Conference Spotlight
Open Libraries, Open Opportunities

When libraries thrive, communities thrive. We in the library industry understand the undeniable power of our institutions to effect learning, economic vitality, innovation, and good citizenship. All this power comes from the work libraries of all types do providing educational opportunities to all. The TLA conference is the prime opportunity for our state's community of library stakeholders to come together to learn from each other, develop new skills, reaffirm our commitment to our work and colleagues, and prepare for the challenges and great adventures ahead.

TLA 2016 will feature an impressive array of keynote speakers.

LeVar Burton, Emmy-award winner and host and executive producer of the PBS series Reading Rainbow, will deliver the Opening General Session. (Burton replaces Evan Smith as speaker.) Known for this work in the landmark 1977 television production of Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation, Burton is also a committed reading and literacy enthusiast. In 2012 Burton launched RRKidz, a digital educational publishing company. Reading Rainbow was reimagined to combine today's forms of media and technology with the goal of inspiring a new generation of children to love reading. The all-new Reading Rainbow is a digital reading service filled with over 500 children's fiction and non-fiction books, newly produced video field trips, and new content added every week.

Al Roker, nationally-acclaimed figure who has earned 10 Emmy awards for his work on NBC's Today show. He is also a bestselling author with many acclaimed works. His first book, Don't Make Me Stop This Car: Adventures in Fatherhood, spent weeks at the top of the New York Times best-seller list. His most recent works are The Storm of The Century: Tragedy, Heroism, Survival, and the Epic True Story of America's Deadliest Natural Disaster: The Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900, a riveting exploration of one of the most tragic events in American history, and Been There, Done That: Family Wisdom For Modern Times, which he co-wrote with Deborah Roberts and Laura Morton.

The ever-entertaining and creator of Captain Underpants Dav Pilkey is a Caldecott Honor Award-winning author and illustrator of more than 50 books for children. He will deliver his message of "Reading Gives You Superpowers." Beloved by children and parents, Pilkey is known for his humor, inventiveness, and ability to subtly underscore kindness and friendship.

Gene Luen Yang, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature (2016-2017), will add TLA's Closing Luncheon as a stop on his Library of Congress Tour. Yang's critically-acclaimed graphic novels include American Born Chinese and Boxer & Saints, a National Book Award finalist and Printz Honoree.

TLACast Newsletter

Volume 35 No. 1 | March 2016
3355 Bee Cave Road, Suite 401 | Austin, Texas 78746-6763
Phone: 512.328.1518 or 800.580.2852 | Email:
To register or update your registration, click: I WANT TO GO!

Tickets are available through April 8. Remember, you can invite guests to attend any of these specific sessions without having to register for the full conference! Individual tickets may be purchased separately. If you have already registered, you can update your registration and add ticketed events.

The TLA exhibit hall hosts close to 500 companies, publishers, interactive media outlets, and professional library service organizations from around the world. TLA is the largest state-wide library conference in the country. Visit the Exhibits Buyers Guide (mobile friendly) to learn about the many exhibitors who are planning to see you in Houston!

Our wonderful sponsors!

We thank our generous sponsors who contribute to enrich our conference in many ways. More than 200 program contributions, awards, stipends, prizes, and donations will be provided at this conference by our generous sponsors. Please be sure to thank them when you visit with them at your library and at the conference. They are a vital part of our conference and we appreciate each and every one!

See our Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum & Diamond partners listed in the Texas Library Journal winter issue and the forthcoming spring issue. Many more contribute to our awards, stipend, and grants as listed on the TLA Awards webpage. Many others contribute to additional programs at TLA. Check out how sponsors support you!

High Tea at the Fabulous Julia Ideson Building

Calling all TLA members interested in library history, beautiful architecture, fun networking, and high tea! Please join members of TLA's Retired Librarians Round Table on April 19th from 2:00-3:50 PM for "Celebrating Library Pioneers: Tea with Julia Ideson." This pre-conference event will be held in the historic Julia Ideson building located next to the downtown central branch of the Houston Public Library. Attendees will enjoy a specially selected teas and refreshments served by The Path of Tea, hear a short talk by Ideson expert, Barbara Humphries, and have the opportunity to tour what is arguably the most beautiful library in the state. Tickets ($25.00) must be purchased by Friday, April 8, through preregistration.