TexQuest is a collection of numerous online resources for Texas educators. The resources have been vetted and evaluated for quality. The site is sponsored with funding from the Texas State Legislature, and districts may pay a fee per student to gain access to the resources. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission manages the site selecting and facilitating access to resources and coordinating billing of participating school districts. Education Service Center Region 20 manages the technical support and training for the program.
In addition to access to a wide scope of databases and digital content, the service also includes supplemental materials. The site offers promotional materials like flyers and brochures. There are training materials for teachers, students and librarians. There are also parent flyers encouraging home access. Many resources are available in Spanish and English.
The access provided by TexQuest are numerous and reliable. They have been evaluated by qualified library professionals and provide access to the most recent, relevant information, which is invaluable in the digital age, when our knowledge is growing faster than printed texts can keep up.
Who sponsors or writes content?
- Content is chosen through an advisory committee which is made up of school library professionals and considers feedback from K – 12 librarians and teachers that give feedback through surveys and by participating in product trials.
What are the best features?
- Gale Science in Context
- Adam Matthew Digital
- ProQuest SIRS Discoverer
- EBSCO eBooks
- Britannica School and Britannica E-Books
- English Language Learner Resources
- Parent and Family Resources
What are some limitations?
- The site is challenging for elementary aged students to use because it is not user friendly, so our district has provided access to the same content through more accessible links on the district site.
- Given the needs of our current population, the site might consider making resources available in several languages, not just Spanish and English.
What would the resource replace in a traditional collection?
- TexQuest provides access to a wealth of nonfiction resources. It is an invaluable tool in libraries, in particular secondary libraries, because it provides access to far more current and relevant nonfiction resources than a library could possibly maintain in a physical collection of resources.
Value for the price?
- In 2018, the fee for participation will be $.25 per student. For the access it provides, this is a considerable value.
Do you recommend the resources or not?
- I absolutely recommend the resource in the context of purchases being made for an entire district. If individual libraries had to pay for the service out of their building budgets, it might be unwise for elementary libraries to participate. The money might be better spent on a few resources specifically designed for young students.