Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Texas Library Systems Coordinator February Meeting


I attended the Texas Library Systems coordinator meeting last week and we received some news that impacts the future of NTRLS. First, we were presented with four memos released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services(IMLS). These memos further clarify IMLS guidelines on allowable costs and activities for grantees and subgrantees. As a reminder, IMLS is the federal agency that gives funds to the Texas State Library. Systems are technically subgrantees of the IMLS funds. Here is what these memos outlined.

Seeking Grants – NTRLS can no longer write grant proposals on System Grant time. This means that NTRLS staff will not be allowed to write grants of any sort during its normal business hours. It cannot utilize any grant resources including equipment, staff or office space for this purpose. TSLAC is attempting to get further clarification on this guidance so hopefully it will not be a strict as the memo seems to indicate.

Construction – NTRLS can no longer do anything connected to library construction including consulting and continuing education.

Continuing Education and Consulting – NTRLS is restricted to only activities that directly support the IMLS goals for its State program, which is called LSTA. NTRLS will be required to clear all CE workshops with TSLAC to ensure that they follow LSTA guidelines. If you are familiar with the LSTA priorities, you know that they are broad so we are not too concerned about this restricting what we can offer in CE and consulting.

Staff documentation – I am now required to sign a document certifying that System Staff worked on the projects outlined on our timesheets.

TSLAC also informed System Coordinators that our FY 2009 System Grants will be much smaller than anticipated. NTRLS is looking at $489,000 in FY2009 instead of the anticipated
$536,000. We will have to make some difficult decisions to help compensate for this sudden loss of nearly $50,000.

If you would like to make your voice heard about any of this, please contact either Gloria Meraz of TLA or Peggy Rudd, dir.lib@tsl.state.tx.us, at the Texas State Library.

If you would like to see copies of the memos, please go to our Communications Center on ntrls.org.

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