CALL TO ACTION: SB 1
The budget conference committee
is finishing its work on the state General Appropriations Act (SB 1). The
committee has already accepted the following recommendations: Loan Star
Libraries - $3.5 million; Systems - $1.5 million; and Digital Talking Books -
$275,000 (each item is for the biennium). We are very grateful to the
conference committee members for their wonderful support of these library
However, we need help with one more library initiative – Library Resource
Sharing (which includes funding for TexShare and the K-12 databases). The
requested increase in funding for TexShare and the K-12 databases has not been
URGENT CALL TO ACTION: If you haven’t already contacted members of the
conference committee, please do so as soon as possible. We need conference
committee members to understand the dire need to increase funding for
TexShare and the K-12 database to meet inflationary costs. Without this
additional funding, the State Library will not be able to afford the full
current slate of resources now available for students and the public. Please
note that the two programs (TexShare and the K-12 databases) are covered by
the request for Library Resource Sharing.
Please appropriate at least $2.5 million for TexShare and the K-12 databases
(Library Resource Sharing Services in the State Library’s budget in Article
I). While both the House and Senate recommended funds in Article XI, these
additional requests were not included as a final part of the State Library’s
We ask that at least $2.5 million be allocated for library resource sharing to
offset price increases in the K-12 and TexShare databases programs. Without
this additional funding, students, communities, and institutions of higher
education will lose some access to existing resources. This funding is needed
simply to keep up with escalating program costs.
Be sure to explain in a couple of sentences why these databases are so
important to the people and students who rely on them. Please email
(individually) the members of the conference committee.
HB 3 (Eissler/ Sp. Shapiro):
Relates to public school accountability, curriculum, and promotion
requirements. Scheduled for the Senate Intent Calendar. The House version of
this bill includes a provision that would authorize TEA to study the
appropriateness of and methods for including library programs as a criteria
for campus distinction designation. The conference committee on this bill will
have final oversight as to whether that provision remains. Once the conference
committee for this bill is named, library supporters will be urged to contact
the conference committee members to urge them to keep that provision.
HB 962 (Guillen/Sp. Zaffirini): Clarifies existing statute regarding the
purchase and acquisition of library materials at community colleges.
Recommended for the Senate Local and Uncontested Calendar.
HB 3756 (Howard/ Sp. Ellis): Updates, clarifies, and amends statutes related
to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The bill, filled at the
request of TLA and TSLAC, updates language related to the library systems, the
TexShare program, Talking Book Program, records management provisions,
archival records and the state’s right of recovery, and the Texas Reads
license plate program. Heard in Senate Government Organization Committee on
HB 185 (Alonzo): Requires that
the State Library require that any library serving a community of 50,000 or
more provide high speed Internet access to the public. Heard in Technology,
Economic Development and the Workforce. Left pending.
HB 915 (Dutton): Specifies
that TEA must consider if a school district provides a school librarian on
every campus as part of the accountability rating for a district. Referred
to House Public Education.
HB 1817 (Rose): Specifies that
a county or library district is also eligible to request and receive state
tax and legal information. Referred to Ways and Means.
HB 2887 (Martinez): Creates a
literacy center pilot program through the Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board in a community college, which must partner with local
entities, including libraries. Left Pending in House Higher Education.
HB 3215 (Farias): Establishes
a down payment assistance program (up to $4000 in the form of deferred
forgivable second lien loans) for educators (including school librarians)
serving in low-wealth districts. Placed on House Local and Consent Calendar,
HB 3491 (Zerwas): Allows the
dissolution of some districts (or parts thereof) and/or repeal of dedicated
taxes without an election. Referred to Senate Intergovernmental Relations.
HB 3562 (Coleman): Requires
the State Library to impose a minimum three year retention period for state
electronic records. Referred to House Culture, Recreation and Tourism
HB 4428 (Hernandez): Makes
adjunct faculty members who are professional librarians at public
institutions of higher education eligible to participate in the group
benefits program available to other adjunct faculty members. Referred to
House Committee on House Pension.
The American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act offers an opportunity for funding through local and federal
grant applications. Unfortunately, details of how funding will be accessible
remain vague. It appears that, for the most part, libraries and/or their
parent organizations will have to apply directly for funds. Librarians are
urged to speak with their local governing bodies (ISDs, city or county
governments, or university or college administration) to see what plans (if
any) exist for applying for funds. While education dollars have been allocated
to institutions (primarily through formula allotments), local institutions
must still determine how to use these funds in areas designated by the Act.
Librarians must be proactive in seeking opportunities to apply for funding or
to make the case for inclusion in planned projects and programs. Partnerships
and collaboration in applying for funds (especially from local workforce
development boards) is especially recommended.
stimulus webpage offers resource information and suggestions. Topics are
divided by broad areas (e.g., broadband and education), and links to
guidelines for oversight agencies (such at TEA and NTIA) are included. The
page also includes links to state testimony on state goals, including those
for higher education and ARRA funding.