State of TDL 2020

The following report was delivered to the Member Board of Texas Digital Library on September 24, 2020. TDL’s Member Board meets annually, and is comprised of Deans, Directors, and proxies representing each of our member institutions. This report includes updates regarding our Governing Board, TDL’s finances, a Strategic Plan for 2020-2023, and our goals and objectives for projects and services in the coming year.

CHANGES TO TDL’s BOARDS

In 2020, TDL welcomed new members to the consortium, new additions to our Member Board, and new Governing Board members. We will also welcome a new Governing Board chair in November 2020. Here is a list of all the changes:

Welcome, new TDL Members: University of Texas at San Antonio and Houston Public Library!

Welcome, new Member Board members:

  • Baylor University | Jeffry Archer joined Baylor as Dean of Libraries in Summer 2020.
  • Houston Public Library | Saima Kadir represents TDL’s newest affiliate member, Houston Public Library.
  • Texas A&M International University | Benjamin Rawlins became Library Director at A&M International in Summer 2020.
  • University of Texas at San Antonio | Dean Hendrix, Dean of UTSA Libraries, joined or Member Board meeting for the first time this fall as a new member of the TDL consortium.

Welcome, new Governing Board members:

  • UT Southwestern |  Kelly Gonzalez, Assistant Vice President for Library Services at UT Southwestern Medical Center, is TDL’s new Governing Board Chair.
  • Texas Tech University | Earnstein Dukes, Dean of Libraries at Texas Tech University, represents one of TDL’s four founding ARL members.
  • University of Houston | Marilyn Myers, Interim Dean of Libraries, University of Houston, also represents a founding ARL member.
  • University of North Texas | Diane Bruxvoort, Dean of Libraries, University of North Texas, was voted by the TDL Member Board to fill a three-year at large liaison seat.

Thank you, outgoing Board members:

  • David Carlson, Dean of Libraries at Texas A&M University, served as chair of TDL’s Governing Board for the 2019-20 academic year.
  • Dr. Catherine Rudowsky, Dean of Libraries at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, completed her three-year term as an at-large liaison to TDL’s Governing Board.
  • In 2020, Lisa German left the University of Houston and Bella Karr Gerlich left Texas Tech University; Doug Ferrier retired as Dean from Texas A&M International University.
  • Thank you all for serving with Texas Digital Library’s Member Board!

Next steps | TDL’s Governing Board is scheduled to meet November 10, 2020. At that meeting, the Board will select a new vice-chair / chair-elect.

And in the spirit of TDL’s ethos of transparency, you can access all of our board meeting materials in the TDL DSpace Repository https://tdl-ir.tdl.org/handle/2249.1/156422.

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STRATEGIC PLANNING BEGINS

TDL’s mission statement has served us well, but will be changing soon!

Background

TDL’s Governing Board identified a working group to develop a new strategic plan in June 2020. Over the summer of 2020, the Strategic Planning Team met regularly to develop a framework for Texas Digital Library to continue to grow over the next three years. The planning team included Kelly Gonzalez, Assistant Vice President for Library Services at UT Southwestern Medical Center and incoming TDL Governing Board Chair; Joan Heath, Associate Vice President and University Librarian, Texas State University; Courtney Mumma, Deputy Director, Texas Digital Library; and Kristi Park, Executive Director, Texas Digital Library

Strategies

In addition to rejuvenating TDL’s mission and vision statements, the strategic planning team developed four overarching strategies to guide our work over the next three years. These strategies are:

  • Strategy #1 | Partner with members and like-minded external partners to broaden access to scholarly, cultural heritage, and educational materials.
  • Strategy #2 | Create value for members through shared resources.
  • Strategy #3 | Commit to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in order to ensure broad and equitable access to our tools, content, and communities.
  • Strategy #4| Strengthen sustainability through membership growth and diversification of funding sources.

Corresponding initiatives and key performance indicators (KPIs) have been developed for each strategy.

Next steps

TDL staff met for their annual Reboot in October 2020. At two meetings, TDL reviewed the strategic plan and developed key performance indicators for both tech and marketing/communications teams. At TDL’s Governing Board meeting, scheduled for November 10, 2020, the strategic plan will be ratified and set in motion. TDL will publish and present the 2020-23 strategic plan to the full membership in January 2021.

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FINANCIAL REPORTS

Financial Report 2019-20

TDL saw higher income in 2019-20 than we had budgeted because of prepaid memberships for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Many of our expenses were lower this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the pandemic, TD drastically changed our plans for travel and cut travel and event expenses for second half of the year, including cancelling our annual conference, TCDL. Amazon Web Services expenses have significantly declined because of improvements to the way our team manages AWS.

Texas Digital Library Financial Report for 2019-2020

Budget Outlook 2020-21

Our budget projections for 2020-21 include income from memberships and other fees. Our projected expenses include personnel, marketing, operations, travel, and professional development. TDL is using one-time funds for a Data Carpentries pilot membership and contract software development for the Texas Data Repository.

Budget outlook for Texas Digital Library, 2020-2021

Financial History 2016 – 2021 (projected)

As you may be aware, TDL has been undergoing a transition with our membership fee structure. In the chart below, you can see that TDL had relatively stable income from membership dues over the past few years, with a slight dip in fiscal year 2018 (FY18). That dip was due to changes we began implementing that year, which brought down dues for our ARL members and restructured fees across the membership. You can read further detail about our historical finances in our 2019 Member Board Report.

Texas Digital Library Financial History, 2016-2021

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SERVICE HIGHLIGHT | OER SUPPORT

TDL delivered an update on the newly-launched OER Support Service, including hosted events and trainings since the service began in 2019.

TDL launched our OER Support Service in Fall 2019

The OER Support Service includes:

  • the OER Ambassadors program (more information in the following section)
  • a membership with the Open Education Network (formerly named the Open Textbook Network) 
  • a discount program with Pressbooks
  • and Open Texas, an annual conference in partnership with the Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas.

Open Education Network Activities

TDL’s partnership with the Open Education Network (OEN) allows us to expand training offerings to our members. Through our membership with OEN, every TDL member has access to benefits.

Below is a list of hosted and planned events with OEN:

  • September 2019 | Launched OEN Membership and announced benefits to members
  • March 2020 | OEN Regional Workshop hosted by UT San Antonio: 27 attendees, seven member institutions and very positive feedback; three future OER Ambassadors were in attendance
  • April 2020 | Pub101 offered free online training to help libraries develop publishing programs
  • June 2020 | OEN Summer Institute and Summit (online) 
  • Spring 2021 | OEN Workshop (virtual, date TBD)
  • Summer 2021 | OEN Summer Institute in Minneapolis (TBD)

Pressbooks Discount

Pressbooks is an online book/document formatting system that librarians and faculty use to create books that are accessible on all platforms. TDL regular members are eligible for 30% off PressbooksEDU plans.

OER Ambassadors

TDL’s OER Ambassadors have committed to serve for a minimum of two years by developing a Community of Practice around OER and becoming a source of expertise for all consortium members. Representatives from Texas A&M, A&M Corpus Christi, Texas Tech, Texas Woman’s University, UT Austin, UT San Antonio, and West Texas A&M make up the group.

The OER Ambassadors convened in July 2020 and are currently working on an assessment toolkit and a course markings implementation guide to be shared with all TDL members as well as the regional OER community. 

In addition to sharing and developing resources with TDL and the Texas OER community, the Ambassadors are brainstorming ways to creatively promote OER on their campuses through faculty outreach and workshops, and provide moral and professional support to fellow OER practitioners.

Open Texas

TDL is excited to partner with our colleagues at the Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas, or Digitex, to launch an annual conference around OER. Open Texas will bring together librarians, faculty, administrators, and other open education practitioners and advocates in Texas to explore tools and resources to reduce costs of textbooks and learning resources for students.Following on the success of both the 2018 Statewide OER Summit and the 2019 Statewide Open Education Texas Convening, TDL and DigiTex staff serve as the steering committee for the annual Open Texas conference. Beginning in 2020, the steering committee for Open Texas will select a different host committee and site for the conference each year. 

This year’s conference theme, Adoption, Engagement, and Impact, highlights programs focusing on institutional and individual processes to adopt OER, engaging faculty and students to create openly licensed content, and measuring impact of open education initiatives. Open Texas 2021 is hosted by the University of Houston – Downtown, Houston Community College, and the Houston Area OER Consortium.

The Open Texas Call for Proposals is open until November 6, 2020 and registration opens soon. Visit the Open Texas 2021 page to learn more.

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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT | DATA CARPENTRIES

Members of TDL’s Texas Data Repository Steering Committee presented the goals and plan for implementation of a Data Carpentries pilot project.

About Data Carpentries

The Carpentries is a community driven collective of instructors who teach foundational computational and data science skills to researchers. By learning best practices for data science in Carpentries workshops, researchers are better equipped to share data that is findable, accessible, interoperable, and reproducible (FAIR).

Goals of the Pilot project:

  • Examine the feasibility of a shared Carpentries membership
  • Explore the benefits of developing the computational research skills of the TDL community

The pilot cohort will consist of six trainees who will participate in the train-the-trainer workshops hosted by the Carpentries. Trainees will include:

  • (2) TDR Steering Committee members who will use the training to build capacity within the Steering Committee 
  • (4) Applicants from TDL member institutions who subscribe to the Texas Data Repository, with a focus on underrepresented identities
  • Additional seats may be purchased; individuals from TDL member institutions who subscribe to the Texas Data Repository can join for $1,000.

Timeline for one-year pilot

Planning for the one-year Carpentries pilot began in summer 2020.

Timeline for TDL’s Data Carpentries pilot

Fall 2020:

  • Cohort formation
  • Instructor training
  • Organize workshops

Spring 2021: workshops offered (TBD)

Summer 2021:

  • Workshops offered
  • Final report

Additional details about the Data Carpentries pilot will be announced Fall 2020.

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DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND ACCESSIBILITY

TDL’s Member Board used this question to prompt our IDEA discussion.

Many, if not, of TDL’s member institutions are making local efforts towards Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility. We asked our Member Board how they see TDL’s role in supporting these efforts.

TDL has undertaken a few activities towards IDEA, including: developing and maintaining curated list of anti-racism resources; a purchasing project that will help us better align our expenditures with our values; updating outdated language in our technical processes, such as replacing the term “master” with “main;” exploring student support projects, updating our CoC and diversity and inclusion statement for TCDL, exploring partnerships and membership growth with HBCUs; and supporting DSpace accessibility projects.

We want to ask our members and our partners for help to improve and expand up our IDEA efforts. You can start by letting us know your responses to these questions:

  • How would you like to see the TDL membership collectively promote DEIA efforts in Texas libraries and archives?
  • What initiatives at your institution could you see applying across the whole consortium?

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Looking back on our accomplishments over the past year and our aspirations for the year ahead, we are reminded of the contributions of our staff, our members, and our partners who help make endeavors described in this report possible and meaningful. TDL is grateful for the support of our community; we stand on your shoulders as we embark on a new decade of service. If you have any questions about Texas Digital Library or suggestions for improvement, please contact us at info@tdl.org.


ABOUT TDL

Texas Digital Library is a consortium of library and archives professionals that propels the Academy forward by maintaining our past and preparing for the future. Membership in TDL is open to any academic library. Find out more by visiting https://www.tdl.org/members/membership/ or email us at info@tdl.org.

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