NTLP Becomes Increasingly Not Typical in FY2013

With FY13 underway, you'll see NTLP using the "Not Typical" image on the web and social media more consistently. While continuing our tradition of serving libraries, we're dropping the geographic label from our name and using our new independent status to add innovative services that advance libraries and the communities they serve. We're depending on the Not Typical image and domain name to help us tell the world that our nonprofit and its Partners are out-of-the-box thinkers and cutting-edge service providers.

Survival Guide for First-Time Attendees at the TLA Conference

Thanks to a three-year grant from the Priddy Charitable Trust (now incorporated with the Priddy Foundation), NTLP has been privileged to award a number of stipends for librarians from non-urban libraries serving small communities to attend the annual Texas Library Association Conference. For many of the stipend recipients, this has been their first opportunity to attend a large professional conference.

NTLP and Priddy Trust Award 15 Travel Stipends for 2012 TLA Conference

Thanks to a grant from the Priddy Charitable Trust, NTLP has been able to award 15 stipends of $1500 each to enable library staff and volunteers to attend the 2012 TLA Conference in Houston.  The stipend can be used for conference registration, travel expenses, and temporary staff if necessary to cover the recipient's absence at the library.

Yes, there WILL be a NTLP Library Supporters Conference in 2012!!!

Library Supporters ConferenceIt's BACK by popular demand from library supporters and staff who work with them ... thanks to the Center for Community Cooperation & Texas Book Consignments: The 4th annual NTLP Conference for Library Supporters!!!

Bittersweet Challenges, New Opportunities & Half-Full Glasses is set for Saturday, May 5, 2012 (Cinco de Mayo!) at the Center for Community Cooperation (2900 Live Oak Street, Dallas 75204). Sign-in and refreshments open at 9:30 a.m., and the conference runs from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

The event is designed for all library supporters: board members (governing as well as advisory), Friends, foundation members, volunteers, "simply" passionate library users, and library staff who work with supporters. For more information, visit the conference website.

Is Accreditation Really Important for Public Libraries?

While in the current economic climate, library accreditation seems like a low priority at first, but it is the very foundation of achievement for education and economic growth. It is time for TSLAC/TLA and other interested stakeholders to revisit the Texas library standards and update them to meet the current challenges and opportunities with technology and trends.

Accreditation is essential for city, county and state funders to understand that the local public library is an established institution which meets state standards for services to their community - standards which set a foundation for excellence in meeting information and technology needs.

Why Do We Have Annual Library Statistics?

Have you ever wondered why public libraries file state statistical reports? Many short term reasons are given. They can be reported to a city council, county commissioner, or governing board. Then again, those numbers are typically reported directly each month so the additional state report a year later adds nothing new. The numbers give libraries a means for comparison. But when people think quality means the budget can be slashed without dropping below average, a favorable comparison is a liability. And average service is a surprisingly common goal among budget analysts. Also, the report forms the basis for accreditation. But when accreditation is not tied to property values or other quantifiable community measures, how do we explain the value of accreditation? This last question brings us to the real reason for the state statistical reports, property values. Or rather, the lack of a tie to property values.

Hello from Carolyn Brewer, new NTLP Executive Director

Carolyn Davidson Brewer I would like to say hello to everyone in the NTLP area and beyond.  While my absence from NTRLS / NTLP was brief, there have been many changes at the NTLP office and staff.  As most of you know by now, our staff is much smaller and we miss our friends, as I know many of you do also.  We wish all of them the best and thankfully, can stay in touch with Adam Wright, who is now one of the Assistant Directors at Fort Worth Library. 

Report from the ARSL 2011 Conference

ARSL Logoby Carolyn Davidson Brewer, Richland Hills Public Library Director

I recently attended my first ARSL conference (Association for Rural and Small Libraries).  I had been interested in the past to attend this conference, but limited funds and time had not allowed my attendance.  Luckily for me, and other local library staff, this year the conference was held in Frisco. 

I must admit I was surprised at the low turn-out from Texas libraries, we were represented with fairly small numbers.  There were 350 total attendees, according to Steve Seale who was one of the conference coordinators.  One of my favorite offerings of this conference was meeting librarians from all over the United States who are working hard in small and rural libraries – and working very successfully.  The exchange of expertise and ideas was steady every day.   It is amazing how many services are provided by libraries across our nation, with such tough budgets and staffing levels.