Monday, April 16, 2007

Texas Library Association Conference - Highlights

I attended the 2007 Texas Library Association Conference last week in San Antonio. Overall, I felt the conference was very good and addressed a wide variety of continuing education needs. I was only able to attend two programs. The first one was "If Libraries Are So Loved, Why Are We So Irrelevant." Kerry McGeath, Director of the Southlake Public Library and Michael Baldwin, Director of the Benbrook Public Library, spoke along with Dan Rooks, University of Houston and Caroline Kienzle, library consultant. Each panel member had some interesting things to say about the relevancy of libraries. Michael Baldwin took us on a trip to the future where libraries are nothing more than "Pop Culture" institutions. The rest of the panel spoke very strongly about addressing community needs and adjusting library services based on these needs. Kerry McGeath spoke about how it was to address the needs an affluent community.

The other program event was "Let's talk about Fundraising for Public Libraries." This program was labeled as a work session where the attendees contributed as much as the facilitators. Kathryn Sturtz, Coordinator of the Alamo Area Library System, facilitated the session. Some of the fundraising ideas shared are listed below.

  • Used Jewelry Sale
  • Food Events - Taste of ...
  • Book Sales
  • Raffles
  • Estate Honorariums (make sure to contact all the lawyers in your community to let them know about the library)
  • Salad Luncheon
  • Breakfast feasts
  • Calendars
  • Tour of Homes
  • Scholastic Book Fairs (Public Libraries can now take advantage)
  • Library Week Events
  • Christmas Angels
  • Letters to Businesses
  • Endowments
  • Galas/Silent Auctions
  • Chocolate Event
  • Stay at Home - Read a Book Ball (People pay to be allowed to stay at home versus going to a Gala Event)
  • Online Sales - Amazon
  • Water Bill Inserts
  • Craft Shows
  • Historical Photos
  • Book and Author presentation
  • Themed dinners
  • Community Theatre Nights
  • Parking
  • Golf
  • Naming Rights

All very good ideas. I do have to point out that NTRLS does expect to have a similar fundraising brainstorm at its Regional meetings in July/August so start thinking about those fundraising ideas.

I also attended meetings. I went to the Texas State and Library Archives Commission (TSLAC) meeting where they approved the publication of the new Loan Star Formulas and System Funding Formula. People will have 30 days to comment on the new formulas before they have a final vote on June 15th.

One interesting side note: It was revealed at the TSLAC meeting that the funds coming from the Institute of Museum and Library Services would be about $250,000 short of what was anticipated. TSLAC expected 10,915,000. They received 10,660,000. As many of your know, these federal monies fund Systems. At the June 15th TSLAC meeting, the commission will discuss what budget modifications should be made.

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