Texas State Library & Archives Commission

Technology Expertise, Access, and Learning (TEAL)

To improve broadband access, encourage lifelong learning, provide workforce development, and support vulnerable populations in underserved regions of the state, the Texas State Library & Archives Commission intends to deploy the Technology Expertise, Access, and Learning for all Texans (TEAL) project, adding and upgrading public computer centers at libraries, community colleges, public schools, recreation centers, and health facilities across the state. TEAL plans to target youth groups, senior citizens, and English as a Second Language (ESL) residents in an area where more than 31 percent of persons speak a language other than English at home. TEAL proposes to facilitate statewide training for libraries on making existing software and computer centers more accessible to people with disabilities, as well as the unemployed, by providing staff to assist with finding and applying for jobs, maintaining contact with employers, training to find better jobs and other basic aspects of employment.

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BTOP In Action
A group of visitors use the Smithville Public Library computers

As of July 2011, the Texas State Library & Archives Commission has upgraded public computer centers at 11 libraries throughout the state. Known as the Technology Expertise, Access and Learning for all Texans (TEAL) project, this initiative is providing computer access and training opportunities for the state’s most underserved populations across 38 partnering library systems. BTOP funds already have helped these learning institutions replace 153 existing computers and deploy an additional 163 workstations, connecting an average of 3,500 users per week to online resources.

TEAL also offers professional development webinars for library staff. These webinars provide librarians with tools and techniques to manage and promote computer resources, enabling libraries to better meet patrons’ technology needs. To date, TEAL has facilitated 10 webinars for approximately 744 library staff members, helping them improve their understanding of technology to boost sustainable broadband adoption. TEAL offers webinars on a variety of topics including a series on how to promote and teach computer technology with seniors and people with disabilities. TEAL also partnered with the Texas Workforce Commission to create a series of workforce skills webinars, teaching librarians how to help library patrons with their job searches and career development.

TEAL is using approximately $8 million in BTOP funds and $3.7 million in non-Federal matching funds to provide 2,200 new workstations in 155 new or upgraded public computer centers and directly create more than 100 full- and part-time jobs. As of July 2011, BTOP funds have allowed the Texas State Library & Archives Commission to hire four full-time employees to conduct training workshops and help manage the public computer resources. To see local media coverage, please visit The Smithville Times.

Last Updated: October 18, 2011

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