Advocate

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Overview: Advocacy and Government Affairs

The Texas Library Association, an educational 501(c)(3) non-profit, actively supports library interests by advocating for policies and funding that support libraries, librarians, and educational initiatives.


TLA's Agenda for the 85th Legislative Session

TLA is working closley with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to ensure that the budget for critical programs including TexQuest and TexShare is not cut, and that additional requests to expand TexQuest, TexShare and broadband access via the E-Rate program are funded.

We will also be monitoring any other legislation that is filed which might impact libraries of all types around the state. It's going to be a challenging session, and the library community will need to share its story with elected officials to demonstrate the value we bring to Texas communities.

Check this website for updates, and look for other TLA communications and calls to action throughout the session. Together our library voice is strong and will be heard!


Overview of 85th Session Priorities

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) budget is submitted with two main parts: the request for the base budget (i.e., the funds needed to continue services and operations at current levels) and the request for exceptional items (i.e., additional funding for existing or new operations). The exceptional items list provides the means to secure additional support for programming. TLA supports the TSLAC budget request and all of the exceptional items. Our priority and focus will be on Item #2 to expand TexQuest and TexShare and on Item #5 to increase broadband access.

State Library’s Exceptional Items List

Item #1: $1.6 million to secure state data through computer and physical security

Item #2: $8.4 million to expand affordable e-resources in STEM areas for education and workforce readiness through TexQuest and TexShare (download PDF flyer and infographic)

Item #3: $500,000 for market adjustments necessary to recruit and retain personnell to deploy the state's mandated services

Item #4: $241,800 to hire two information analysts to help secure the public's access to state and local government records

Item #5: $1 million to increase broadband access in Texas communities by encouraging library participation in E-Rate discounts (download PDF flyer and infographic)


Get Involved!

Take the Wheel: Hands On Advocacy Materials

Topics


Who participates in TLA Advocacy? 

TLA has thousands of members from school, public, academic, and special libraries, as well as countless lay supporters, parents, educators, and business partners who promote library issues. Additionally, all types of libraries enjoy enormous local support from parent groups, the local community, student organizations, and countless other stakeholders who join in statewide efforts to strengthen libraries.

Texas libraries count millions of supporters! With libraries – school, academic, public, or special – located in almost every political jurisdiction in the state, the grassroots support for libraries is broad and deep.

How can I support TLA Advocacy?  

We offer multiple ways for you to support libraries!

  1. Become a member of TLA (lay supporters may join at a discounted membership rate) and participate in our legislative activities through any number of ways that are convenient for you.
  2. Subscribe to Texline, our free policy e-newletter, to keep up with state policy news and be informed about CALLS TO ACTION, or times when we need lots of people calling or writing legislative offices about important library policy or funding issues.
  3. Follow TLA on Facebook and Twitter for updates, 
  4. Get to know your elected officials and make the case that libraries need support from our leaders.

How can I learn more about becoming a strong advocate for libraries?

TLA offers many training opportunities. Our annual conference, our summer meeting (Annual Assembly), all have workshops that can train you on the latest issues and on methods for communicating with elected officials.

We also offer online training through our continuing education program and have resources available online.

How does TLA decide what issues to pursue?

TLA legislative policy is set by the Association’s governing council, which considers policy matters brought before it by the Association’s Legislative Committee. Members of TLA divisions and units submit issues they would like considered to the TLA Legislative Committee, which then makes recommendation to the TLA Council. For more information on this process, contact Wendy Woodland (wendyw@txla.org). 

Does TLA offer a scorecard of elected officials and does it endorse candidates?

As a charitable, educational nonprofit 501(c)(3), TLA is prohibited by law from endorsing candidates. TLA’s advocacy is issue-based, and we focus on policy and funding initiatives that assist in delivering the best possible library and educational services for the people of Texas.

Who can I contact to learn more?

You may contact Wendy Woodland, communications director at TLA, at wendyw@txla.org or 512/328-1518.

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Created on Mar 3, 2010 | Last updated January 30, 2017