The Texas Library Systems program was established in 1969 to promote and assist in the development of strong community libraries. Over more than 40 years, accredited public libraries in the state received benefits from their regional System such as professional consulting, on-going training, technology assistance, and support for individual programs such as automation and literacy. Of the ten Systems covering the state of Texas, eight are housed in major resource centers and two (Central Texas Library System and North Texas Regional Library System) are administered by non-profit organizations. The program has been supported by federal LSTA funding to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The same funding source also supports the statewide interlibrary loan project.
The upcoming TSLAC budget cuts for the 2012 - 2013 biennium will result in reduced LSTA funding because the state no longer meets the federally required maintenance of effort. That , compounded with Congressional cuts to LSTA funding, mean that TSLAC no longer has the funds to continue the Systems program at previous levels. Consequently, TSLAC has made the following changes to the Systems program.
- For the 2012 state fiscal year (September 2011 through August 2012), Continuing Education is no longer a function of the Systems. Continuing Education statewide is now coordinated at TSLAC, with an emphasis on online training.
- The TANG program, which provides funding to the Systems for technology training and assistance to public libraries, continues to be funded for the 2012 fiscal year.
- Systems continue to offer consulting services and support for regional resource sharing projects during the 2012 fiscal year.
- The Systems program will be closed down at the end of the 2012 fiscal year.
For the 2013 state fiscal year (starting in September 2013) and beyond, TSLAC will issue RFPs to contract for the services previously managed by Systems. These services include
- consulting services
- managing regional resource sharing projects
- basic technology assistance for libraries.
Texas Library System Status in FY2012. 22 June 2011 memo from the Texas State Librarian to System Coordinators, Major Resource Center Directors, and System Board Chairs.
Texas Governor Signs Budget Cutting State Funding for Library Services by 88 Percent from LibraryJournal.com, July 29, 2011. (The article includes a copy of the 22 June 2011 memo to Texas public library directors from the Texas State Librarian.)
Texline 283: Special Session Review and TSLAC Update from TxLA.org, June 29, 2011.