During the Sealy City Council meeting on October 17, 2023, the council unanimously approved a library service agreement with the Virgil and Josephine Gordon Memorial Library (GML). This agreement is fundamental to the library’s funding and accreditation, ensuring its continued service to the community.
The agreement’s focus was securing $30,000 in annual funding from local governments, based on the library’s potential population reach, to maintain its accreditation with the Texas Library Association (TLA).
Accreditation grants access to vital resources like shared databases and the inter-library loan program. It also makes the library eligible for competitive grants and state-provided technology, such as a forthcoming 90% discount on internet services.
As of 2023, the library had received $15,000 from Austin County and $5,000 from the City of Sealy, totaling $20,000 in local government funding. This funding sustains the library’s services, but ongoing support is required.
To ensure a smooth financial commitment, a payment plan for the 2023-24 budget year was outlined during the council meeting. The plan includes four installments of $5,000 each. Two payments will be made in the current calendar year, one in October and one in December. The remaining two payments are scheduled for April and June of 2024, aligning with the city’s fiscal year.
It’s noteworthy that in-kind donations, like the city’s offer to cover the library’s water bill, do not count towards the accreditation funding requirement. The library is ready to resume covering the water bill if it secures the additional funding necessary for accreditation.
The Sealy City Council’s approval of the Library Service Agreement reaffirms its commitment to supporting GML’s mission and its role in serving the community’s educational and literary needs. You can watch the discussion at the 00:29:43 mark of the video below: