Great news! The legislature passed a budget that included an increase of $2 million for the Loan Star Libraries Program over the next two years. This news means libraries will get more in direct aid from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC). Here is an excerpt from the latest Texas Library Association's Texline.
Direct Aid for Public Libraries ($2 million over the biennium)The state has appropriated an additional $1 million per year for the Loan Star Libraries grant.
Here is an analysis from Texline of the overall TSLAC budget.
Overall TSLAC Budget- The state did reinstate most of the 10% cut (requested of all agencies last fall), although some administrative funds were not restored in various areas in the budget. The state increase of $1 million for Loan Star Libraries per year represents almost a 38% increase in the program funding level of 2007. (As a point of comparison, the proposed federal increase for grants to libraries, through the Library Services and Technology funding, represents approximately a 4% increase over last fiscal year.)
For the latest in Texline issues, check here. Note: The latest issue is not up yet, but hopefully it will be soon.
I am very pleased with the results. I frankly did not expect us to get anything this session. I commend all of those who who contacted their state representatives about library issues. The results of this legislative session has restored my faith in the process and I can only hope it gets better from this point forward. Take a deep breath and relax. You deserve a break before we start again in 2009.