Tuesday, February 27, 2007

LSAA Board Selects a System Funding Formula

The Library Systems Act Advisory(LSAA) Board met last Friday, February 23rd. During the meeting, the LSAA Board selected a System Funding Formula to recommend to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The formula uses three criteria. First, it divides up 34 percent of the System Grant evenly among the Ten Systems. Thirty-three percent is allocated based on capita. The final 33 percent is divided among the Systems based on the number of member libraries in each System. NTRLS will receive $631,500 in FY08 and $548,094 in FY09 under this new formula. This is a slight increase for NTRLS over what we would have received under the old formula. The LSAA Board is looking for public comments. Please take a few moments to make comments here.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Communicating Your Library's Value

This link will take you to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website where you can request materials to assist you in expressing your library's value to your communities and local governments. You will get a DVD and ten free brochures.

Friday, February 23, 2007

On the Road to Libraries.........

I have spent the last 2 days traveling the road visiting various NTRLS libraries. This is always good for my library lovin' soul - seeing what is going on out in our communities.

The Justin Public Library had a generous donation that allowed for a new front door - that was badly needed. The city was inspired to add a new sign out front and a covered area for the front door. It is amazing what simple changes can do.

I also visited the Newark Public Library and was graciously welcomed by an iced cold coke and chocolate chip cookie at the Book Café out front. It was a beautiful day and they had their front door open with sunshine streaming into the library. They have a very generous selection of DVDs so if you're in the area and need a movie - run by the library.

Finally, I visited the Pilot Point Public Library. Their building is in an old bank building - vault and all. They have been extremely creative and turned the vault into a children's reading area - it is designed as a park. There is green carpet for grass, murals all around the walls and even a glider to sit and relax. What a great idea!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Loan Star Libraries Funding Formula

At the System Assembly meeting on March 22, Kerry McGeath, Director of the Southlake Public Library and co-chair of the Lone Star Libraries Funding Formula Task Force, will speak briefly on the new proposed formula for the Lone Star Libraries program. TSLAC also sent me a document explaining the new formula including how much library will receive if the formula is adopted. You can find this document here. The document includes ways you can express your opinion about the new formula. I encourage everyone to look over the document carefully and be ready to ask questions at the System Assembly meeting.

Letter from TSLAC on the System Funding Formula Process

Deborah Latteral of the Texas State and Library Archives Commission asked us to post the following letter about the System Funding Formula Process.

Dear library directors:
The Sunset Commission has recommended that the funding formula for the systems be moved from statute to rule. This change in the law will be part of the agency's Sunset bill that will be filed this session. In order to have a new rule in place in time for systems to plan and to have contracts for next fiscal year we need to start now and move quickly. We have a website that gives you information on the process and also has some sample formulas to consider, along with a comment box to register your comments and see what others have said. These are sample formulas only; please send in your thoughts and ideas. The website is http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/pubs/libsysact/background.html
Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you.
Deborah Littrell
Director, Library Development division
Texas State Library and Archives Commission PO Box 12927 Austin, TX 78711-2927
512-463-8800 fax

Enhancing your Website Using Web 2.0 Workshop

I presented a workshop on enhancing your library website with Web 2.0 tools to 12 wonderful people yesterday. I went over about 45 tools that they can use with their websites including Flickr, Youtube, Delicious, Thinkfree, box.net, etc. We also discussed how a public library can better position themselves to improve their website. As many of you know, public libraries often face challenges from both their city technical staff, who are security conscious, and the political realities of being a city entity. The library must conform to the city standards for websites and be embedded within the city's overall website. This arrangement limits what a library can do to make its website better.

One idea from the workshop attendees that I thought was pure genius was that the library can create a "Gadget Garage" on their website where patrons can go to test out new website features and tools. For example, you want to place a search box on your website for Worldcat. You would place in in the Gadget Garage before placing it on your library's website. In this way, people can test it out and let the library know what they think. The library can then turn around and use this feedback as justification to permanently add the tool to their website.

One attendee, Richard Posey of the Arlington Public Library, sent me a email after the workshop.

couple things I thought you might want to include in the future ...

Look for the November 18 post on
http://www.acplinfo.blogspot.com/ This is the Allen County, Indiana library site: http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/

This is the mashup:
http://blog.acpl.lib.in.us/amzamash/book_wall.php Very cool concept ... making books visual in a way that a catalog doesn't. It always seemed to me that since the catalogs "know" the sequence of the books, that they could allow you to "browse" the covers as though you were browsing book-by-book down the shelves.

Great sites. Thanks Richard.

If you want to access the handouts from this workshop, you can get to them here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Photo Story 3 from Microsoft

If you haven't discovered Photo Story 3 - take a look. This presentation tool is very quick and the results are professional. The download is free as long as you have other Microsoft products on your computer.

Photo Story 3 includes features that enable you to create a slideshow with your digital pictures, edit your pictures, create your story with original music, add narration, and share them with your family and friends.

Create a photo story. You can create a photo story that includes motion, narration, and music. Photo Story 3 includes dramatic pan and zoom effects, picture rotation, and cropping tools to customize your photos. You can also compose an original soundtrack from directly within Photo Story 3, narrate your story and add special effects, transitions, and much more.

Edit and save your photo story. The new smart touch-up features make it easy to instantly remove red eye, and correct the lighting in your pictures. There are also several different options for saving a story and its associated project so that you can edit the story later or share it immediately.

Import pictures. If you have a collection of pictures on an MSN Group Web site, you can import these pictures into your photo stories.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Altered Books and Other Creative Tidbits

NTRLS just hosted Julie Ousley from the New Braunfels Public Library for an altered books workshop. Do you have books leftover from your booksales? They can still make money for the library. Julie makes altered books, book purses and furniture that is sold at the library. She gets many of her ideas from Crafters. Here are some of her designs. What a creative way to discard those books!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Internet Funding Study Survey

If you have a moment, please read the text below and fill out the survey. Thanks!

The answers you provide will provide public libraries, state library agencies, the American Library Association, policymakers, and others with extremely important data regarding public library computer and Internet access issues, what it takes to sustain public access computer and Internet services in your library, and the impacts of such public access services on the communities that your library serves.
You may access the survey at http://survey.pnmi.com. The survey is web-based and has a total of 21 questions that will take you about 30 minutes to complete. PLEASE COMPLETE THE SURVEY BY MARCH 1, 2007.
You will need your state assigned Library ID code included in the survey announcement letter that library directors received to initiate the survey. If you have lost that ID number, you can look it up on the survey site. If you have any questions, or need further assistance, please e-mail PL2006@ci.fsu.edu.
We appreciate all your help with this important study. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks again.
Deborah Littrell
Director, Library Development division
Texas State Library and Archives Commission PO Box 12927 Austin, TX 78711-2927
512-463-8800 fax