State Programs > State Profiles

State Librarian

Ms. Rebecca Hamilton
State Librarian
State Library of Louisiana
P.O. Box 131
701 N. Fourth Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0131
Phone: 255/342-4923
Fax: 255/219-4804

State library website:

photo of Louisiana State Librarian“We want every child to participate in a year-round reading program. We plan to include marketing/promotion for all our programs and services to be sure our citizens are up-to-date about what our libraries offer, like the ability to check out a laptop for use at home.”

--Rebecca Hamilton, State Librarian, State Library of Louisiana

Read the State Library of Louisiana Interview with IMLS.


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
$2,480,805 $2,424,055 $2,334,293 $2,415,973 $2,117,896

View allotments for all states


Project Examples

Children and Youth Programming
The state library takes a leadership role in promoting literacy for children and teens through the annual summer reading program and the Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice program. As a lead-up to the programs, five training workshops for children’s and youth librarians included creative ideas for storytimes, library programs, stories, songs, puppet shows, crafts, and art projects. The summer reading program is one of the state library’s largest and most successful initiatives, with participation by 79,271 children and 8,214 teens in 2013. Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice had approximately 26,595 children participate by reading the required number of books for their age group and voting for their favorite. This program is carried out in conjunction with the schools and provides the opportunity to read and enjoy high-quality books and to experience using real voting machines.
IMLS Funds: $52,584

Storytelling Tent with Scott Billington and Johnette DowningLouisiana Center for the Book
The Louisiana Book Festival is the signature event of the Louisiana Center for the Book initiative and an example of the statewide reach of federal grant funds. The festival’s primary purpose is to promote literacy by stimulating Louisianans’ interest in reading, books, and libraries. It also promotes the accomplishments of Louisiana authors and offers opportunities for the public to interact directly with them. The 2012 Louisiana Book Festival attracted more than 21,743 participants to more than 100 programs and activities presented by 175 authors, panelists and others involved in youth activities. The festival serves as the venue for awarding the annual Louisiana Writer Award and includes literacy outreach to elementary and middle schools, focusing particularly on the underserved. In recent years, the Louisiana Book Festival was declared the second best festival in the world for authors to attend and receives accolades for its quality of programming and professionalism.
IMLS Funds: $245,073

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 Louisiana's 5-year plan for 2013-2017 (PDF, 194KB). View all states' plans.


Five-Year Plan Highlights

Lifelong Learning

General Services and Initiatives

  • Increase the quality and variety of educational opportunities for Louisianans and engender a lifelong love of learning.
  • Make personal learning and education more readily available and convenient for all Louisianans.
  • Encourage the maintenance of a robust collection of traditional reading materials.


  • Continue membership in the national Collaborative Summer Library Program and the Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice programs.
  • Continue to support an annual Louisiana Book Festival to promote literacy, books, and reading.

Information Access

Access to E-Resources

  • Create a one-stop information shop, easily accessible from anywhere, at any time, which includes a sophisticated and relevant portal to quality information for all segments of Louisiana’s population and a core collection of digital materials.
  • Continue to provide e-resources for homework help for students.

Interlibrary Loans

  • Continue interlibrary loan and van delivery services for Louisiana libraries.

Economic and Employment Development

Job Seekers

  • Provide programs for job seekers to improve literacy and basic information gathering skills.
  • Continue to provide e-resources for job seekers and career changers.

Institutional Capacity

Continuing Education

  • Increase the capacity of Louisiana public libraries to meet the needs and model 21st century skills for their communities.
  • Provide templates and information on best practices on topics of current interest for library administrators.
  • Continue staff development initiatives, such as webinars and classes, executive training for administrators, strategic planning for library directors.

Marketing and Market Research

  • Promote books, reading, and the benefits of education and literacy.
  • Institute aggressive statewide marketing and training campaigns to create awareness of e-resources that are available at public libraries.


  • Seek partnerships and collaboration with academic libraries and the public schools to share resources and to work on projects of mutual importance.
  • Encourage collaboration among public libraries.


  • Continue to provide a program of coordinated onsite tech support to public libraries throughout the state.
  • Implement a shared integrated library system (ILS) for those libraries that want to join.

Human Services

Special Services for Special Needs

  • For Louisianans with special needs, complete the transition from analog to digital Talking Books, and ensure that high-end assistive technology is available in every parish.


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 Louisiana's 5-year evaluation for 2008-2012 (PDF, 620KB). 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 Louisiana's profile from the most recent PLS publication (PDF, 337KB).