Shared from the Library Issues and Taking Action page of the Texas Library Association Website:
SB 902 Would Eliminate Most Criteria for Public Library Accreditation
Senator Brian Birdwell (SD 22) introduced SB 902 relating to a prohibition on the adoption of certain library standards by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC). TLA strongly opposes this bill which would diminish the quality of library services throughout the state, and dilute and devalue legitimate public library service by eliminating common baselines for professionalism, services and resources.
The bill prohibits TSLAC from requiring libraries to meet minimum accreditation standards related to:
- Local operating expenditures
- Collections based on publication dates
- Hours of operation
- The number or classification of library employees
To participate in state programs incuding TexShare and interlibrary loan, and to be eligible for competitive grants, public libraries must meet minimum accreditation standards. These accreditation standards ensure the efficient and accountable use of state and federal resources, and set basic standards to assure statewide equity in the provision of library services. The minimum standards, which were developed in collaboration with library stakeholders and local governments from across the state, set reasonable, reachable, and essential expectations for basic library services while being respectful of local economic challenges. 93% of Texas’ public libraries meet the minimum standards.
The bill was referred to the Senate Business and Commerce committee. TLA members are continuing to reach out to their Senators to express their oppostion, and TLA has met with committee staff to share our concerns.
Take Action- SB 902
Contact your senator and representative and share your concerns about the impact of this bill on Texas’ public library services. Discuss the bill with your staff, city/county officials, boards, and other stakeholder groups, asking them to oppose the bill and to contact their senator and representative.