Here’s something you don’t see all that often these day, a sizable increase in funding for libraries.
The 84th Texas Legislature has increased the appropriation of the State Library and Archives Commission [TSLAC] by $7.6M for the 2016-2017 biennium. The new funding includes resources to launch the Texas Digital Archive to preserve and make available electronic archives of state government as well as $6M to offer Texans greater access to online information via the popular TexShare and TexQuest programs. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission also gained funds in the new state budget to address salary needs and to implement a new automated accounting and payroll system.
Funding for the Texas Digital Archive–$706,593 for the 2016-2017 biennium—will allow TSLAC to collect, preserve, and make available, archives of enduring value in digital format. Until this action by the Legislature, Texas had been one of only a few states that did not provide for centralized storage and management of state archives in electronic format.
The increased funding for TSLAC represents a 31% increase in state funding and a 14% increase in overall funding to the agency. With the added appropriations, state funding will increase to $31.4 million for the biennium and overall funding will increase to $63.1 million for 2016-2017. Following significant budget cuts to the agency in the 2011 legislative session, state funding has increased in both the 2013 and 2015 sessions.