Wednesday, June 13, 2007

025.1 School Library Adminstrators: Always Learning, Part 2

Being break time it is time for the networking. The buzz is going full force!

Our next speaker Peggy Rudd, TSLAC Director, has come to give us an update. She is talking about the background of the legislation that just passed about the online databases. The State Library will expand its connection to school libraries by taking on this new role with the databases. A partnership was in place with ESC-20 last year and the statistics of participation look pretty good. Now they can take it to the next level for all school libraries.

She hopes this new project will lead to state law change after this two-year period to make school libraries more connected to the State Library system, not just for databases, but all the various things that are going on. Under the Tex-Share umbrella there is room for all. She did say that the ILL issue that often worries school libraries is not mandatory. She does charge us as leaders to understand all that Tex-Share can do for school libraries and there is a lot!

Director Rudd states that among the people responsible for getting this legislation passed were: Representative Lois Kolkhorst from Brenham, Daniel Harper, a staffer on Senate Finance, and Representative Warren Chisum from Pampa. There are other people that may be discussed later in the conference.

As part of the sunset review of TSLAC, there will be a joint study with TEA about school libraries and their needs. When these are determined, then it will be decided which needs can be met by TEA and which can be met by TSLAC. It was brought up by an audience member that there is no "Librarian" at TEA to discuss these needs! Director Rudd stated that it will a group effort to provide the information and to make sure the correct outcomes of the study come forth.

It was asked if EBSCO has been settled as the database source? She stated it has not been decided as yet, but she did say something would be in place for the start of the school. There is also some concern about the ability to have options in what could be chosen. Timing is an essential ingredient to many in the audience for approval and training.

There is a rider for funding options for after-school homework assistance program. It will have to be looked at on how to do this and then sustain it after the initial offering. There was some discussion about it being a duplication of efforts in some locations and and maybe not the best use of funds. She did point out there are some areas of state where the public libraries are bearing the brunt of after school issues. Another topic for lots more talk and work!

One more topic...looking at students' participation in summer reading programs and effect on testing scores in reading. Only been it about a year. El Paso Public Library and the El Paso School District are working on this study. A comment from the audience....look at a public library where this is going on where there is no school librarian.

And a final audience concern...that none of the 2.5 million for databases be sued to create a bureaucracy in TEA for libraries...the money needs to stay for databases.

This was a difficult session to monitor...if I didn't get the right gist..let me know!

On to lunch....more later!

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