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Texas Gov. Abbott Declares September 15 “Power Up at Your Library Day” and Libraries Statewide Revv Up

TEXAS – Texas Governor Greg Abbott formally declared Thursday, September 15, 2016 as Power Up at Your Library Day, and libraries around the state have responded by curating events geared to promote technology, innovation, creativity, and literacy in their respective communities. Over 175 library events have registered across academic, public, school, and special libraries from McAllen to El Paso to Nacogdoches to Lubbock, and a rapidly-growing number in between.

Libraries support learning, research, business and entrepreneurship, innovation, workforce development, community inclusion, and much more.  Texas libraries have been at the forefront of helping small business owners and entrepreneurs develop their enterprises. Today’s college and university libraries offer students, faculty, and researchers access to the quality materials needed for innovation. Libraries also provide critical support to help people find jobs, build career skills, and prepare for today’s challenging and changing workforce landscape. Texas libraries provide a forum and means for people to come together, learn, and tackle today’s most difficult social questions while continuing their work promoting literacy and lifelong learning.

Texas Libraries by the Numbers
A few quick statistics about Texas libraries reveals the following:

  • In 2012 (the most recent reporting year), 201 Texas academic institutions reported serving 2.3 million students every week during a typical fall semester.
  • In 2015, Texas public libraries served over 24 million people through about 550 public libraries and those libraries receive about 72 million visits a year.
  • The Texas public and academic library market amounts to an industry whose “merchandise” value averages $2.35 billion.
  • In 2015-2016, Texas had 4574.86 (FTE) school librarians serving a total of 5,299,728 students; on average, each school librarian in Texas serves 1,158.
  • The average budgeted expenditures for school libraries in 2015-16, including instructional materials, was $110 per student, or 1.34% of the total operating expenditure for schools statewide.

What programs are happening statewide?
Approaching the 200 event threshold, libraries statewide are energized about bringing in large numbers to their respective buildings. To find the full roster of Powered Libraries around the state, visit the Powered Libraries event page. The information will be updated daily until September 15, 2016. Meanwhile, below is a selection of Texas libraries that are powering up in their communities.

Austin, TX | The J. Frank Dobie College Prep Academy will be introducing students to robotics and circuitry items in its Dobie Library Makerspace. Makerspaces are popping up in libraries all over the country, demonstrating how libraries are essential to the creation and sharing of ideas in their communities.

Conroe, TX | Library visitors north of Houston can power up their careers by attending the Job Skills Seminar at Montgomery County Memorial Library System. Attendees learn how to develop professional resumes, cover letters, references, thank you letters, and online applications.

Dallas, TX | UT Southwestern Health Sciences Digital Library and Learning Center hosts a Digital Media Production Studio Open House on Power Up at Your Library Day. Faculty, staff, and students will learn more about of Digital Media Production Studio offerings such as 3D-printing, modeling, digital video and audio production, and more.

Houston, TX | Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library celebrates Power Up at Your Library Day with “Chain Reactions.” Hosted by the library’s Jocelyn H. Lee Innovation Lab, the program will challenge participants, volunteers, and staff to work as a team to create a fun and complicated contraption. The goal: take as many steps as possible to turn on a switch. When that switch turns on… well, that part is a surprise.

McAllen, TX | The City of McAllen is partnering up with the McAllen Public Library to teach kids how to build circuits and AM radio kits. KURB, the local radio station is donating supplies, and those supplies will help show kids how radios work.

Nacogdoches, TX | The Judy B. McDonald Public Library is hosting a STEAM 4 Kids program, featuring Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Participants will learn the basics of coding using Scratch, an open-source computer programming language designed with children in mind.

San Antonio, TX | Clear Spring Elementary School is powering up with students in grades K-3 as they listen to a children’s literature classic, The Dot, which celebrates creativity and visual art. By combining International Dot Day with Power Up at Your Library Day, Clear Spring’s students will be encouraged to embrace their digital-native talent to create their own dots and make their artistic masterpieces come to animated life using iPads (or apps such as Colart App).  

Sanger, TX | The Sanger Public Library will unveil their new collection of Launchpad tablets! Launchpads are fully-loaded digital devices with great educational and entertainment features for children, teens, and adults. The Launchpads will be available for both in-library use and checkout.  In addition to the new Launchpads, SPL will spotlight their E-Resources and provide information and assistance with services like Freading (e-books), Freegal (e-music), and Overdrive (e-books).  If that weren’t enough, SPL will offer tutorials on how to use and search their collection AND the entire North Texas Library Consortium collection too.

Tyler, TX | Tyler Public Library has invited city officials and employees to their library as part of an outreach effort to combine Power Up at Your Library Day with National Library Card Sign-Up Month. Library visitors will have the opportunity to take tours, participate in a scavenger hunt, and obtain information about databases & digital subscriptions.

Who is team behind Power Up at Your Library Day?

Led by the Texas Library Association (TLA) PR & Marketing Committee, the team has offered numerous resources for libraries to partner with local decision-makers and supporters to promote their events year-round, including promotional videos (in English and Spanish), a unique website, and a Power Up Toolkit that features statewide statistics, marketing and promotional tips, a sample press release and proclamation, and program ideas, among other valuable resources.

“Libraries are home to ‘information first responders,’ professionals dedicated to serving their communities and providing accurate information,” attests TLA President Walter Betts.

TLA Public Relations & Marketing Committee Chair Melissa Baker adds, “Libraries today are so much more than just the books that instantly come to mind. They are places that inspire new ideas and foster both human connection and access to new technology. In this constantly changing information environment, libraries are more vital than ever before.”

Additional Resources:

Powered Libraries website: www.poweredlibraries.org
Power Up at Your Library Day videos: English version; Spanish version
Power Up Toolkit

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Poweredlibraries

Twitter: https://twitter.com/poweredlibrary

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About the Campaign
Power Up at Your Library Day is part of the “Ideas Powered: It’s What We Do” campaign, which seeks to broaden the awareness of innovative library services to the public. For more information about the Powered Libraries initiative, which was launched by the Texas Library Association in early 2016, visit www.poweredlibraries.org.  Follow the campaign on social media through the hashtag #poweredlibraries.

About the Texas Library Association

TLA is the largest state library association in the country with over 7,000 members who work in public, school, academic, and special libraries and who support educational institutions. TLA offers a wide range of services, including advocacy, continuing education, research, and public relations. To learn more about TLA, visit TLA’s website www.txla.org or call 512-328-1518.


Sara Ortiz
Communications & Marketing Specialist
sarao@txla.org | 512-328-1518

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