Tina Hager, Director of the Little Elm Public Library won the 2011 Siddie Joe Johnson Award from the TLA Children's Round Table. This award is presented annually to an outstanding children's librarian. See photos on the NTLP Facebook page.
Ray Stephens, a member of the NTLP Board of Directors, won the 2011 Texas Reference Source Award for his book Texas: A Historical Atlas. This award is presented by the TLA Reference Round Table to recognize an outstanding reference tool in Texas history, culture, or commerce. See a video about the book here.
The bill, which cleared Congress Thursday night, includes a $28 million cut to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), appropriating the agency at $237.8 million for FY2011. IMLS has 30 days to determine how they will administer these cuts.
The Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program – the only federal program exclusively for school libraries – was absent from the bill text. The program was last appropriated at $19.1 million in FY2010. By not designating an appropriation for the remainder of FY2011 in this bill, Congress gave authority to the Department of Education to determine funds for school libraries. The Department of Education also has 30 days from the date of enactment of H.R. 1473 to submit to Congress an operating plan for school libraries.
“These cuts in funding hurt people throughout the United States who depend on libraries,” American Library Association (ALA) President Roberta Stevens said.
“We are putting our nation at a disadvantage as we compete in a world that realizes and values the importance of being educated and informed.”
As the FY2012 budget debate proceeds, the ALA calls on Congress to restore support for libraries, which serve the American public now more than ever with job hunting and career development. In our schools, libraries provide students with the 21st century skills they need to succeed in the Digital Age.
Washington, DC—Many State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) are reporting steep and sudden declines in state revenues for library services, according to a report released today by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The majority of states reported reductions, with six states reporting losses of greater than 15 percent in one year. Overall, 51 SLAAs collected $34 million less in state revenue in FY 2009 than they did in FY 2008. During the same period, SLAAs lost 227 full-time employees, a one-year decrease of 6.7 percent.
SLAAs play an important role in planning and evaluating library services in the states. While the range of services each SLAA provides differs state by state, all are tasked with administering the IMLS Grants to States program, which helps libraries embrace technology, serve underserved populations, and develop new service models.
“State Library Administrative Agencies are part of the educational and economic fabric of the nation,” said Susan Hildreth, director of IMLS. “SLAAs assess needs for library services in the state and support a wide range of programs that support the nation's libraries as they help people get work, pursue their education, and strengthen the civic life of communities everywhere. It is important for us to track and report about the health of these essential state agencies.”
As it stands now, the Texas Library System comprised of 10 geographically-based Systems is financially unsustainable, even if fully funded. With the state budget now under consideration, funding will be reduced by more than half for fiscal year 2012 (beginning in September 2011) and will fail entirely by fiscal year 2013 (beginning in September 2012).
The Systems are a major channel for Texas libraries and librarians to receive state- and federal-funded continuing education, technology assistance, and general consulting assistance. As regional entities, they can negotiate consortium agreements and group discounts to help reduce costs for individual libraries. At NTLP we strongly believe that this regional library development builds stronger libraries which in turn builds stronger and better-educated Texas communities.
Adam Wright, Executive Director of North Texas Library Partners, and Pat Tuohy, Executive Director of the Central Texas Library System, Inc., have suggested a path that the Texas State Library could take with regard to regional library development in Texas. This is just one suggestion of several which could be put forth. We hope that it will begin the frank discussion on what needs to be done with the Systems program.
Our plan allows for the basic structure of geographically-based Systems to remain intact while drastically reducing administrative overhead. Member libraries could continue to receive regional library development services while retaining membership in the Systems they are familiar with. The potential alternative, no regional library development in Texas, is unacceptable for a state of this size.
If you support our plan, or if you have a plan of your own, or if you just want to express concern about losing regional library development in the state of Texas, please contact the commissioners of the Texas State Library.
If you are part of an Overdrive consortium or plan to pursue Overdrive - this article is a warning. Do we get content purchased, get us in the door, and then raise our fees to high and basically hold our libraries' content hostage??