Austin Libraries for the Future Task Force Records
The genesis of the Austin Libraries for the Future Task Force (ALFF) was an unsuccessful effort to include bond funding for a new Central Library on a citywide bond election in 1998. To the surprise of many people, there was opposition to the city manager's bond-funding proposal from advocates for some of the city's branch libraries. The mayor and leaders of the city's library-oriented support groups (i.e., The Friends of the Austin Public Library, the Austin Public Library Foundation, the Friends of the Austin History Center, and the Library Commission) decided to create a task force that would evaluate the existing city library system and make recommendations for the future.
The Task Force was created in early 2000, and most of its work as a task force took place between January and September of that year. Funding came primarily from "Libraries for the Future," a national-support organization for public libraries. All four of the library-oriented support groups were represented on the task force, and other interested citizens and library staff also participated. The task force conducted public hearings, phone surveys, on-site user surveys at libraries, and interviews with key community leaders, and it hired a facilitator and utilized support services from the Austin Public Library staff.
In September 2000, the Task Force delivered to the mayor and the city council its report, which included an assessment of existing facilities and funding, a vision statement and set of goals for the future, "benchmarks" for evaluation of success, and recommended next steps. The city council accepted the report and, on December 14, 2000, voted to adopt the report as a blueprint for the city's library policies. The report was also approved and joined by all of the library groups and most of the community advocates for the public-library system. The Friends of the Austin History Center took a particularly active role in framing the report and recommendations.
During 2001, there was additional work performed on a comprehensive "facilities study" that had been recommended by the task force, which lead to a conclusion and recommendation that a major, centrally located downtown library should be a primary goal of the city. Although advocates had urged an earlier vote, bond funds for a new central library were placed on the ballot in 2006 and approved by the voters. The new library, which will be on the former site of the Green Water Treatment Plant, will be one of the results of the task force's work.
The collection is comprised of materials that were collected by and that relate to the work of the Austin Libraries for the Future Task Force.
The Austin Public Libraries series (1996-2002) includes a system overview and a strategic plan for the Austin Public Libraries, as well as brochures and public-relations materials distributed by the Austin Public Libraries and information regarding other public libraries around the country.
The Budgets series (1998-2002) includes budgets and recommended funding for the Austin Public Libraries.
The Committees series (2000-2001) includes materials on and collected by several committees and subcommittees of the ALFF Task Force.
The Correspondence series (2000-2002) includes two volumes of bound correspondence, as well as assorted correspondence, between members of the task force. Most of the correspondence is emails, along with a few faxes.
The Meetings series (2000-2001) includes meeting minutes and agendas of various committees and subcommittees of the task force, as well as materials collected in preparation for those meetings.
The Plans, Reports, and Studies series (2000-2002) includes drafts and final versions of various plans, reports, and studies generated by the task force and its committees and subcommittees, such as task-force reports, a director's report, implementation plans and projects, staff survey results, and status reports.
The Questions, Comments, and Input series (2000) includes comments from task-force members on drafts of the task force's final report, as well as interviews with local leaders regarding their thoughts on libraries and library usage.
The Seaholm series (1998-2001) concerns the Seaholm district of Austin, which is the site for the proposed new central library. Included is correspondence regarding redevelopment in the district and a "master plan" map, created by the ROMA design group, for the district.
The Assorted series (1997-2001) includes various materials, such as handwritten notes, business cards, a "community scorecard" report from 1997, and blank envelopes and sheets of paper with ALFF letterhead, collected by the donor in the course of his service on the ALFF task force.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
The collection was donated by a member of the ALFF Task Force.
Austin Libraries for the Future Task Force Records (AR.2013.030). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2009/060
Donation Date: 2013
Processing and finding aid created by Roger Simon, December 2013. Encoded by Roger Simon.
Detailed Description of the Collection