Legislative Day and Virtual
Mark your calendars for February
24 and 25. TLA’s library Legislative Day is a special, statewide event for
“talking up” libraries. We need all library supporters across Texas to make
these two days a bonanza of library advocacy.
Given these hard economic times, libraries are needed more than ever. And, our
library customers, students, and communities need us to speak up for the
incredible role of libraries supporting education, workforce development, and
competitive colleges and universities.
We must lead the charge for increasing support for our libraries!
You can participate by coming to Austin for Legislative Day; or if you can’t
attend, you can participate in Virtual Legislative Day on February 24
Participating in Person:
Come and share in the important (and fun) work of visiting the Capitol and
making pre-scheduled visits with legislative offices. All the activities are
arranged, and participants will work in groups with a delegate leader who will
help coordinate each visit.
We’ll have a special training at 7 pm on February 24 at the Hyatt at Lady Bird
Lake in Austin. The training will prepare you for visits on Wednesday,
February 25. And, for those attending, TLA has completed a new publication
that will be given to all participants.
We will also hold a special session at 4 pm, February 24, on TLA’s recent
public opinion poll. We’ll cap off events with an informal, no-host gathering
at the Austin lobbyist’s haven, Sholtz Garten (where many legislative deals
have been reached), on Wednesday at 5:30 pm.
Take the time to call your state senator and representative. Tell them about
the incredible services your library provides.
Make a commitment to get people writing and communicating about critical
statewide issues. Organize a letter-writing campaign. Get your friends groups,
students, faculty, and supporters to contact them as well. It is particularly
important to have administrators, city or county officials, and parents
contact elected officials on behalf of libraries and library users.
Ask a couple of your supporters to send letters-to-the editor on February 24
and 25 about the importance of libraries. TLA will be sending the media
information about TLA’s legislative platform and the public opinion survey.
Here are just a couple of the numbers:
Texas voters agree public
libraries are a good value for the tax dollar (94%, including 70% who
strongly agree) and deserve more funding (87%, including 62% who strongly
Strong majorities support
increasing public funding for both public (81%) and school (82%) libraries.
In fact, at least seven in ten voters across every demographic, geographic
and political segment support increased funding for both public and school
Nearly all Texans (99%
including 84% who strongly agree) believe school libraries are an essential
part of the education experience and more than nine in 10 agree (94%) that
school librarians are critical to student achievement.
To find out who represents you
and how to contact them, go to:
What We Are
Championing This Session!
Key library programs are funded
through the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC). The agency’s
budget includes several “exceptional items,” which represent requests for
money in addition to current budgeted levels for the agency and its programs.
Funding Issues and Talking
TexShare – Provides
library resource sharing and database services to college students/faculty and
public library users.
Appropriate $5.25 mil for each
year ($10.5 mil over the biennium). See the TSLAC budget (General
Government, Article I of the General Appropriations Act).
K-12 Databases – Provide
quality online resources for Texas students and teachers.
Appropriate $4 mil for each
year ($8 mil over the biennium). See the TSLAC budget (General Government,
Article I of the General Appropriations Act).
Loan Star Libraries – A
direct aid grant program for public libraries.
Appropriate $4.35 mil for each year ($8.7 mil over the biennium). See the
TSLAC budget (General Government, Article I of the General Appropriations
Texas Library Systems – A
network of 10 service centers supporting libraries.
Appropriate $2 mil for each year ($4 mil over the biennium). See the TSLAC
budget (General Government, Article I of the General Appropriations Act).
that TexShare (for instance) is
critical to your library users and give an example of how the resource is used
locally and/or a statement about its need. With the economic recession,
libraries of all types are needed more than ever; and so, it is vitally
important and needed for the state to support library programs that affect
millions of people around the state. Be sure to note that TexShare, the K-12
Databases, Loan Star Libraries, and the Regional Library Systems are programs
than have a direct impact on local communities, schools, and institutions of
higher education. These programs reach constituents statewide.
POLICY ISSUES and TALKING
School Libraries for ALL
Students – All Texas children should enjoy equitable access to quality
school library programs and the support of certified school librarians. Action Needed: Support legislation
ensuring that all Texas students and teachers benefit from the instructional
support of a certified school librarian.
- Purchasing Efficiency –
Support HB 962 (Guillen), a bill that clarifies exemptions for the
acquisition of library materials at community colleges.
Action Needed: Support legislation clarifying that community college libraries are entitled
to the same purchasing efficiencies as colleges and state universities.
TLA THANKS our Legislative Day sponsors:
EBSCO Information Services
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.
Lee & Low Books