State Programs > State Profiles

State Librarian

Mr. Wayne Onkst
State Librarian and Commissioner
Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
300 Coffee Tree Road
P.O. Box 537
Frankfort, KY 40602-0537
Phone: 502/564-8300 x 312
Fax: 502/564-5773

State library website:

photo of Kentucky State Librarian“Our ‘Virtual Library,’ which made databases and a delivery service available statewide, will be supported.  We’ll continue providing book discussion kits for kids and programming kits for age-specific groups—two initiatives with excellent results. Early literacy and training for staff and trustees will also be priorities.”

--Wayne Onkst, State Librarian and Commissioner, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives


The Grants to States Program

The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan (see below). For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.


Recent Allotments

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
$2,409,463 $2,350,899 $2,259,990 $2,332,425 $2,314,771

View allotments for all states


Project Examples

Support for Library Consortia
This statewide project supports an effort to equalize library services and access to information across the state. It accomplishes this by promoting cooperative arrangements for resource sharing among all types of libraries, library consortia, and information centers, including state agencies. Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) staff coordinated and managed statewide interlibrary loan activities, and managed the Kentucky Union List of Serials, which provides access to information about materials owned by participating libraries. KDLA partnered with the Kentucky Virtual Library at the Council for Postsecondary Education to provide access to licensed databases in all types of libraries across the state. They continued to plan, coordinate and fund public library staff training based on needs expressed in the 2012 Librarian Training Needs Survey as well as changes in programs. Among training attendees who completed an online evaluation, 83 percent indicated an increase in professional knowledge and 99 percent indicated that they were satisfied with the level of training provided.
IMLS Funds: $548,765

Kentucky Talking Book Library
The Kentucky Talking Book Library (KTBL) serves as the state’s regional library in a national network and provides free library services to Kentuckians who are unable to read standard print because of visual or physical disabilities. While KTBL serves a relatively small number of individuals (3,846), its impact on patrons’ quality of life is significant; for many, this is their link to the world. During the project period, the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives provided services to patrons in 126 counties by circulating books, magazines, newspapers, movies, musical instruction and musical scores in Braille, cassette, and digital cartridge, including the necessary playback equipment. The project also brought movies with additional narration to those who cannot see the onscreen action. Program staff reached 500 people through nine outreach activities targeting seniors and those with disabilities. They completed 37 recordings of new Kentucky books and converted 88 existing analog recordings to digital books.
IMLS Funds: $410,761

Other project(s) featured through IMLS media include:

Search the Awarded Grants Database for additional details about awards in this state.


Five-Year Plan

Each state creates a 5-year plan for its programs to strengthen the efficiency, reach, and effectiveness of library services. Click here to read Kentucky's 5-year plan for 2013-2017 (PDF, 355KB). View all states' plans.


Five-Year Plan Highlights

Lifelong Learning

General Services and Initiatives

  • Provide advisory support via the web to support libraries’ efforts to meet patrons’ needs for information through the use of traditional and newer “finder” sources.


  • Provide advisory services, information resources and continuing education programs on early literacy and programming for children and youth, including the statewide summer reading program.
  • Support direct financial assistance to libraries for participation in the Read and Feed program to engage underserved children in summer reading.
  • Support direct financial assistance to libraries for participation in the Primetime for Family Literacy program.

Information Access

Access to E-Resources

  • Support statewide partnerships to build online information resources that meet the information and educational needs of citizens of Kentucky.

Interlibrary Loans

  • Provide accurate and complete information about all holdings in libraries of all types in Kentucky to enable efficient resource sharing.
  • Support the delivery service that powers statewide resource sharing among Kentucky’s libraries.


  • Maintain the Kentucky Guide survey of archival and special collections held by Kentucky’s special libraries and cultural heritage organizations.
  • Expand access to our archival and manuscript materials through our catalog and digitization.

Institutional Capacity

Continuing Education

  • Build out a continuing education program that includes professional development opportunities for Kentucky’s public library staff that meet the Kentucky Public Library Standards.
  • Provide advisory support and develop continuing education programs on digital literacy for library staff that they can use to teach their patrons.
  • Provide continuing education subgrants to support staff members who are pursuing Master’s degrees in Library science from an American Library Association-accredited program.

Marketing and Market Research

  • Support and expand participation in the statewide adult summer reading program, including outreach efforts.


  • Develop interagency partnerships that expand the reach of the state library’s programs and services and help connect public libraries to local partners.


  • Provide direct financial assistance to libraries by offering technology-related subgrants to build library capacity for public computer access.
  • Explore and adopt new tools and technologies that power statewide discovery and delivery.
  • Provide advisory support to libraries that choose to apply for E-Rate funding.
  • Provide advisory support to libraries to ensure effective technology planning and readiness.
  • Support the central IT and telecommunications infrastructure at a standard that ensures reliable access to the state library for the provision of technical assistance and information delivery to public libraries statewide, patrons and partners of the state library, and Kentucky’s citizens.
  • Provide advisory services, information resources and continuing education programs to support the development of library programs that meet the needs of adults and seniors, with a focus on 21st century skills.
  • Provide advisory support and help libraries develop education programs and services that are digitally inclusive.

Civic Engagement

Access to Government Information

  • Provide access to Kentucky state publications.

Civic Collaboration

  • Provide access to information resources and tools for state agency employees.

Human Services

Special Services for Special Needs

  • Provide collections, training and support for the Talking Books program:
    • Provide narration for Kentucky-related titles for inclusion in the Talking Books collection.
    • Migrate Talking Books from legacy formats to modern media and digital formats.


Five-Year Evaluation

At the end of a 5-year period, each state reports their results in achieving goals and objectives projected in their 5-Year Plan. Click here to read Kentucky's 5-year evaluation for 2008-2012 (PDF, 899KB). View all states' evaluations.


IMLS Data Collection

State Library Survey
The State Library Agency Survey (SLAA) provides descriptive data about state library agencies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Public Library Survey
The Public Library Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Data are collected from over 9,000 public library systems with over 17,000 public library outlets. Click here for Kentucky's profile from the most recent PLS publication (PDF, 337KB).