each title with annotations, to be used in setting up district exhibits. The district representatives on the committee were to be responsible for coordinating the exhibit presentation at their district meetings.

In the same memorandum, Lois Bebout also asked for volunteers and suggestions of other librarians to handle subject areas of the "Subject Guide to Reference Books about Texas" listed on a separate page. She had set up the subject areas to correspond with those used in Winchell's Guide to Reference Books. Thirteen groupings were provided and Lois Bebout had listed herself for the first group (AA Bibliography and AB Librarianship and Library Resources). Committee members were encouraged to solicit ideas for the "Texas Winchell" at the same time as they were soliciting suggestions for the basic exhibition list. As soon as she had volunteer editors for each subject area, Lois Bebout would notify everyone and try to get Mary Pound to publish the list in Texas Library Journal. She delayed the deadline for this work until after the fall district meetings, at which she hoped suggestions would be received from attendees. She suggested they might even be able to solicit funds for the publication at the next TLA annual conference. As an adjunct to this work, committee members were to check with all library schools to be certain that no library school student had compiled or was compiling any similar work.

The May 1973 issue of Texas Library Journal publicized the RRT Committee on Texas Information Sources (p. 89). The committee requested suggestions for a list of basic reference books about Texas and asked for volunteers to serve as subject editors for the proposed "Subject Guide to Reference Books about Texas (the 'Texas Winchell')". Contact information for each district representative on the committee was listed as was contact information for Lois Bebout as chairman of the committee.

The "ballot" of titles to include in the basic list of reference books about Texas was sent to committee members 2 August 1973. From the 114 titles in ten categories on the list, committee members were to vote for their "top fifty". Lois Bebout requested return of the lists by August 15 to allow time to get the final list mailed out by September to accommodate some district meetings which would be held during the month.

In the same letter, Lois Bebout indicated she still needed subject editors for four areas: (1) societies, encyclopedias, language dictionaries, linguistics and philology, periodicals, newspapers, dissertations; (2) sociology, anthropology and ethnology; (3) statistics, economics; and (4) pure and applied sciences, excluding earth sciences and biological sciences.

The final "Sources of Information About Texas: A Basic List" was published in the fall 1973 issue of Texas Library Journal (pp. 209-211). It included 57 titles in 9 general categories (libraries and librarianship; bibliography; history and biography; literature bibliography; handbooks, directories, etc.; nature guides, etc.; government and law; periodicals and indexes; and documents). It indicated that many of the TLA districts would be displaying the items at district meetings in the fall. Accompanying the list was a notice requesting suggestions for items to be included in a "Subject Guide to Reference Books About Texas". Eleven subject divisions were identified (bibliography; libraries and librarianship and general reference works; government publications and political science; law; biography, history, genealogy, religion, literature, folklore and popular customs; education; sociology, anthropology and ethnology; geography; pure and applied sciences; fine arts, applied arts, theater arts, music; and statistics and economics), each with at least one subject editor named as a contact.

A letter dated 23 September 1973 was sent to all subject editors. It was accompanied by a list of titles suggested for the pertinent section. In the letter, Lois Bebout outlined the responsibilities of the editor and the scope of their considerations. The 8th edition of Winchell's Guide to Reference Books was to serve as a guide to purpose, arrangement, serial entries, reprints, cross references, code numbers, and abbreviations for the "Texas Winchell" compilation. Editors were responsible for the work on their subject area but were encouraged to consult anyone who might be of assistance (including societies) and to request review of their work by other librarians in the subject area. Brief introductions to some subject sections might be included "if the length of the entire compilation is not excessive". The scope was to be limited to Texas materials: "sources which give the best information about Texas on the particular subject" even if they were national or international publications. Comparisons in annotations between titles like the Texas Museums Directory and the Official Museum Directory were encouraged. No closing date was used: items "in press" or "in preparation" could be listed. Library card files in a subject area could be included if permission was received from the library or compiler. Titles which belonged in another subject area were to referred to the other subject's editor and cross references would be created as necessary for titles useful in multiple subject areas. Entries in "Winchell" format were to be submitted to Lois Bebout on 4" X 6" cards. Editors were also urged to include cards for index entries. Lois Bebout offered assistance in getting access to resources a subject editor might not have available locally but which were available in Austin.

1974 - 1976

The committee report on 28 March 1974 outlined the progress made on the two projects. The final basic list of sources of information about Texas was published in the October 1973 issue of Texas Library Journal and exhibits or presentations of the items were given at meetings of Districts 5 and 8. Copies of the basic list were distributed at the meeting of District 3. Reports from all but three of the subject editors were turned in and final editing was in progress. The TLA Publications Committee would possibly publish the guide as a number in a proposed TLA monograph series.

At the 3 April 1975 RRT annual meeting, Lois Bebout reported on the status of the "Texas Winchell" being sponsored by TLA and indicated the typed publication would be selling for $3-$4 per copy. Texas Reference Sources: A Selective Guide was published later in the year. Two hundred fifty copies of the 134-page guide were printed. The final price for the volume was actually $7 (plus $.35 sales tax, if applicable).

With the publication of the 1st edition of Texas Reference Sources (TRS), attention focused on keeping it current. At the 9 April 1976 RRT meeting, Lois Bebout identified several notable publications which were not included in the original volume. She indicated a revision was planned. In a report from the RRT Planning Committee at the same meeting, Linda Samuels listed updating TRS and seeking names of titles omitted from TRS as projects RRT should be considering. Two motions she made in conjunction with her report were approved. In one motion, the Planning Committee was to coordinate publication of an annual review article covering the most important new resources appearing during the past year, with reviews to be furnished by the subject editors of TRS. In the second motion, a TRS review committee was to be appointed to consider omissions and further bibliographic needs to recommend to the TRS editors and to the Planning Committee. In a related matter, a motion passed to create a publications committee to coordinate RRT publications with the TLA Publications Committee and to determine funding and approval needed to begin any RRT publication.

The spring 1976 RRT newsletter, F.Y.I., publicized the availability of Texas Reference Sources at the TLA booth during the annual conference. It also included a notice that the RRT Planning Committee would be making plans for updating the work. Publicity for Texas Reference Sources also appeared in the May 1976 Texas Library Journal (p. 74). In addition to mentioning how to order the publication, the article also requested owners of copies to suggest additions and corrections to the subject editors through Lois Bebout or Mary Beth Fleischer (Barker Texas History Center, UT Austin). The notice indicated updates and a revision were already being planned.

The RRT Executive Board met 20 September 1976. The Publications Committee, under the chairmanship of Lois Bebout and with members chosen by her, was designated to issue Texas Reference Sources upon request and to handle publication of titles which might be issued by RRT. By November 1976 all of the original 250 copies of Texas Reference Sources had been sold, but photocopies were being made available.

The first supplement to Texas Reference Sources appeared in the November 1976 issue of Texas Library Journal (pp. 168-175), "Texas Reference Sources, 1975-76" included recent reference materials about Texas as well as new editions, reprints, supplements, and older items missed in the main edition. Each entry was signed by the subject editor responsible for it. Ten subject editors and the general editor were listed along with a special contributor (Sarabeth Sullivan) from the Dallas Public Library and an assistant (Michael Benedict, Houston Public Library) to one of the subject editors (Jacqueline Hambric, Texas A&M). The supplement introduction indicates a revised, updated edition was being prepared for publication in 1977 or 1978.


Lois Bebout reported the publication of the 1975-76 supplement at the 15 April 1977 RRT annual meeting. She moved and Sarabeth Sullivan seconded a motion that another update be published in Texas Library Journal in 1977 and a revised edition of Texas Reference Sources be published in 1978. The motion passed. Charles Baker moved that the RRT membership be polled on whether to include library holdings and/or price and availability in the next edition. His motion was seconded by Lois Bebout and approved. Lois Bebout reported that TRS was still being photocopied on demand and asked if this practice should continue or if the volume should be allowed to go out of print. The concensus was to continue to make the volume available.

A second supplement appeared in the fall 1977 issue of Texas Library Journal (pp.165-170). "Texas Reference Sources, 1976-77" added materials not previously listed in the main edition nor in the first supplement, including older items. A notice about a revised, updated edition of TRS for publication in 1978 appears in the introduction to the list.

In the October 1977 Reference Round Table News, another report from Lois Bebout mentioned that the committee was working on a 2nd edition to be ready sometime in 1978. RRT members were urged to send her suggestions for additions or deletions for the new edition. Any other suggestions for the production of Texas Reference Sources also were encouraged.

At the 7 April 1978 RRT annual meeting, Lois Bebout reported on the plans for the new edition of Texas Reference Sources. At the RRT Executive Board meeting 29 July 1978, Chair Sharlee Jeser announced that the 2nd edition would be printed at the expense of the Reference Round Table, but that the costs of printing would be recovered through sales of the publication. The revised edition was published later in the year and sold for $8 plus tax. The size of the publication jumped from 134 pages to 164 pages. At the 6 April 1979 RRT annual meeting, Sharlee Jeser announced the new edition was available for sale at the TLA Conference Office.

Chair Norma Reger announced at the RRT Executive Board meeting 27 July 1979 that Lois Bebout, who had shepherded Texas Reference Sources from an idea through two editions, had asked to be relieved of further responsibility for TRS. Charles Dwyer (Sam Houston State University) agreed to serve as the new General Editor.


The 17 April 1980 RRT annual business meeting included a request for RRT members to promote the sale of the revised edition of Texas Reference Sources. Norma Reger noted that sales were at the break-even point, having recovered the publication costs, and that future sales would generate a profit. Aside from promoting sales of the remaining copies of the 2nd edition, no further attention seems to have been given to producing another edition or supplements to Texas Reference Sources for several years.

At the 30 July 1983 RRT Executive Board meeting, Lois Bebout once again accepted the general editorship of the dormant Texas Reference Sources. She was to contact subject editors about updating their sections. Distribution of the next update and of the remaining copies of the revised edition still available from the TLA Office were still to be considered.

By the 5 April 1984 RRT Business meeting, Lois Bebout reported that over 800 titles had been submitted for inclusion in a 1984 supplement. These had been trimmed to 700 titles (approximately 130 pages). She proposed that a new edition be published combining the 1975, 1978 and 1984 editions and the supplements published in Texas Library Journal.

Chair Charles Smith announced the availability of the 1984 supplement to Texas Reference Sources at the 27 July 1984 RRT Executive Board meeting. The supplement included new reference items which had appeared since the 1978 edition. New editions of items were evaluated independently. Sources and prices were given when available. The supplement of 199 pages sold from the TLA office for $6 (plus applicable sales tax). Copies of the 1978 edition of Texas Reference Sources also were available for the same price.


The March 1985 issue of the Reference Round Table Newsletter included an article by Lynne Hambric outlining the development of Texas Reference Sources and publicizing the availability of the 1984 supplement and the 1978 edition. In the same issue, the 1984-1985 goals for the RRT Publications Committee chaired by Don Frank included making publication recommendations for Texas Reference Sources.

The costs of printing Texas Reference Sources was an issue during the 19 July 1985 RRT Executive Board meeting. The price of $6 per copy was not thought to be high enough to generate a profit over the $496.90 printing cost. The Board was unaware how many copies were actually printed. Charles Smith reported that the Publications Committee was aware of the high printing costs for Texas Reference Sources and pointed out the lack of a mechanism for updating it. The committee was considering producing an entirely new updated edition. Don Frank mentioned that Lois Bebout was still interested in continuing the guide. After appointments to the Publications Committee were completed by Marta Lange, the committee was charged to consider the future of Texas Reference Sources.

A survey was distributed at the 1986 annual conference. It solicited feedback on the use, publication schedule, pricing, and content of Texas Reference Sources. No report of results from the survey has been located and no minutes for 1986 and 1987 RRT meetings are on file, so the results and discussion of this survey are not available.

A 1986 supplement to the 1978 edition included additional items appearing since late 1983 and some earlier items not included in the prior cumulations. It provided 233 titles selected by 20 subject editors. The 32-page volume sold for $3 plus tax. Both the 1978 edition and the 1984 supplement were also still available for purchase.

A 3rd edition of Texas Reference Sources was published in summer 1987 and cost $12 plus tax. It included 174 pages of categorized entries and 61 pages of author, title and selective subject index. The new edition was reviewed in C&RL News, a publication of the ALA Association of College and Research Libraries, in September 1987 (p. 511). It also was announced in the spring 1988 Reference Round Table Newsletter.

For her "dedication, perseverance, and professionalism" which she demonstrated as Editor of not only Texas Reference Sources but also the Texas List, Lois Bebout was unanimously voted a commendation at the annual RRT membership meeting 21 April 1988. The commendation was sent to Lois Bebout 25 April 1988 by Chair Karen Wielhorski. At the 22 July 1988 RRT Executive Board meeting, it was further determined to honor Lois Bebout by creating a distinguished service award to be given by RRT and to make her its first recipient. Thereafter, the award was to carry her name.

As of 30 June 1989, the Reference Round Table had $676.48 in its Texas Reference Sources account. The Executive Board discussed the need for a new editor for Texas Reference Sources at its 21 July 1989 meeting. The Board also decided to reduce the price of the 75 remaining copies of the third edition to $10 and to create an advertisement promoting the reduced price. By 15 March 1990, the Texas Reference Sources account balance had grown to $764.48. Planning a new edition was a topic of discussion at the 4 April 1990 RRT business meeting.


The spring 1990 issue of Roundup (newsletter of the ALA RASD Council of State and Regional Groups with which RRT was affiliated) carried an article publicizing the availability of the remaining copies of Texas Reference Sources at the reduced price of $10 (tax, shipping and handling included).

At the 27 July 1990 RRT Executive Board meeting, Margaret Nichols noted that 59 copies of the 1987 edition were still available. The Board agreed to reduce the price on the remaining copies to $5 and then send any remaining copies to Maurice Fortin (University of North Texas) following the TLA annual assembly meeting. Walter F. Bell (University of North Texas) was announced as the General Editor for a new edition of Texas Reference Sources projected for publication in 1992. He planned to contact former section editors to see if they would be willing to continue and he would issue a call for participants in issues of the RRT Newsletter, Texas Library Journal and TLACast.

In the fall 1990 RRT Newsletter, Walter Bell indicated that no changes in editorial procedures were planned: the guidelines for editors and reviewers appearing in the 3rd edition would continue to apply. The new edition would continue to follow the format of prior editions. The existing groupings for General Reference Sources (T-A), Humanities (T-B), Social Sciences (T-C), History (T-D), and Pure and Applied Sciences (T-E) would be retained. Subject divisions within the groupings would be retained, but additional subject areas might be added if an adequate number of new resources were available. Bell was surveying new resource listings and Lois Bebout had contributed information from the recent acquisitions and on-order files of the Barker Texas History Center at The University of Texas at Austin. From the information gathered, Walter would decide if new subject areas needed to be added. His primary concern was to find volunteers to serve as subject editors and reviewers and contact information was included in the newsletter article.

The Texas Reference Sources account totalled $909.48 by 31 March 1991. In the spring 1991 newsletter and at the RRT business meeting 11 April 1991, Walter Bell reported that progress organizing for the next edition was slow but sure. His main concerns were identifying new resources or editions to include and appointing subject editors and reviewers for each section. Responses from calls for volunteers had been good, but some subject areas still needed coverage, particularly in the sciences, applied arts, fine arts, literature, folklore, language and linguistics, library science, and the social sciences.

By 30 June 1991, the balance in the Texas Reference Sources account had been transferred to to the RRT general account to clear the Texas Reference Sources ledger. At the 25 July 1991 RRT Executive Board meeting, Maurice Fortin read a progress report from Walter Bell. Subject editors had been chosen for all areas, but only two reviewers had been chosen (general works and history), leaving several positions for reviewers still available. Remaining copies of the 1987 edition had been sent to Maurice Fortin and many of these copies had been distributed to subject editors for review. Subject editors had been working since May 1991 with a deadline of 15 December 1991.

In the spring RRT Newsletter, Walter Bell reported that subject editors had completed the initial updating of their respective sections and reviewers had a deadline of March 20 to complete their review process. The publication was on schedule. The next phase of the project would be compiling the final product. He anticipated that the drafting process would take several months.

Walter Bell reported at the 24 July 1992 Executive Board meeting that he hoped to have a draft of the new edition ready by fall 1992. The TLA Publication Committee would have to approve the publication before it could be printed. The TLA Office could give a cost estimate for printing.

In the October 1992 newsletter, Walter Bell reported that data entry work was progressing and a 1993 publication date was anticipated. All section editors and reviewers had completed their initial assignments. Converting the information into computer-readable files for production was the current focus of activity.


At an Executive Board meeting 10 March 1993, $200 to support clerical assistance with Texas Reference Sources was approved. John Hepner reported for Walter Bell. The science and technology section was the final area to be input. The entire text from the older editions had to be reentered, which caused many delays. New editors and reviewers had to be obtained to replace some who had decided no longer to work on the project. A draft copy was expected to be available for the Executive Board meeting in July.

At the 11 March 1993 RRT general membership meeting, Walter Bell announced a final draft of the new edition would be ready for review by the RRT Executive Board at its meeting in July. He was still accepting new sources to include. Approximately 56 subject editors and reviewers worked on the project. Some had continued work they had done on earlier editions and several had been working on editions of Texas Reference Sources since it began in 1972.

The new 4th edition of Texas Reference Sources was approved by the RRT Executive Board 23 July 1993. The Board thanked all who had contributed to the edition and Don Buchwald suggested a formal resolution of thanks be presented at the next annual conference. The publication was announced in the November 1993 RRT Newsletter. Copies of the 251-page guide sold for $15 plus $5 shipping and handling and 7.25% sales tax for Texas orders. Walter Bell was identified as the General Editor and Deborah L. Barlow was identified as the Associate General Editor of the new guide. Three hundred fifty copies were printed at a cost of $2237.

Chair Bill Hord asked RRT members at the RRT meeting 14 April 1994 to promote the new edition of Texas Reference Sources. The May issue of the RRT Newsletter included a flyer advertizing the new edition. At the RRT Executive Board meeting 21 April 1994, Gretchen Hoffman indicated copies of Texas Reference Sources would be sold both at the RRT booth and at the TLA Store during the 1995 annual conference.

Copies of the 4th edition were still available at the TLA Store during the April 1996 conference. At the RRT Executive Board meeting 24 April 1996, Jack Becker, reporting on the RRT booth for Steve Self, indicated TLA would be called to ascertain how many copies of Texas Reference Sources were still in inventory.

At the 28 July 1996 RRT Executive Board meeting, a proposed 5th edition of Texas Reference Sources was discussed. Pat Switzer suggested a publication date of 2000. One hundred twelve copies of the 4th edition were still in inventory (the TLA Office staff estimated 145 copies were left). Pat Switzer moved and Melinda Townsel seconded that the price of Texas Reference Sources be dropped to $5 immediately and that any unsold copies be given away in a drawing at the RRT booth during the next annual conference. The motion passed unanimously. Jeanne Pyle moved that a call for volunteers to serve as General Editor for the 5th edition, with a proposed publication date of 2000, be published in the fall 1996 RRT Newsletter. The motion was seconded by Pat Switzer and was approved by the Board.


Lynn Haggard presented a report for the RRT Planning Committee at the RRT Executive Board meeting 9 April 1997. She indicated the committee would decide if RRT should publish a new edition of Texas Reference Sources. The committee would consider how much overlap would exist with Margaret Nichols' new reference sources publication. At the 21 July 1997 Executive Board meeting, the Planning Committee recommended publication of a new edition by 2000. Lynn Haggard reported that she was quoted in February 1997 a figure of $3237 to publish 350 copies with approximately the same number of pages as the prior edition. To cover the cost of production, $9.22 per copy would have to be charged. Locating a vendor to partially subsidize and publicize the new edition was suggested during discussion. Pat Switzer moved and Ron Glass seconded that a call for General Editor and for subject editors of a 2000 edition be published in TLACast and in the RRT Newsletter. The motion was approved.

By the 2 April 1998 RRT Executive Board meeting, Lynn Haggard reported two volunteers for general editor and three volunteers for subject editors had been received by the Planning Committee. Glenda Lehrmann reported that the committee was considering three candidates for General Editor. The committee would request vita's from the three candidates and make a selection. Several people also had expressed interest in serving as subject editors.

A call for volunteers to serve as General Editor or subject editors was published in the November 1998 RRT Newsletter. Volunteers were asked to indicate their subject areas of interest or their interest in being considered for the General Editor position. Submission of a vita was left open. An issue to be decided was whether to include online resources in the next edition. An additional possibility was to publish both online and print versions. The online version could become a continuously updated resource. Volunteers were to submit information to Lynn Haggard, Chair of the RRT Planning Committee. An accompanying article "Texas Reference Sources: A Brief History" was included in this issue. It was an updated version of Lynne Hambric's article which had appeared originally in the March 1985 RRT Newsletter.

Lynne Hambric (Texas A&M) was chosen by the Planning Committee to serve as the General Editor for the 5th edition of Texas Reference Sources. The June 1999 RRT Newsletter announced her appointment in the "Chair's Column". In a separate article, submission of titles for consideration was encouraged. Titles were to be reference works relating to Texas or having significant emphasis on Texas and published since 1992. Full citations were requested, including author, title, publisher (including address), date, ISBN number, and OCLC accession number. Web sites would also be considered. The goal of the General Editor was to provide comprehensive coverage of reference materials relating to Texas. Checking for revisions and new editions of materials reviewed in the 4th edition was to be accompanied by reviews of new items. Fourth edition items which were too dated for current use as reliable reference sources would be weeded from the new edition. Volunteers for subject editors and reviewers also were requested.

Tina Oswald, Chair of the Planning Committee, reported at the 12 July 1999 RRT Executive Board meeting that publicity was needed to encourage volunteers for subject editors and reviewers. Articles were to be written for TLACast and Texas Library Journal. A letter asking for assistance and title suggestions was to be sent to all RRT members. Suggested titles could be used both for Texas Reference Sources and for consideration by the Texas Reference Source Award Committee. In a separate discussion on what to place in a proposed TLA time capsule for the TLA centennial celebration in 2002, copies of the 1st and 5th editions of Texas Reference Sources were suggested. The Centennial Celebration Committee later shelved the time capsule proposal.


In their report from the Planning Committee at the 12 April 2000 RRT Executive Board meeting, Tina Oswald and Lynne Hambric indicated they were trying to proceed with the new edition of Texas Reference Sources. They indicated little response was received from the letter sent to all RRT members. They also still needed new Texas reference titles to include in the new edition.

At the 29 July 2000 RRT Executive Board meeting, Sharon Lazenby reported that the Planning Committee was working toward the next edition of Texas Reference Sources. Volunteers were still needed as subject editors and reviewers and title submissions also were needed. The committee was going to contact prior editors to determine if they were willing to work on the new edition. Discussion turned to the possibility of providing the next edition as a web version without a print version. It was suggested that underwriters would be needed to cover the cost of ongoing maintenance of a web version and a host for the web version would be required (TLA or an academic institution were suggested as possibilities). The past print versions had generated small revenues for RRT. Texas Reference Sources had been used primarily as a buying guide and an online version could contain links to publishers' home pages for ordering information. The publishers might be willing to pay a fee for the links. If an online version were produced, the Planning Committee could update one section every year. No decision was made about the online option.

The Fall 2000 RRT Newsletter once again included a call for volunteers and titles. The projected publication date was then to be in about two years to coincide with the upcoming TLA Centennial in 2002. The Spring 2001 newsletter repeated the call. In the "From the Chair" column, Jack Becker mentioned that the committee to work on the 5th edition was getting organized but still needed section editors and reviewers, particularly in the sciences.

Lynn Hambric reported to the RRT Executive Board 15 July 2001 that work on a new edition of Texas Reference Sources was in limbo. She indicated she would work on finding volunteers and developing annotations for sections.

Reliance on the Planning Committee to publicize calls for volunteers and titles, to collect the information, and to pass it on to the General Editor proved unsuccessful. After three years, no significant progress had been made toward producing a new edition.

During the TLA Centennial Conference in April 2002, the RRT Executive Board discussed the situation and decided to change the General Editor to restart the project. John Hepner (Texas Woman's University) was chosen as the new General Editor for Texas Reference Sources.

Seventeen of the nineteen remaining copies of the 4th edition of Texas Reference Sources were removed from TLA inventory and shipped to the John Hepner for use as resources for volunteers and processors. Two of the seventeen copies were set aside for display use in the RRT exhibit booth. The other two remaining inventory copies were set aside for the TLA Archives. By July 2002, no copies of the 4th edition remained in the TLA inventory. TLA staff notified John that TLA had already removed the 4th edition from the TLA publications catalog a few years earlier because it was too out-of-date.

Using the RRT Newsletter mailing list, the John Hepner surveyed via email current RRT members about issues relating to the form and content of the next edition. The survey was sent 6 May 2002 and 84 useable responses were received. The results indicated preferences that the next edition be produced in both print and electronic formats and that prices for currently available items be included.

Calls for volunteers were sent out 5 June 2002 via email to all addresses in the RRT Newsletter mailing list and via postings to the CULD, PLD, SLD, RRT, GODORT, ACDRT, ALHRT, TRGCC TLA distribution lists. By 19 July 2002, 45 responses had been received. All respondents received an acknowledgement. Of the initial respondents, 20 were assigned as section reviewers and 20 were assigned as section editors. All appointed section editors were notified and were already working on their sections by the time the John Hepner presented a progress report to the Executive Committee during the TLA Annual Assembly 21 July 2002. As of 19 July 2002, 24 of 43 subject sections had editors and were in progress (many with a deadline of 1 November 2002 for initial drafting). The sections underway were: T-AD (Periodicals); T-AE (Newspapers); T-BA (Humanities General Works); T-BC (Religion); T-BE (Literature); T-BF (Art and Architecture); T-BG (Design and Applied Arts); T-BH (Theater and Performing Arts); T-BJ (Music); T-BK (Sports and Recreation); T-CB (Education); T-CC (Sociology); T-CD (Psychology); T-CE (Anthropology and Ethnology); T-CF (Mythology, Folklore and Popular Culture); T-CG (Statistics and Demography); T-CH (Business and Economics); T-CK (Law); T-CL (Geography); T-DB (Texas History); T-EB (Mathematics); T-EG (Biological Sciences); T-EH (Medical and Health Sciences); T-EK (Engineering).

As of 19 July 2002, 21 of 43 subject sections had been assigned reviewers. Eight of the reviewers were assigned to sections which did not yet have editors. All appointed section reviewers had been notified of their respective assignments, although their work would commence at a later date. Three additional volunteers were being considered for assignment. One respondent declined participation and one requested more information and subsequently declined to participate.

Another call for volunteers appeared in the summer issue of TLACast and was also linked on the TLA Publications webpage to a webpage created from the TLACast announcement by Mary Ann Emerson, TLA Webmaster. The John Hepner created email templates for acknowledging volunteers, appointing section editors and reviewers, and notifying about deadlines approaching. A project log also was created for each Texas Reference Sources section to keep track of correspondence and processing progress.

Resource materials for participants were created: a draft introduction to the edition, a list of abbreviations to be used, a general guide to responsibilities, tips for section editors, and sample entries. All resource materials were distributed to all subject editors who had been assigned by the time of the TLA Annual Assembly meeting.

A preliminary contents outline was drafted for the 5th edition, incorporating several changes in subject locations and TRS classification numbers to coordinate with the 11th edition of Guide to Reference Books (Balay). The John Hepner became aware that a new 12th edition of Guide to Reference Books [originally to be called "Guide to Reference Sources", but changed more recently to "Guide to Reference"] was under development by the American Library Association. Through periodic consultation with Robert Kieft, General Editor of the new ALA edition, the John determined that the ALA project was not far enough along to consider coordinating the new RRT publication with it and coordination with the 11th edition was maintained. Further delays with the ALA edition eventually caused the RRT publication to be completed and published long before the new ALA edition, which now may be made available in late 2007 or 2008.

A project timetable also was drafted projecting a publication date in 2004. A preliminary budget for the project was drafted with the assistance of the TLA Headquarters staff, who acquired publication estimates from the TLA printer. The original estimate for 200 8 1/2" X 11" copies containing approximately 300 pages was $3,400 (shortly revised to $2,800) and for 300 copies $5,436 (shortly revised to $3,600), with "Plasti-Coil" binding (originally under consideration) adding $250 to the cost.

Materials were shared with Kathy Hartman, the Chair of the TLA Publications Committee, and the new edition was placed on the agenda for discussion during the committee's meeting at 10 a.m. Monday, 22 July 2002. The John Hepner discussed the project with the committee and it was determined that the committee would only need to review the text for approval prior to publication. Details of the process to be followed for committee review of the text were postponed to the next committee meeting at the 2003 TLA Annual Conference.


During the TLA Annual Conference in April 2003, the John Hepner reported to the RRT Executive Board that the Texas Reference Sources revision process was a bit ahead of schedule, despite delays with a few sections. All 43 sections were either in progress, under review, or completed. Two sections had been split between two section editors each because of their expected size and complexity. Thirty-five sections had been completed by section editors and twenty-nine of these sections had been submitted to section reviewers. Nine sections had completed the editorial compilation process. Seven sections still did not have section reviewers assigned to them. Nine sections were overdue from their section editors but most were expected by the end of April. John indicated a couple of sections possibly might be reassigned. One section had been recently assigned and was due no later than June 1 with the review process for it to be completed by September 1. Thirty volunteers and the General Editor were serving as section editors and thirty-two volunteers and the General Editor were serving as section reviewers. A total of 54 volunteers, in addition to the General Editor, were contributing the the project, some serving dual roles as section editors and section reviewers.

The John Hepner met with the TLA Publications Committee during the annual conference to update them on progress and to discuss logistics of the review process. Each section would be submitted to the Chair of the Publications Committee as it was completed, and the Chair would then distribute the sections to selected members of the committee for review. Comments would be sent to the John by the committee members reviewing each section, John would review the comments and make any necessary changes to the text, and then the revised text would be resubmitted to its committee reviewers for final approval. The process worked well: it kept the publication on schedule and precluded all committee members from having to review a large number of text pages for the publication at one time. Committee members provided helpful comments and caught some typographical errors which had crept into the text.

Who was to host the online version of Texas Reference Sources was still an unresolved issue. At the time, the publication was viewed as a potential problem for the TLA website to host because of its projected size. John Hepner planned to meet with representatives of Texas A&M University Libraries, who had indicated an interest in hosting the web version of the publication, to discuss TAMU involvement, but the meeting did not take place due to scheduling problems.

At the TLA Annual Assembly in July 2003, the John Hepner reported that the Texas Reference Sources revision process was close to being on schedule despite delays with a few sections. Four sections under referral to section reviewers had completion deadlines in August and September. One section was due from a section editor and one from a section reviewer by the end of the week of Annual Assembly. Due to the dismissal of one section editor and the withdrawal of another, one section and half of another were just being compiled and would not be ready for review until September.

Preliminary indexing was expected to begin on completed sections after Annual Assembly. The John Hepner planned to test the indexing techniques, time factors, and parameters before delegating the process to assistants. The plan was to index each section independently and then merge the indexes into a single file. After a trial index of three sections, John determined that creating a single index for each letter of the alphabet and adding new entries directly to each letter section would be more efficiant and less troublesome to compile. He also decided that the complexity involved in indexing was easier to handle himself rather than delegate it to assistants, so no assistants were hired for the project.

John Hepner met with the TLA Publications Committee during Annual Assembly to update them on progress.

John also met with TLA staff and with a representative of Texas A&M University Libraries to discuss web hosting of the electronic version of Texas Reference Sources. By this time, the capabilities of the TLA web service had improved, and it was decided that TLA would host the web version. Mary Ann Emerson, TLA Webmaster, and John Hepner would consult on placement of the publication on the TLA website and on logistics for getting the publication loaded.

In March 2004, John Hepner reported to the Executive Board that all sections of Texas Reference Sources were compiled, formatted for print publication, and reviewed by the TLA Publications Committee. All Internet links received their final check 11-14 March 2004 for the final compilation. The preliminary material (including the "Table of Contents") was completed, formatted for print publication, and reviewed by the TLA Publications Committee. As of March 15, the text was set for publication and no further revision was expected. The final formatted text was submitted for final approval to the TLA Publications Committee and the RRT Executive Board during the 2004 TLA Annual Conference.

The index was still in progress. Preliminary compilation of title and author entries was complete. A check of the entries was in progress. The addition of a few selected subject entries and the index itself was to be completed by the end of March, at which time it was to be submitted to the TLA Publications Committee for approval. After text approval by the TLA Publications Committee, the index would be formatted for publication and resubmitted for final approval. The index also would be submitted to the RRT Executive Board at this time.

The pages for print publication were expected to be ready for submission to the printer by June 1. A master PDF copy of the publication would be created for preservation. The new print edition was planned to be available for sale by September 1.

With the final text completed, work on the online version was to begin in April in consultation with the TLA Webmaster, Mary Ann Emerson. The formatting for the online edition was expected to be completed by Annual Assembly in July, at which time the TLA Publications Committee would be asked for its final approval of the online version. The online version also would be submitted to the RRT Executive Board at that time. The online version was expected to become active on the TLA website in conjunction with the availability of the print edition by September 1.

During the TLA Annual Assembly in July, John Hepner planned to submit to the Reference Round Table Executive Board a proposal for maintaining the online version of Texas Reference Sources, but this was postponed until the print and web editions were completed.

During the TLA Annual Assembly in July 2004, mockups of the online edition were shown via laptop to both the TLA Publications Committee and the RRT Executive Board.

During the April 2005 TLA Annual Conference, John Hepner reported to the RRT Executive Committee that the 5th edition of Texas Reference Sources was completed. The web version was loaded to the TLA website in late August 2004. Both the printed and web versions became available in September 2004. Notices of availability appeared in both the fall and spring issues of the RRT Newsletter. Links to the web version appeared on both the RRT homepage and the TLA Publications homepage. Final printing costs for 200 copies of Texas Reference Sources were $2099.50.

The print version was available for sale through TLA for $20 + $2.50 media mail or $4.50 1st Class S&H per book + $1.65 (8.25%) sales tax (unless tax-exempt). Credit card orders could be emailed or faxed and check orders could be mailed to TLA. Ordering information was on the Texas Reference Sources Online (TRSOnline) homepage. Errata pages for the print version were not being mailed with the copies: a PDF “Errata” document was being maintained and linked in the Texas Reference Sources Online homepage. Between 20 October 2004 and 31 March 2005, TLA registered 18 copies sold and $360 in proceeds credited to the RRT account. Copies of Texas Reference Sources also were available for purchase at the TLA Store in the exhibits area during the Annual Conference. One hundred copies would need to be sold to recover the printing costs.

A master PDF copy of the publication was created for preservation purposes. John Hepner planned to create a master file of documentation for the project (including the master pages submitted to the printer) to be deposited with the TLA archives. Copies of some of the documentation also would be archived on the RRT webpage for the project.

John Hepner was consulting with the RRT Planning Committee on methods for maintaining the online version of Texas Reference Sources. A query was sent to the section editors and reviewers for the 5th edition about their interest in continuing to be involved in maintaining Texas Reference Sources Online: 24 individuals indicated they wanted to participate. Their names were forwarded to the Chair of the RRT Planning Committee. John suggested creating a Texas Reference Sources Online subcommittee of the RRT Planning Committee to include all the individuals involved in maintaining the online edition. He also agreed to continue editorial supervision of Texas Reference Sources Online.

The RRT Planning Committee, in consultation with John Hepner, handled the solicitation and final assignment of continuing section editors for the online edition. John created a document of tips and procedures for continuing section editors and sent copies to all of them. Editors were expected to review their respective sections at least twice each year and submit changes to John, who would make the changes and submit revised section and index webpages for loading on the Texas Reference Sources Online website. John would send reminders to the section editors periodically.


At the 10 July 2005 RRT Executive Board meeting, John announced that at least 50 copies of the 5th edition of Texas Reference Sources had been sold. This amounted to half the number of copies necessary to recover the printing costs.

By April 2006, the first round of updates for Texas Reference Sources Online was completed and another round of updates was planned.

In December 2006, John Hepner retired from the Texas Woman's University Libraries, but he still maintains his activities in the Texas Library Association, including continuing as the General Editor for Texas Reference Sources Online. The publication continues to be updated regularly.


July 2002 2007
November 2002 2008
2003 2009
2004 2010
2005 2011
2006 No Report  

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this
Created on Jun 18, 2011 | Last updated March 15, 2014