Yearly Review June 2002-2003
The following information is provided as a review of the activities of the EPAL consortium from June 2002 to May 2003. The Director, where mentioned, is Sherry Lambert. The Board, where mentioned, includes representatives from each participating consortium member i.e. University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso Community College, Ysleta ISD, El Paso Public Library, El Paso County Library, El Paso ISD, and Canutillo ISD. Representatives from other organizations have attended the meetings throughout the year to learn of EPALís goals and projects, to provide EPAL with needed information, or for possible membership and partnerships. The Director is continually meeting with persons from the community throughout the year, but all names and agencies may not be mentioned here.
YISD was awarded a $500,000 grant from TIF to host community networking training sites. The grant was awarded initially in April 2002, but TIF requested that YISD send additional information to them prior to final approval. The Director gathered the needed information and revised the overall budget to address these issues. The documents were forwarded to TIF and YISD awaited their response.
EPAL investigated the CN3 grant opportunity from TIF, but the Director recommended that EPAL abstain from submitting a CN3 grant until the requested information was forwarded to TIF and final approval of the CN2 grant was granted.
The Director invited Loretto High School, Principal Abe Ramirez, to become a member of the EPAL organization. He stated he would send a representative to the meetings to gain the needed information. The Director emailed Mr. Ramirez a copy of the MOU for his review.
The Texas State Library grant implementation was discussed and the Director worked with Jack Galindo, marketing for EPPL, to market the grant. Website information was gathered from the EPAL Board on possible links for inclusion on the website.
The Director recruited other members during the next several months such as Tornillo ISD, San Elizario ISD, Socorro ISD, Clint ISD, Anthony ISD, and Region 19 Educational Service Center.
June to August 2002
The final approval of the CN2 grant was forwarded to YISD and the Director began to implement the grant by initiating purchase orders for equipment, software, contracts for personnel, and other identified items in the grant. This required much interaction with vendors in the community as well as via the telephone and Internet. Site surveys were required to assess infrastructure needs as well as other needs. Bid specifications, purchase orders, and quotes for numerous items from multiple vendors were required to meet Texas State Purchasing Laws as per YISD policies. This continued for several months into the fall and spring of 2003.
The Director continually worked with each EPAL member in their efforts to get the funds forwarded to YISD for the EPAL budget. This may have been through visits with the heads of the organization such as the president, superintendent, librarians of an organization, or some other entity or through an invoice.
As per the CN2 grant requirements, the CN2 Steering Committee organized a Community Memberís Meeting for September 26, 2002 at the UTEP Library. Names and addresses were compiled by the Director and UTEP forwarded the letters inviting community members to attend to provide their input about the grant.
The CN2 Steering Committee hosted a successful Community Memberís at the UTEP Library. The information gathered was summarized into a final report for CN2 grant implementation.
EPAL hired Holley Bakich to design an EPAL logo for letterhead and website use. The Board voted on a design and adopted it.
The Bylaws were reviewed and revisions were made over the next several months as per the members and their attorneyís or their organizationís recommendations.
EPAL voted to apply for the Health and Human Services Grant for Technology for the Disabled due October 4, 2002. The Director worked with the Commission for the Blind Director, David Zarazua, Volar for Independent Living Director, Luis Chew, and the Lighthouse for the Blind Director, Harry Tyler, and Region 19 Educational Service Center Director, Jimmy Vasquez for their participation in the grant. Pat Phillips and Mary Duffy collated the information and wrote the grant with input from representatives of the EPAL memberís organizations and the other organizations mentioned above.
The Director and other members of the EPAL organization met with EPCC President, Dr. Richard Rhodes on October 14, 2002 to help facilitate the signing of the MOU.
Meetings with the contractors for the CN2 grant were held to facilitate the implementation and the curriculum development as well as hiring of the mentors.
EPAL assisted in the funding for the El Paso County Library for their automated system. An open house to highlight their new system was held on October 23, 2002 with EPAL members in attendance.
The EPAL Bylaws were reviewed and more recommendations for changes were discussed.
Ann Geyer from Anthony ISD attended the meeting to share with EPAL her organizationís needs. Anthony ISD is interested in joining EPAL and has been keeping in touch with the Director for several months concerning this issue.
Members of EPAL asked about receiving an invoice from YISD so that they could forward the funds for EPAL. The Director wrote a letter for Sharon Foster to forward from her office since YISD is the fiscal agent for EPAL.
The Director has been working with the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, Kathleen Muro, to get the equipment housed pending some electrical upgrades and new Internet access to the designated sites.
Sharon Foster and the Director worked with YISD on an Interlocal Agreement with the El Paso City attorney, Cindy Crosby and Ray Cox, Interim Parks and Recreation Director, prior to installing any equipment at the recreation sites. Revisions were recommended but could not take place in time for the CN2 grant.
Due to the short timeline for the CN2 grant, the partnership with the Recreation centers was postponed to a later project and three sites each were added to the HACEP and EPPL. With the change in sites, much work was needed by the Director and Trainers to facilitate the change and get the sessions scheduled.
HHSC is still negotiating for funding for this grant.
Senator Eliot Shapleigh asked Richard Brown of TIF if the CN2 grant could provide some training for the new veteranís website. E-Vet training became part of the CN2 training schedule. Tony Cassagnol from the Veterans Affairs office in El Paso worked with the Director and Ruben Casteneda to schedule the sessions for January.
EPAL voted to submit a new grant to the Texas State Library to continue with the training started in the CN2 grant. David Glovier from EPPL offered to write and submit the grant.
A summary of the Committee Memberís meeting session was given to the EPAL Board and the CN2 Board and the activities that were recommended were initiated by the Director.
EPAL agreed to financially assist EPPL with chairs and tables to support the CN2 training at their sites.
Information on the Texas Library Association Legislative Day was given to the EPAL members along with dates of the legislative day activities and requests for attendees.
The final versions of the Bylaws were adopted by the Board and will be included on the EPAL website.
The Director requested assistance of $5,000 a year at $9 an hour for part time secretarial assistance. EPAL voted to do so.
Patricia Phillips and the Director presented at the INET conference to inform the community about EPAL and the CN2 grant.
The Director continually met, emailed, or spoke over the telephone throughout the CN2 grant cycle to contractors, vendors, and EPAL members during the implementation of the grant.
The Director worked with Rudy Montiel, Executive Director of HACEP to identify anew contact person for HACEP so that the sites could be readied for the CN training. Ned Beman and numerous contractors met for several months to facilitate the necessary preparations.
EPAL voted to apply for the Institute of Museum and Library Services Grant in the Collaborative Leadership Category. The Director was to find the museum partners needed and write the grant for submission on April 4, 2003. The focus of the EPAL portion of the grant was to provide sustainability for the Community Network training.
UTEP investigated whether EPAL could apply for the NSF grant, but was informed that NMSU has already received a 5 year grant from the same source. EPAL is ineligible until the end of that grant cycle.
EPAL participated in the TLA Legislative Day Walk on February 12, 2003 where librarians from all over the state visited with their politicians and provided information on library issues facing the legislators. The Director served as the regional contact and made the appointments with the legislators and or their staff for the day. The delegates that attended were Patricia Phillips, UTEP, Carol Brey, EPPL, Barbara Valle, EPPL, Manuela Gandara, and El Paso County Library.
The Director attended the El Paso County Historical Commission meeting on Monday, March 3, 2003 to recruit museums for partnerships in the IMLS grant. Another meeting was scheduled for March 12, 2003 at the Burgess House, where the El Paso County Historical Society is housed, with the partners that wished to participate in the grant. The partners for the grant are the El Paso County Historical Society and the Railroad and Transportation Museum of El Paso. The Director attended several more meetings throughout the month and into early April to assist the museum partners in drafting the information for the grant.
The HACEP sites were being readied for training by receiving cabling needed for access to the Internet, installation of the computers, and general site configurations.
The Director researched to possibility of EPAL becoming a 501(c) 3. A draft the application will be forwarded to the membership for input.
Mary Duffy attended a workshop in Austin on the TOP Grant. She reported that new and innovative programs were being requested and did not recommend that EPAL apply for this grant at this time. The timeline was too short for successful planning and writing of this grant.
The Director proposed to the Board that EPAL fund the community network training from May to August since the sessions started later than anticipated. The Board voted to continue to fund the sessions for the summer.
Luis Chapparo of EPCC recommended that EPAL look at funding part of the Tex Share costs if the legislature does not come forward with funding.
EPAL hosted another Community Members meeting as per the requirements for CN2 and for future planning and sustainability issues.
EPAL investigated applying for the Improving Literacy through School Libraries grant but was told that it is just for school districts, not consortiums.
EPAL submitted the IMLS grant and will know in September if it was successful.
The Director and several other EPAL members presented at the Frontera meeting at UTEP on Friday, April 4, 2003 to share information about technology along the border.
The HHSC grant is still under consideration as per Bill Mauer, grant director.
EPAL will invite community members to a strategic planning session on September 26, 2003 from 9-12 p.m. at YISD Administrative Offices. The plan will provide a vision and framework for funding sources and EPAL activities for the future.
Patricia Phillips, President of EPAL, attended the TLA conference and talked to Peggy Rudd from the Texas State Library who said that 70% of the TexShare databases will be funded for next year.
The Director met with the Ann Savino of the Workforce Development and Literacy Component of the CN2 grant several times in the month. The grant is coming to a close at the end of April so a meeting with Sharon Foster and the Director as well as other contractors was held during the month.
Patricia Phillips and the Director presented at San Elizario ISD to their librarians about the purpose of EPAL and what their membership would afford them.
The Director, Carol Brey, EPPL Director, and CN2 trainers met with the EPPL Branch Managers and staff to discuss the CN2 training sessions and how they could be improved. The purpose is to improve on the next round of offerings for the summer. The input was most helpful and will be used in meeting with the EPAL mentors this month and to reconfigure the curriculum for future training efforts.
EPAL has hired Victor Paz to serve as the webmaster for the EPAL website as well as the CN2 webmaster.
June Ė August
EPAL successfully hosted community computer training sessions at 6 of the Housing Authority of El Paso sites and the El Paso Public Library. Community members were trained in computer basics which included Internet access, setting up email accounts, and general Internet searches. Celebrations were hosted at the end of each session with each participant getting a certificate of completion.