State Library announces new five year plan

Halen Doughty
Louisiana State Library, Baton Rouge, La.

The State Library of Louisiana released its five year strategic plan for statewide services funded through grants from the Library Services and Technology Act. The annual grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services is distributed across all fifty states and allocated on a population basis. It provides about $2.4 million for public libraries in Louisiana.

“Our State Library is vital to the assistance of public education in Louisiana,” said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. “Without the State Library, under the leadership of State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton, we would not be able to provide the assistance local libraries need to help children grow in their education.”

Basic literacy continues to be a critical need, as only 63 percent of the state's fourth graders read above the basic level and even fewer read at a proficient level. The state library plans to reach out to local communities and assist them with a variety of programs that address this need, including Homework Louisiana, statewide electronic resources, interlibrary loan, Louisiana Young Readers' Choice program, summer reading programs, and more. The State Library hopes to develop a statewide early literacy program by 2020.

Bridging the digital divide and keeping pace with technological advances are other key interests. The State Library will continue to provide tech support to public libraries and assist them in the most effective use of their technologies. When funding permits, the State Library hopes to increase technology training for library staff and the public.

Staff training was identified as a top need in the strategic plan. Nearly half of public library directors have held their positions less than five years, and many have no trained librarians on staff at all. The State Library indents to provide increased guidance for directors while continuing to train staff through webinars, Staff Day conferences, and Tech Fest.

For more information on the plan, visit

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