Professional Development

The Tocker Foundation is pleased to provide travel stipends for staff at rural libraries to attend the TLA’s annual conference. Attendees will enjoy opportunities to learn from experts in the field, find new vendors in the exhibit hall, network with their peers, hear from authors as well gain valuable CEU’s at designated sessions.

Library staff in towns of 12,000 or less qualify to apply for this grant. First-time attendees are given priority in this grant selection. Apply early to plan for a full experience at the conference.

The 2021 TLA Annual Conference is scheduled to be in San Antonio, April 20-23. Organizers expect the conference to be a hybrid of virtual and in-person. Applications are reviewed as they are submitted. Last day to apply is January 20, 2021.

Learn More aboutTravel Stipend Guidelines & Instructions
Learn More aboutTexas Library Association
Texas Library Association Conference
The Foundation accepts applications for professional development year-round.

Small Library Management Training Program

The Small Library Management Training is an on-going educational program of the Texas State Library to provide management and foundational library skills to those without Master’s degrees in Library Science who work in small community libraries in Texas. SLM programs focus on administration, management, policy development, collection development, reference services and technology planning.

The Tocker Foundation is proud to continue its support of rural libraries by providing travel stipends to eligible libraries serving populations of 12,000 or less and at least 80 miles away from the nearest workshop location.

  • Funds are to be used for expenses incurred while attending the workshop.
  • One application covers all available workshops.
  • Please enter the name of the selected workshop when prompted in the Project Name section of the application.
Apply Now
Professional Development Alpine You can do I.T. Professional Development Alpine
Professional Development class: You Can Do I.T.! at Apline Public Library
Do a thorough assessment with your patrons and other stakeholders to focus your request on the areas of greatest need. Example, what would your teens like to see; what do your crafters need; ask moms and teachers for their thoughts regarding the children’s area, etc.
Betty Roether
Pottsboro Area Public Library | Pottsboro, TX

Upcoming Events

Telling Your Library’s Story: Value, Benefit, Worth and Impact

One of the most important roles of the library manager today is the articulation of the value, benefit, worth and impact of their library to

  • users and non-users (general public and community-at-large),
  • their umbrella institutions,
  • advisory and governing board members,
  • stakeholders and partners including profit and not profit entities.

This 6.5 hour workshop will integrate classic and still-successful techniques with today and tomorrow’s new visualizations. Content will be presented through extensive examples of successful stories and will include

  • best practices of storytelling with both anecdotal and data content;
  • provide extensive information on how managers can illustrate with the simple data they already have; and,
  • how managers can add layers of data to provide an even bigger, more significant picture.

Participants should leave this workshop confident in telling the story of their library using classic, enhanced, and best practices of current data and storytelling techniques. Focus will be placed on engaging your community with visually-striking presentations and strategically-delivered information and in verbally communicating the library’s value clearly and concisely with ease.


Julie Todaro has been a library manager for over thirty years and has experience in all types of libraries and library settings. She has been a long-time faculty member of the Small Library Management series, is a Dean in a community college library, consults, presents workshops, and is an author and frequent presenter at association conferences and in organizational settings. Julie is the immediate past president of the American Library Association, the world’s oldest and largest association for librarians and her presidential initiative focused on the expertise and value of librarians and library workers as well as the value of libraries and their services, resources and programming. Todaro is also the author of Library Management for the Digital Age: A New Paradigm (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014) and Mentoring A to Z (Neal-Schuman, 2015).


AUDIENCE All are welcome, though these workshops are designed for staff without Master’s degrees in Library Science serving communities of less than 25,000 people.
You Can Do I.T. – Teaching Technology in Libraries

The Teaching Technology in Libraries workshop will provide you with best practices in teaching technology to adults and provide ample time to practice these new skills through individual reflection, hands-on activities, and small and large group discussion. The overwhelming feedback from our Texas Public Library Technology Survey was that you want training to help patrons with technology, whether it’s one-on-one or in groups so here’s your chance!

In addition to our traditional workshop set-up, the afternoon session will include a Tech Tour & Talk where attendees will learn from one another. Bring your most pressing technology questions whether it’s about offering or preparing technology programs for your patrons, getting recommendations on hardware or software, or sharing technology tips and inspiration! At each location, the workshop schedule will include time to tour the host library to learn about their technology services and providers.


Cindy Fisher is a Library Technology Consultant at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Cindy has over ten years of experience teaching technology to adults of all ages as both a Teaching Fellow and a Learning Technologies Librarian. She loves teaching technology and believes that empathy is the heart of teaching, along with equal doses of patience and curiosity. As the You Can Do I.T. program manager, she is invested in helping small and rural libraries in Texas expand their technology capacity.