Standards and Laws

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  Standards and Laws by Type of Library

Academic
Public
School 
Special
Accreditation for Library Schools


ACADEMIC LIBRARIES

I. INSTITUTIONAL LEVEL

An institution of higher education maintains total oversight over library operations. Other than any accreditation standards linked to library services, the institution sets its own policies over library and information services. State policy relates primarily to funding for library resource sharing for academic libraries and telecommunications discounts (which are directed at the broad institution) and special exemptions for the purchase of library-specific materials and services. Federal policy relates to overall funding and goals for the institution (not specific to library services).

II. STATE LEVEL

TexShare

Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, TexShare is a broad library program that encourages the sharing of resources between Texas libraries. It includes several components: databases, TexTreasures grants, interlibrary loan service, the TexShare card, and the Library of Texas search interface. Participation in the program requires membership or an official affiliation with the program. Eligibility requirements. (Voluntary)

Authorizing legislation/regulations: Government Code Chapter 441, Subchapter M, Subsections 222 - 224 and TAC Title 13, Part I, Subsection 8.3

System Membership and System Program

Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the Texas Library System is comprised of regional library systems across the state funded by contract with the Texas State Library. Nearly every public library in the state is a member of the system. Member libraries receive benefits from the system including consulting, continuing education services, and support. (Voluntary) This program was closed out as a result of zero budgeting by the State Legislature in 2011.

Authorizing legislation/regulations: Government Code, Title 4 Executive Branch, Subtitle D History, Culture, and Education, Chapter 441, Libraries and Archives, Subchapter, I, Library Systems and TAC Code, Title 13, Part I, Chapter 1, Subchapter C, 1.71-1.86

Purchasing Exemptions for Community Colleges

Community colleges libraries are exempted from purchasing requirements for community colleges for certain library related goods and services.

Authorizing legislation: Education Code, Section 44.0311 and Section 130.0101. See also the TEA Purchasing Manual (2010 edition).  The library exemption is listed in section 3.2.3.9.

Purchasing Exemptions for Senior Colleges and Universities

Senior Colleges and Universities are exempted from general state purchasing requirements for certain library goods and services.

Authorizing legislation: Government Code, Sec. 2155.139

Telecommunications Discounts

The Public Utilities Code specifies that certain institutions –institutions of higher education, public libraries, and school libraries – are to receive discounted rates for certain telecommunications services, including providing private network services at 105% or 110% of cost and the waiver of installation charges (e.g., frame relay service to link branches to central libraries or campuses in a school district). Eligible providers are not required to maintain these discounts past January 1, 2016.

Authorizing legislation: Utilities Code, Subchapter G of Chapter 58, Subchapter D of Chapter 59, and Subchapter A (Distance Learning and Other Advanced Services) of Chapter 57.

Texas Open Records Act

The Texas Open Records Act exempts the public disclosure of library records that identify a person's choice of reading materials.

Authorizing legislation: Government Code, 552.124

Closing the Gap

This statewide initiative establishes major statewide goals and benchmarks for achievements and expectations of higher education.

Higher Education Coordinating Board:

The Higher Education Coordinating Board is the state agency charged with monitoring institutions of higher education in Texas.

Strategic Plan for Texas Community Colleges

Drafted through the THECB, the plan lays out major benchmarks and goals for Texas community colleges.

Texas Higher Education Accountability System

THEAS defines standards and performance measures used by the Legislative Budget Board in evaluating budget requests from institutions of higher education.

Texas Skill Standards Board (TSSB)

The Texas Legislature charged TSSB with the development of a statewide system of industry-defined and industry-recognized skill standards for major skilled, sub-baccalaureate occupations with strong employment and earnings opportunities. Consistent with the mandate and objectives of the TSSB, the purpose of a Texas system of voluntary skill standards is to strengthen the ability of Texas' industry to be competitive in the global economy.

III. REGIONAL LEVEL

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)

SACSCC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states.  It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges that award associate, baccalaureate, master's, or doctoral degrees.

Principles of Accreditation: Foundation for Quality Enhancement (2010 edition), section 3.8: Library and Other Learning Resources.

IV. FEDERAL LEVEL

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

LSTA is the only federal program exclusively for libraries. It is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and is used to support statewide initiatives and also distribute the funds through subgrants or cooperative agreements to public, school, academic, research, and special libraries. There is a requirement for a state match, which helps stimulate approximately three to four dollars for every federal dollar invested. LSTA is now up for reauthorization. Texas receives upwards of $10 million every year for libraries from this program.

Authorizing legislation: Museum and Library Services Act, U.S. Code, Title 20, Chapter 72, Subchapter II

USA PATRIOT Act

The "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" Act (USA PATRIOT Act) was signed into law on October 26, 2001. The legislation expands law enforcement's investigative and surveillance authority and contains a "library provision," which allows law enforcement to gather information about patrons' reading choices and Internet access.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) became effective in October 2000, and it has been incorporated into the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U. S. Code). This landmark legislation updated U.S. copyright law to meet the demands of the Digital Age and to conform U.S. law to the requirements of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and treaties that the U.S. signed in 1996.

Authorizing legislation: U.S. Code, Title 17

Other Federal Legislation

For additional information on federal legislation, go to ALA's issue page.

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PUBLIC LIBRARIES AND LIBRARIANS

I. LOCAL LEVEL

Public libraries (including those governed by cities, counties, and library districts as well as those created as non-profits) are funded primarily at the local level. The majority of policies, with the exception of those stipulated for the receipt of federal or state funding, are determined at the local level.

II. STATE LEVEL

Texas Public Library Standards

The Texas Public Library Standards were created by a special task force of TLA and were accepted by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. These voluntary standards set a statewide benchmark for services and resources.

System Membership and System Program

 Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the Texas Library System is comprised of regional library systems across the state funded by contract with the Texas State Library. Nearly every public library in the state is a member of the system. Member libraries receive benefits from the system including consulting, continuing education services, and support. (Voluntary) This program was closed out as a result of zero budgeting by the State Legislature in 2011.

Authorizing legislation/regulations: Government Code, Title 4 Executive Branch, Subtitle D History, Culture, and Education, Chapter 441, Libraries and Archives, Subchapter, I, Library Systems and TAC Code, Title 13, Part I, Chapter 1, Subchapter C, 1.71-1.86

Loan Star Libraries
Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, this grant program provides direct grants-in-aid to public libraries that are members of the Texas Library System (see accreditation for System Membership above) for the following purpose. Funding levels for the program are contingent on the library meeting certain criteria. This program was closed out as a result of zero budgeting by the State Legislature in 2011.

Authorizing legislation/regulations: Government Code §441.0091 and TAC, Title 13 Cultural Resources, Part 1 Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Chapter2, Subchapter C, Division 810 - 815

TexShare

Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, TexShare is a broad library program that encourages the sharing of resources between Texas libraries. It includes several components: databases, TexTreasures grants, interlibrary loan service, the TexShare card, and the Library of Texas search interface. Participation in the program requires membership or an official affiliation with the program. Eligibility requirements. (Voluntary)

Authorizing legislation/regulations: Government Code Chapter 441, Subchapter M, Subsections 222 - 224 and TAC Title 13, Part I, Subsection 8.3

Public Library Endowment Fund

The State Legislature created a Public Library Endowment Fund in statute in 1997, although no funds were allocated to the fund. The fund does "statutorily" exist as a place for building a corpus of state appropriations and private donations with the interest from the endowment to be used for public library support. The endowment in created within the governing statute of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Authorizing legislation: Government Code, Chapter 441, Subchapter E, 071

Public Library District Legislation

This legislation allow for the creation of public library districts funding through sales and use tax.

Authorizing legislation: Local Government Code, Title 10, Parks and Other Recreational and Cultural Resources, Subtitle B, Chapter 326, Subchapter A

Multi-Jurisdictional Public Library District Legislation
 

This legislation allow for the creation of public library districts funding through ad valorem and/or sales and use taxes.

Authorizing legislation: Local Government Code, Title 10, Parks and Other Recreational and Cultural Resources, Subtitle B, Chapter 336, Subchapter A

Telecommunications Discounts

The Public Utilities Code specifies that certain institutions –institutions of higher education, public libraries, and school libraries – are to receive discounted rates for certain telecommunications services, including providing private network services at 105% or 110% of cost and the waiver of installation charges (e.g., frame relay service to link branches to central libraries or campuses in a school district). Eligible providers are not required to maintain these discounts past January 1, 2016.

Authorizing legislation: Utilities Code, Subchapter G of Chapter 58, Subchapter D of Chapter 59, and Subchapter A (Distance Learning and Other Advanced Services) of Chapter 57.

Texas Open Records Act

The Texas Open Records Act exempts the public disclosure of library records that identify a person's choice of reading materials.

Authorizing legislation: Government Code, 552.124

 Voter Registration Requirements (Elections Code)

The state's election laws stipulate that public libraries are classified as voter registration agencies. As such, public libraries must offer patrons the opportunity to register to vote at the time of library card sign-up or renewal. The law specifies some library implementation policy for voter registration and requires public libraries that receive such voter registrations to submit them within five days to the county voter authority.

Authorizing legislation: Election Code, Title 2, Chapter 20, Voter Registration Agencies and Subchapter D: Public Library.

III. FEDERAL

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

LSTA is the only federal program exclusively for libraries. It is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and is used to support statewide initiatives and also distribute the funds through subgrants or cooperative agreements to public, school, academic, research, and special libraries. There is a requirement for a state match, which helps stimulate approximately three to four dollars for every federal dollar invested. LSTA is now up for reauthorization. Texas receives upwards of $10 million every year for libraries from this program.

Authorizing legislation: Museum and Library Services Act, U.S. Code, Title 20, Chapter 72, Subchapter II

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

CIPA was signed into law in December of 2000. This federal piece of legislation requires libraries receiving certain federal funds (LSTA and E-rate funding) to filter Internet access on federally-supported computer access. Libraries are constitutionally bound to unfilter access for adults (using those computers) upon request.

Authorizing legislation: Pub. L. No. 106-554 (2000) Codified at 20 U.S.C. Sections 6801, Section 6777, Section 9134 (2003), 47 U.S.C. § 254 (2003)

Universal Service Fund and E-Rate

The term Universal Service stems from the Telecommunications Act of 1934, where it was borne out of a drive to make telephone service available to everyone. As of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Universal Service now applies to information services as well, including the Internet, and telecommunications companies are required to contribute to the Universal Service Fund, which is administrated by the Universal Service Administrative Company.

E-rate is an extension of Universal Service, as authorized by Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This federal initiative provides discounts to public libraries and to public and private K-12 schools on telecommunications services, Internet access, and some closely related costs, such as inside wiring. The discounts range from 20% to 90% with the deepest discounts going to those communities with the greatest need based upon the local eligibility levels for participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). For more information, go to: http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/telecom/erate/index.cfm. See also the Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission, http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/funding/usf.html.

Authorizing legislation: US Code

USA PATRIOT Act

The "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" Act (USA PATRIOT Act) was signed into law on October 26, 2001. The legislation expands law enforcement's investigative and surveillance authority and contains a "library provision," which allows law enforcement to gather information about patrons' reading choices and Internet access.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) became effective in October 2000, and it has been incorporated into the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U. S. Code). This landmark legislation updated U.S. copyright law to meet the demands of the Digital Age and to conform U.S. law to the requirements of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and treaties that the U.S. signed in 1996.

Authorizing legislation: U.S. Code, Title 17

Other Federal Legislation

For additional information on federal legislation, go to ALA's issue page.

 


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SCHOOL LIBRARIES AND LIBRARIANS

I. DISTRICT LEVEL
School districts are free to set any policies not specified in state or federal regulations. In Texas, school districts have discretionary authority over school library staffing and programs. Neither state nor federal statute requires that a school librarian be on every campus. State regulations only require that schools built after January 2004 must have a school library (See commissioner's facility rule below). Additionally, state law requires that, if a district does report the presence of a school librarian, that librarian must be certified (See below).

II. STATE LEVEL

State Standards for School Libraries

These standards cover materials, staffing, programming, and collaboration standards in school libraries. These standards are voluntary. See also the full resource page at: https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/schoollibs/index.html

Authorizing legislation/regulation: TAC, Title 13, Part 1, Chapter 4 and the TEC 33.031.

State Standards for School Library Facilities

These standards are part of the commissioner of education's rules and are required. The standards specify physical spaces for school libraries constructed after January 2004.

Authorizing legislation/regulation: TAC, Title 19, Part 2, Chapter 61, Subchapter CC, Rule §61.1036 (a)(8)

Certification Standards for School Librarians

These standards are part of the State Board for Educator Certification and are required in order to be a certified school librarian.

Authorization legislation/regulation: TAC, Title 19, Part 7, Chapter 239, Subchapter B

Classification of certified school librarian as a librarian

The statute specifies that a district or campus can only report an educator as a "school librarian" if that educator is certified as a school librarian.

"Sec. 21.003. CERTIFICATION REQUIRED. (a) A person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by Subchapter B."

Authorizing legislation/regulation: TEC, Chapter 21.003 (a)

Texas Education Agency Long-Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020

Authorizing legislation/regulation: TEC 32.001

State Curriculum Standards 

All state curriculum and educational standards are identified in the Administrative Code.
Authorizing legislation/regulation: TAC, Title 19, Part 2

K-12 Database Program

Funding for K-12 database access was reinstated in the 2014-15 budget of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The agency reports that it plans to restart access sometime in 2014.

System Membership and System Program

 Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the Texas Library System is comprised of regional library systems across the state funded by contract with the Texas State Library. Nearly every public library in the state is a member of the system. Member libraries receive benefits from the system including consulting, continuing education services, and support. (Voluntary). The State Library and Archives Commission has zeroed out the budget for this program beginning with state fiscal year 2013.

Authorizing legislation/regulations: Government Code, Title 4 Executive Branch, Subtitle D History, Culture, and Education, Chapter 441, Libraries and Archives, Subchapter, I, Library Systems and TAC Code, Title 13, Part I, Chapter 1, Subchapter C, 1.71-1.86

TexShare

Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, TexShare is a broad library program that encourages the sharing of resources between Texas libraries. It includes several components: databases, TexTreasures grants, interlibrary loan service, the TexShare card, and the Library of Texas search interface. Participation in the program requires membership or an official affiliation with the program. See Eligibility requirements. (Voluntary)

Authorizing legislation/regulations: Government Code Chapter 441, Subchapter M, Subsections 222 - 224 and TAC Title 13, Part I, Subsection 8.3

Telecommunications Discounts

The Public Utilities Code specifies that certain institutions –institutions of higher education, public libraries, and school libraries – are to receive discounted rates for certain telecommunications services, including providing private network services at 105% or 110% of cost and the waiver of installation charges (e.g., frame relay service to link branches to central libraries or campuses in a school district). Eligible providers are not required to maintain these discounts past January 1, 2016.

Authorizing legislation: Utilities Code, Subchapter G of Chapter 58, Subchapter D of Chapter 59, and Subchapter A (Distance Learning and Other Advanced Services) of Chapter 57.

Texas Open Records Act

The Texas Open Records Act exempts the public disclosure of library records that identify a person's choice of reading materials.

Authorizing legislation: Government Code, 552.124

III. FEDERAL LEVEL

Standards for the 21st Century Learner

These standards are promulgated by the American Association of School Librarians. The resource page contains links to standards for learners, library programs, and other educational components.

National Board for Professional Teaching (NBPT)

NBPT Standards for Library Media are available at: http://www.nbpts.org/userfiles/File/ecya_lm_standards.pdf . (voluntary)
The homepage for library media professionals is at http://www.nbpts.org/the_standards/standards_by_cert?ID=19&x=62&y=13.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, is the main federal law affecting education from kindergarten through high school. ESEA is built on four principles: accountability for results, more choices for parents, greater local control and flexibility, and an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research.

See the U.S. Department of Education's site: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/states/index.html
See TEA's resource page on NCLB: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4261&menu_id=798

Improving Literacy through School Libraries Act

This program helps LEAs improve reading achievement by providing students with increased access to up-to-date school library materials; well-equipped, technologically advanced school library media centers; and professionally certified school library media specialists. The program is administered by the Department of Education.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

LSTA is the only federal program exclusively for libraries. It is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and is used to support statewide initiatives and also distribute the funds through subgrants or cooperative agreements to public, school, academic, research, and special libraries. There is a requirement for a state match, which helps stimulate approximately three to four dollars for every federal dollar invested. LSTA is now up for reauthorization. Texas receives upwards of $10 million every year for libraries from this program.

Authorizing legislation: Museum and Library Services Act, U.S. Code, Title 20, Chapter 72, Subchapter II

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

CIPA was signed into law in December of 2000. This federal piece of legislation requires libraries receiving certain federal funds (LSTA and E-rate funding) to filter Internet access on federally-supported computer access. Libraries are constitutionally bound to unfilter access for adults (using those computers) upon request.

Authorizing legislation: Pub. L. No. 106-554 (2000) Codified at 20 U.S.C. Sections 6801, Section 6777, Section 9134 (2003), 47 U.S.C. § 254 (2003)

Universal Service Fund and E-Rate

The term Universal Service stems from the Telecommunications Act of 1934, where it was borne out of a drive to make telephone service available to everyone. As of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Universal Service now applies to information services as well, including the Internet, and telecommunications companies are required to contribute to the Universal Service Fund, which is administrated by the Universal Service Administrative Company.

E-rate is an extension of Universal Service, as authorized by Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This federal initiative provides discounts to public libraries and to public and private K-12 schools on telecommunications services, Internet access, and some closely related costs, such as inside wiring. The discounts range from 20% to 90% with the deepest discounts going to those communities with the greatest need based upon the local eligibility levels for participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). For more information, go to: http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/telecom/erate/index.cfm. See also the Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission, http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/funding/usf.html.

Authorizing legislation: US Code

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) became effective in October 2000, and it has been incorporated into the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U. S. Code). This landmark legislation updated U.S. copyright law to meet the demands of the Digital Age and to conform U.S. law to the requirements of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and treaties that the U.S. signed in 1996.

Authorizing legislation: U.S. Code, Title 17

Other Federal Legislation

For additional information on federal legislation, go to ALA's issue page.

 

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SPECIAL LIBRARIES

I. LOCAL/INSTITUTIONAL LEVEL

Special libraries are governed and funded by their parent institution.

II. STATE LEVEL

System Membership and System Program

 Administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the Texas Library System is comprised of regional library systems across the state funded by contract with the Texas State Library. Nearly every public library in the state is a member of the system. Member libraries receive benefits from the system including consulting, continuing education services, and support. (Voluntary.) The State Library and Archives Commission has zeroed out the budget for this program beginning with state fiscal year 2013.

Authorizing legislation/regulations: Government Code, Title 4 Executive Branch, Subtitle D History, Culture, and Education, Chapter 441, Libraries and Archives, Subchapter, I, Library Systems and TAC Code, Title 13, Part I, Chapter 1, Subchapter C, 1.71-1.86

Texas Open Records Act

The Texas Open Records Act exempts the public disclosure of library records that identify a person's choice of reading materials.

Authorizing legislation: Government Code, 552.124

III. FEDERAL LEVEL

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

LSTA is the only federal program exclusively for libraries. It is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and is used to support statewide initiatives and also distribute the funds through subgrants or cooperative agreements to public, school, academic, research, and special libraries. There is a requirement for a state match, which helps stimulate approximately three to four dollars for every federal dollar invested. LSTA is now up for reauthorization. Texas receives upwards of $10 million every year for libraries from this program.

Authorizing legislation: Museum and Library Services Act, U.S. Code, Title 20, Chapter 72, Subchapter II

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) became effective in October 2000, and it has been incorporated into the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U. S. Code). This landmark legislation updated U.S. copyright law to meet the demands of the Digital Age and to conform U.S. law to the requirements of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and treaties that the U.S. signed in 1996.

Authorizing legislation: U.S. Code, Title 17

Other Federal Legislation

For additional information on federal legislation, go to ALA's issue page.

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ACCREDITATION FOR LIBRARY SCHOOLS

Homepage for Accreditation Standards by the American Library Association for Graduate Programs in Library and Information Science.

ALA Standards Document

 

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Created on Apr 1, 2010 | Last updated September 17, 2013