Position Papers & Filings

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this
Position Papers & Filings

  


Position Papers

Statement on President Trump's Proposal to Eliminate Federal Library Funding
Resolution on Senate Bill 6, 85th Texas Legislature

Resolution on State Curriculum Standards

Resolution on State Library Budget
Resolution on the Need for School Libraries to be Included in State Policy
Resolution on Digital Content for All Texans
Resolution on Telecommunications Discounts
Resolution on Continuation of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Board
Resolution Concerning the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA)
Resolution on Library District Legislation
Resolution in Support of Local Acceptable Use Policies for Internet Access
Resolution to Increase the Recommended Minimum Salary for an Entry Level Librarian
Resolution Regarding Filtering and the E-Rate
Resolution Regarding Fair Use and Digital Information
Resolution on Local Control of Internet Access

Filings

TLA Response to Sunset Commission Questions on the Texas Education Agency
TLA Response to Sunset Commission Questions on the State Library
TLA Response to the Sunset Commission on the Reauthorization of the State Library
Additional Comments (TSLAC Sunset Process)
TLA Response to Public Utility Questions on Telecommunications Discounts
TLA Reply Comment to Other Filers on PUC Questions

 

For other legislative or policy position papers (TLA Council/ Executive Board Resolutions), contact Wendy Woodland.


POSITION PAPERS

Statement on President Trump's Proposal to Eliminate Federal Library Funding

To fund increased military spending and tax cuts, President Trump’s America First: A Budget to Make America Great Again eliminates funding for libraries and museums, as well as arts, humanities and cultural programs. Collectively, these programs account for less than 0.5% of the national budget.

The Institute for Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) grants and programs provide critical support to libraries and museums across the country. Texas libraries leverage every dollar of the federal funds they receive to offer innovative programs and services to millions of Texans every year. In fact, a recent Texas State Library and Archives Commission study found that for every $1 invested in Texas libraries, communities benefit from an impressive return on investment of $4.64.

Libraries are centers for technology, job counseling, retraining, entrepreneurship, education, teaching and learning, services to veterans, and so much more.

The Texas Library Association’s almost 7,000 members, and the thousands of library supporters throughout the state, will actively oppose this proposal which, if enacted, would have a significant, immediate, negative impact on millions of Texans. Libraries are so much more than book depositories, they are essential to what makes Texas, and America great.

Adopted by the Texas Library Association Executive Board

March 16, 2017


Resolution on Senate Bill 6, 85th Texas Legislature 

Whereas, SB 6 requires school districts, charter schools, public institutions of higher education, counties, municipalities, special purpose districts or authorities, state agencies and junior college districts to adopt policies requiring individuals to use multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing facilities based on their biological sex; and

Whereas, SB 6 preempts local ordinances allowing transgender individuals to use the multiple-occupancy bathroom or changing facility that corresponds to their gender identity; and

Whereas, SB 6 has attracted significant opposition from businesses, human rights activists, non-profit organizations, the tourism industry, and more; and

Whereas, SB 6 discriminates against, and undermines the civil rights of the transgender and LGBT community; and

Whereas, SB 6 would have a significant, negative economic impact on the state of Texas; and

Whereas, SB 6 is in conflict with the Texas Library Association’s core values of diversity and inclusiveness; and

Whereas, The Texas Library Association represents a broad and diverse community, and believes policy decisions should be made at the local level to reflect local priorities and best serve the community; and

Whereas, The 7,000 member Texas Library Association will find it extremely difficult to attract grant funding and conduct business with national corporations, as well as extremely difficult and in many cases prohibitive to offer robust professional development and conferences (national speakers, exhibitors and authors); now therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Texas Library Association does not support SB 6 because it conflicts with the association’s core values of diversity and inclusiveness, preempts local control, and negatively impacts the Texas economy.

Adopted by the Texas Library Association Executive Board

February 9, 2017


Resolution on State Curriculum Standards

Whereas, The Texas State Board of Education recently gave initial approval for the state’s new social studies curriculum, and the Board approved a document that contained several changes from the proposal submitted by educators; and

Whereas, The changes proposed by Board members have garnered national attention, and many educator groups believe that the proposed changes (some of which have been incorporated) degrade the quality of historical balance and accuracy; and

Whereas, Texas is one of the two largest markets for textbooks (and the largest currently adopting new standards), and the decisions finalized on the social studies curriculum will affect other markets, as publishers determine what editions they will produce; and

Whereas, The full curriculum standards will be posted on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website for review by mid-April, and the public will then have a 30-day window to comment on the proposed standards; and

Whereas, The TEA can revise those standards based on public comment and then send revised rules back to the Texas State Board of Education for a final vote; and

Whereas, The Texas Library Association (TLA) believes strongly that education is best achieved by a broad and balanced approach and that few things are more fundamental to a child’s perception and understanding of history and life than the views reflected in  primary textbook materials; and

Whereas, For this reason, curriculum standards must be the product of a deliberative and rigorous process that relies on the best trained professionals – educators and those with specialized knowledge of the field—and the input of the public; and

Whereas, The Texas Library Association   maintains that such curriculum standards should promote the most comprehensive, accurate, and balanced assessment of the topical area under question; and

Whereas, State Board members nominated educators and others to advise on the creation of standards, with an extended review process that occurred during the drafting stage of the proposed social studies curriculum to insure balance; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Texas Library Association urges educators and interested members of the public to respond during the comment period of the newly approved draft of social studies standards and to contact the State Board of Education members and elected officials; and, be it further

Resolved, That the Texas Library Association urges the State Board of Education to approve the social studies curriculum standards drafted by educational professionals and knowledgeable parties and to rely on the collective judgment of educators when determining specific content areas; and, be it further

Resolved, That the Texas Library Association urges the State Board of Education to assure that the children of Texas benefit from professionally-crafted and balanced textbooks free of any influence outside of the educational arena.

Adopted by the Texas Library Association Executive Board.

 

RETURN TO TOP


 

RESOLUTION ON THE STATE LIBRARY BUDGET

WHEREAS, The Texas State Library and Archives Commission serves the people of Texas by providing resources and services to meet their lifelong educational and economic needs; and

WHEREAS, The Texas State Library and Archives Commission administers a wide array of programs to carry out its profoundly significant mission to support the activities of state government and communities throughout the state; and

WHEREAS, The Commission’s strategy for library development includes initiatives such as the Loan Star Libraries program, which provides direct aid to libraries statewide, and the Public Library Systems, which serve Texans by helping to strengthen and support local libraries throughout Texas; and

WHEREAS, The Commission’s strategy for resource sharing offers the people of Texas services and access to a wealth of digital information through the TexShare library consortium and the K-12 database initiative, which is also supported by the Texas Education Agency and Regional Service Center 20; and

WHEREAS, The Commission’s archival responsibilities are of the highest importance to the preservation and promotion of the state’s vast and irreplaceable legacy of archival holdings; and

WHEREAS, The Commission must ensure that this archival heritage is properly maintained in a physical repository sufficient to address the long-term storage and preservation needs of this wealth of documentary evidence; and

WHEREAS, The Commission’s Talking Book Program offers a unique service to the thousands of blind and visually-challenged people of our state; and

WHEREAS, The Commission’s work supporting the efforts of local governments in maintaining their records for the safety and well-being of all communities and persons in our state; and

WHEREAS, The Commission’s vast technical and administrative responsibilities bear directly in the agency’s capacity to meet the growing demands of stakeholders and the almost 22 million people of Texas; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the members of the Texas Library Association support the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s Legislative Appropriations Request to support these goals in its base budget and exceptional items requests that address all of these critical state priorities.

Approved and Submitted by the Legislative Committee
Chair, Carol Brey-Casiano
July 8, 2008
Approved by the Texas Association of School Librarians Executive Board
July 8, 2008
Approved by the Texas Association of School Librarians Legislative Committee
July 8, 2008
Approved by the Public Libraries Division
July 9, 2008
Approved by the College and University Libraries Division
July 9, 2008
Adopted by TLA Council
July 10, 2008

 

RETURN TO  TOP

 


 

RESOLUTION ON THE NEED FOR SCHOOL LIBRARIES TO BE INCLUDED IN STATE POLICY

WHEREAS, The children of Texas deserve access to a robust and rich educational experience that must include access to quality school libraries; and

WHEREAS, Multiple studies (including one conducted in Texas) show the correlation between strong student performance on standardized achievement tests and strong school libraries administered by certified school librarians; and

WHEREAS, Despite over a dozen national studies and rigorous state certification standards attesting to the vitality of school library programs, no state statute exists to ensure students benefit from quality school libraries; and

WHEREAS, Preliminary data from a joint survey conducted by the Texas Education Agency and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission show that, of the almost 3,500 librarians and educators surveyed, 93% ranked the need for state support to help school libraries meet statewide school library standards as a chief priority; and  

WHEREAS, These standards include benchmarks for quality school library programs that support the TEKS, ensuring the administration of school libraries by certified school librarians, and maintaining student access to robust digital content, print materials, and other instructional tools; and

WHEREAS, Despite these forward thinking standards, state law does not require schools to have a school library program or employ a certified school librarian, and it does not hold schools accountable for not providing students with a quality school library program; and

WHEREAS, While many local districts recognize the value of school library programs and work hard to support them, the state must act to support school libraries so that children can benefit from the resource and expertise available through this fundamental component of education statewide; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the members of the Texas Library Association urge the Texas State Legislature to enact legislation assuring that every school child will have access to a quality school library program administered by a certified school librarian on his or her own campus.

Approved and Submitted by the Legislative Committee
Chair, Carol Brey-Casiano
July 8, 2008
Approved by the Texas Association of School Librarians Executive Board
July 8, 2008
Approved by the Texas Association of School Librarians Legislative Committee
July 8, 2008
Approved by the Public Libraries Division
July 9, 2008
Approved by the College and University Libraries Division
July 9, 2008
Adopted by TLA Council
July 10, 2008

RETURN TO TOP


 

RESOLUTION ON DIGITAL CONTENT FOR ALL TEXANS

WHEREAS, Ensuring the prosperity of Texas over the coming years rests on many factors, including providing students with a rigorous educational experience that prepares them for higher education, post-secondary training, or the workforce; furthering the development and application of knowledge in institutions of higher education; preparing a workforce that can address the complex needs of today’s evolving economy; and supporting business development; and

WHEREAS, The current slate of K-12 databases (as made possible by Rider 88 to the Texas Education Agency budget) and the TexShare program offer school, academic, and public libraries a strong core of quality online journals and research materials; and

WHEREAS, We now have a structure for K-16 online library resources that must be strengthened by ensuring access to other needed materials, training, and partnerships for all learning communities; and

WHEREAS, Constituents of higher education libraries need high level research journals and periodicals, access to specialized medical and legal resources, and the broadest array of science, business, and technology reports and research available; and

WHEREAS, Students and faculty at public and private schools need additional science and math resources, more online language arts and literary criticism material, increased research and preparation materials for teachers, and more training for all educators on use of these resources; and

WHEREAS, Constituents of public libraries need access to a wider range of workforce and job seeker information, specialized resources to support local small businesses, strengthened access to general research materials, such as financial planning and GED preparation, and increased access to healthcare and medical information; and
    
WHEREAS, The statewide library resource-sharing TexShare program and the K-12 initiative are extremely cost-effective tools for deploying resources and serve an essential role in lifelong learning; now, therefore, be it   

RESOLVED, That the members of the Texas Library Association urge the 81st Legislature to appropriate $40 million over the biennium to secure digital resources and training opportunities for public and private schools, public libraries, and libraries in institutions of higher education through TexShare and the K-12 database initiative.

Approved and Submitted by the Legislative Committee
Chair, Carol Brey-Casiano
July 8, 2008
Approved by the Texas Association of School Librarians Executive Board
July 8, 2008
Approved by the Texas Association of School Librarians Legislative Committee
July 8, 2008
Approved by the Public Libraries Division
July 9, 2008
Adopted by TLA Council
July 10, 2008

 

RETURN TO TOP

 


 

RESOLUTION ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS DISCOUNTS

WHEREAS, It is the policy of the State of Texas to encourage universal distribution of broadband telecommunications throughout the state; and

WHEREAS, The Telecommunications discounts established in 1995 under HB 2128 have proved instrumental in making broadband telecommunications access available and affordable through schools, libraries and institutions of higher education across the state, and

WHEREAS, For many Texans, their only access to the Internet is through the connections at schools and libraries, and

WHEREAS, The legislative mandate for these critically important telecommunications discounts will expire in 2005 unless reauthorized by an act of the legislature; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Texas Library Association urges the Texas Legislature to reauthorize telecommunications discounts for schools, libraries and institutions of higher education to ensure that broadband access remains widely available to all Texans.

Submitted by the Public Libraries Division, 
Texas Association of School Librarians, and 
TLA Legislative Committee July 23, 2002
Adopted by TLA Council July 23, 2002

 

RETURN TO THE TOP


RESOLUTION ON CONTINUATION OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
INFRASTRUCTURE FUND (TIF)

WHEREAS, The Texas Legislature created the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) in 1995 to benefit the citizens of Texas with the deployment of telecommunications services and technology through academic, school, and public libraries, institutions of higher education, hospitals, and public schools; and

WHEREAS, Texas libraries have effectively used TIF grants to increase public access to computer technology, training, and Internet services in rural and urban areas; and TIF grants to Texas libraries have resulted in expanded online resources, such as those offered by the Texas Library Connection and TexShare; and

WHEREAS, Libraries are the primary source of access to the Internet and advanced telecommunications for many people in our state; and the partnership between libraries and the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board is a critical component of equalized statewide deployment of advanced telecommunications services; and

WHEREAS, The state has an ongoing role in helping sustain broadband service and to ensure the continued usage and advancement of the telecommunications infrastructure already began; and be it

RESOLVED, That the Texas Library Association urges the Texas Legislature to reauthorize the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund for an additional 10 years and assure that the public and private partnership established in 1995 be continued; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the Texas Library Association urges the Texas Legislature to determine an equitable means of financing the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund through the telecommunications and cable industries; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the Texas Library Association urges the Texas Legislature to increase access to digital information resources and broadband to all the people of Texas through various modes of access, including libraries. 

Approved 4/25/02 by College and University Libraries Division,  Public Libraries Division, 
Texas Association of School Libraries, and Children’s Round Table.

Adopted by: Legislative Committee 4/26/02
Adopted by TLA Council April 26, 2002

 

RETURN TO THE TOP


RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE UNIFORM COMPUTER 
INFORMATION TRANSACTION ACT (UCITA)

WHEREAS, The chief purpose of the library community is open and equitable access to a nation’s information investment; and
WHEREAS, Educational progress, advancement through innovation and design, and democratic participation in government are all derived in large measure from the free flow of ideas and the public’s ability to access information in all its forms; and
WHEREAS, Libraries constitute the largest consumer category of database consumers and other online services, and they represent the forum through which all people of Texas can use this information; and
WHEREAS, The Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA) poses a severe threat to protections ensured by established copyright laws; and
WHEREAS, UCITA seeks to give unfair advantage to the producers of electronic information by creating a specialised legal code exclusively for dealing with computer transactions by substituting the public law of copyright with the private law of contracts; and
WHEREAS, UCITA can negatively affect a library’s ability to lend materials and would require an unprecedented increase in library personnel to review, negotiate, and monitor all electronic informational products; and
WHEREAS, UCITA creates an asymmetrical relationship in favor of electronic information publishers and providers and creates an information environment that favors access to information for only those people of Texas who can pay for electronic databases, software, and other products, and thus creates a legal barrier to closing the digital divide; and
WHEREAS, UCITA, if passed in Texas, threatens to undermine the investment the state has made in providing electronic information to its people of Texas through grants from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board and resources allocated to other programs, such as TexShare and the Texas Library Connection; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Texas Library Association use all available resources to ensure that Texas libraries and the people of Texas they serve do not suffer from the negative impact of UCITA.

Approved by the Legislative Committee on 7/29/00
Submitted by Rhoda Goldberg, Chair
Adopted by TLA Council, July 30, 2000

 

RETURN TO THE TOP


RESOLUTION ON LIBRARY DISTRICTS LEGISLATION

WHEREAS, The 75th Texas Legislature authorized the creation of library districts to provide a means of funding public library service to unserved constituents; and
WHEREAS, There are now nine successful library districts in Texas; and
WHEREAS, More than half of the annual library districts elections are uncontested, costing library districts unnecessary expense in time, manpower and election costs; and
WHEREAS, Extended terms for library district trustees would further save costs of elections; and
WHEREAS, The law does not provide for the improvement of land in the general powers of library districts; and
WHEREAS, Under current law, library districts must obtain a costly legal ruling to pledge taxes collected as collateral to further the purposes for which the district was created; therefore, be it

RESOLVED,

That the Texas Library Association (TLA) supports the following changes in the Library Districts Law (Local Government Code, Title 10, Subtitle B, Chapter 326):

That library district trustees’ terms increase from two to four years and that write-in candidacies for any district office shall be governed by provisions similar to Subchapter C, Chapter 146 of the Election Code; that is, that candidates must file at least 40 days prior to an election; and

That the acquisition or improvement to real property be included in the general powers of the district; and

That taxes collected under Subchapter 326.095 (Use of Tax) may be pledged as collateral for the borrowing of monies to further the purposes for which the district was created.

Approved by the Public Libraries Division Library Districts Discussion Group, 6/22/00
Approved by the Public Libraries Division Legislative Committee 7/29/00
Submitted by Steve Brown
Adopted by TLA Council, July 30, 2000

 

RETURN TO THE TOP


 RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF LOCAL ACCEPTABLE USE POLICIES FOR INTERNET ACCESS

WHEREAS, The Texas Library Association believes that the Internet is a critically important arena for communication; and
WHEREAS, Freedom of speech on the Internet deserves the highest level of constitutional protection in a democratic society; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Texas Library Association reaffirms its previously adopted position that opposes efforts to require Internet content filtering as a precondition for local institutions to receive E-rate discounts and supports local Acceptable Use Policies for Internet access in schools and libraries throughout Texas.

Approved by the Public Libraries Division Legislative Committee 7/29/00
Approved by the TLA Legislative Committee 7/29/00
Steve Brown
Adopted by TLA Council, July 30, 2000

 

RETURN TO THE TOP


 RESOLUTION TO INCREASE THE RECOMMENDED 
MINIMUM SALARY FOR AN ENTRY LEVEL LIBRARIAN

WHEREAS, The current Professional, Rights, Responsibilities and Recruitment Committee conducted a minimum salary survey of entry level librarians throughout the United States; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, The Texas Library Association increase the recommended minimum salary for an entry level librarian with an MLS or its equivalent from an ALA-accredited program from the current level of $28,000 to $30,000 per year.

Submitted by the Professional, Rights, Responsibilities and Recruitment Committee
July 29, 2000
Melinda Townsel
Adopted by TLA Council, July 30, 2000

 

RETURN TO THE TOP  

 


REGARDING FILTERING AND THE E-RATE  

WHEREAS, The Senate Commerce Committee on June 23, 1999 approved S 97, the Children's Online Protection Act, which requires libraries with one or more Internet access terminals to certify that the library is enforcing a policy to ensure that minors do not use the computer for Internet access to material that is obscene and to child pornography, in order to receive E-rate discounts; therefore be it 

RESOLVED, That the TLA Legislative Committee and the Executive Board of the Association follow closely the passage and possible enactment of S 97 or any subsequent legislation with similar intent and take action to represent the Association based on the following concerns:

  • The legislation interferes with parental rights to guide their children by taking the decision about access to information out of the parents' hands.
  • The legislation takes away local control of public and school libraries' services and imposes federal standards placing librarians in the precarious position of enforcer of these standards.The legislation creates burdensome technological and administrative costs on libraries in such a way that discriminates against poorer communities, which are dependent on E-rate funding for access to electronic information.  

RESOLVED, That the text of the resolution be communicated to Senator Phil Gramm and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison with the request that they communicate to their colleagues their support for the Association's position on this matter.

Approved by the PLD Legislative Committee July 12, 1999
Approved by the TLA Legislative Committee July 12, 1999  

Adopted by the Texas Library Association Council July 13, 1999

RETURN TO THE TOP


 COPYRIGHT AND FAIR USE OF DIGITAL INFORMATION

WHEREAS, Laws governing copyright protection need updating to accommodate technological changes in the publication and distribution of intellectual property and the challenges of providing equitable public access to digital information; and

WHEREAS, The principle of "fair use" under copyright has proven effective in practice by permitting limited educational use of copyrighted material while protecting the copyright owners' interest in their intellectual property; and

WHEREAS, In practice "fair use" is essential to educators and libraries whose responsibility is providing educational access to information; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the Texas Library Association supports the continuation of the practice of fair use in copyright law and urges Congress to ensure access to digital information under the limits of fair use in classrooms and libraries, throughout library lending, and via distance education; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Texas Library Association supports the embodiment of these principles in H.R. 3048, The Digital Era Copyright Enhancement Act, and S. 1146, The Digital Copyright Clarification and Technology Education Act.

 Adopted by PLD Executive Board April 2, 1998
Adopted by Legislative Committee April 4, 1998
Adopted by TLA Council April 4, 1998

RETURN TO THE TOP


  LOCAL CONTROL OF INTERNET POLICIES

The Texas Library Association believes that the Internet is a critically important arena for communication and that freedom of speech on the Internet deserves the highest level of constitutional protection in a democratic society.  TLA recognizes there are Internet sites that incorporate content some may find unacceptable for children.

WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court, in its decision on the Communications Decency Act, ruled that government entities cannot restrict all the members of a community to that speech which is deemed appropriate for children; and

WHEREAS, legislative proposals that would impose filtering as the sole solution for all communities abrogate local control of educational issues and community standards; and

WHEREAS, locally developed acceptable use policies provide a tool for communities to determine their own response to meeting their informational needs while preserving local autonomy; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the Texas Library Association strongly opposes efforts to require Internet content filtering as a precondition for local institutions to receive E-rate discounts; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Texas Library Association supports the establishment of local acceptable use policies for Internet access in school and libraries throughout the country as a responsible, local approach, thereby permitting each community to be guided by its own standards.

Adopted by PLD Executive Board April 2, 1998
Adopted by the Legislative Committee April 4, 1998
Adopted by TLA Council April 4, 1998


RETURN TO THE TOP


 

Created on Apr 5, 2010 | Last updated March 17, 2017