How Important are Books to You?

The Texas Talking Book Program Shares their Latest News:

Director’s Report

Impact of President Trump’s proposed budget: On March 13, 2017, President Donald J. Trump released his preliminary federal budget for fiscal year 2018. Among the agencies slated for complete elimination is the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). IMLS is an independent federal agency that supports museums and libraries of all types. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission, of which Talking Book Program is a division, receives nearly $11 million in federal funds from IMLS. Most of these funds are distributed to libraries around the state through grants. Approximately $480,000, however, is part of the Talking Book Program budget. This represents about 20% of the TBP budget, so if IMLS is eliminated, the impact on TBP will be significant. Here’s what federal funds pay for in the TBP budget:

  • Purchase of Braille and large print books
  • The daily printing of thousands of address cards for books mailed to patrons
  • Printing and mailing patron newsletters in large print
  • Outreach and educational activities, including the salary of the outreach coordinator
  • Utilities for the Circulation facility where the books are housed and the daily mail is processed
  • Maintenance and upkeep of TBP’s automation server in the statewide data center
  • Replacement of our aging computer equipment and software
  • One-time projects—such as upgrading wiring and cabling—for which other funds are not available

At this writing, there is no information about cuts for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) or the Library of Congress.

You may wish to inform your senators and representatives in Congress about the importance of federal funding for library programs, including for TBP. If you need assistance in determining who your representatives are, please call 1-800-252-9605 and ask a reader consultant to look up contact information for congressional representatives based on your home address. You may also send an email totbp.services@tsl.texas.gov for assistance from TBP staff.

Upcoming Sunset Commission review: TBP’s parent agency, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), will be undergoing sunset review during the next two years.  All state agencies go through a sunset review every twelve years. The purpose of the review is to determine if the agency is carrying out its functions and whether or not those functions are still needed. The review is overseen by the Sunset Advisory Committee, which reports to the Legislature.  During the next legislative session in 2019, legislation will need to be passed to continue TSLAC as an operational agency. If you are interested in reading about the sunset process, please visit the advisory committee’s web site at www.sunset.state.tx.us.

If you wish to participate in the sunset process, here are two ways that you may do so. TSLAC has posted to its web site an online survey to gather information for the self study that the agency is required to file with the Sunset Advisory Committee. There is a special section for TBP. If you would like to fill out the survey, you may find it at this link:http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3455268/tslacsunsetsurvey. We will also be having some call-in sessions with TBP staff so that you may ask questions about the sunset process and give us your opinions. These calls will require reservations because of limited slots on the call. If you are interested in participating in one of the phone calls, please call 1-800-252-9605 to reserve your spot.

Until next time,
Ava Smith, Director, Talking Book Program

RISE Will Close in Observance of the Easter Holiday

RISE Center will be closed, Friday, April 14, 2017 in observance of the Easter holiday. The center will resume normal business hours on Monday, April 17, 2017 from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.

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RISE Center Participates in Lamar Access Transition Fair

Lamar University  hosted an Access Transition Fair on Thursday, April 6, 2017. The Transition Fair is designed to educate students with disabilities that are transitioning from high school, to post-secondary education. The turn-out exceeded expectations and RISE, as always, was more than thrilled to take part!

Check out all the fun!

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RISE looks forward to what next year holds!

RISE Center Takes Part in First Annual Kite Festival Hosted by Beaumont Health Coaltion

RISE Center was pleased to take part this past Saturday in the first annual Kite Festival, hosted by the Beaumont Health Coalition

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Academy Sports and Outdoors was a generous sponsor, by donating a basketball goal to the event, and making a health-conscious contribution to our local community. We appreciate you Academy!

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Our own Executive Director, Jim Brocato, was in attendance to determine the winner of the drawing for the basketball goal at the end of the day. The winner has never owned a basketball goal and looks forward to getting quite a bit of use out of it.

The basketball goal got plenty of use throughout the day – from those who have used one years ago – and those who use one daily.

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The beautiful kites and games that were there were accessible to all. There were kites available for anyone who came and many community partners brought games and treats for the community as well.

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RISE is looking forward to what next year brings!

 

 

RISE Peer Support and Art Class

RISE hosts several events throughout the year, geared toward the goals and independence of our consumers. One of these events were hosted recently in the form of an art/peer support class. The staff and consumers enjoyed pizza and art expression in a low-key environment. Observe our artistic talents at work!

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Texans With Disabilities CAN Influence the Outcome of Local and State Elections!

Texans With Disabilities CAN Influence the Outcome of Local and State Elections!

For information on how you can influence the election:

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RISE Relocation Specialists and Executive Director Join ADAPT in March at State Capitol to Advocate for Community Attendants

RISE Relocation Specialists and Executive Director Join ADAPT in March at State Capitol to Advocate for Community Attendants

RISE Relocation Specialists and Executive Director joined forces with ADAPT of Texas to advocate and “educate the public and state officials on personal attendant work issues and economic survival.”

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