State Programs > State Profiles

State Librarian

James Ritter
State Librarian
Maine State Library
64 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0064
Phone: 207/287-5604
Fax: 207/287-5624

State library website:

“Partnerships will grow and be strengthened, including the ‘Access to Justice’ and ‘Cornerstones of Science’ programs. Statewide projects will be funded, and we are committed to maintaining parity throughout the state in the goods and services our libraries offer.”

--James Ritter, State Librarian, Maine State Library

Read the Maine State Library 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
$1,208,487 $1,185,547 $1,160,282 $1,181,411 $1,172,672

View allotments for all states


Project Examples

Ellsworth Public Library staff completion certificates on displayMaine Regional Library System
The purpose of the Maine Regional Library System is to promote improved service for the constituents of member libraries, including public, school, academic, and special libraries. The Maine Regional Library System is administered by the Maine State Library; however, each of its three districts has its own executive board that sets goals and develops plans for regional and statewide professional development and other activities. Three Area Reference and Resource Centers (ARRCs), one for each of the three districts, are the regional district hubs for interlibrary loan, reference service, and district consultants. The consultants deal with geographic and funding challenges among the state’s libraries and have been innovative in finding ways to prepare for the future despite the reality of small and diminishing budgets. The ARRCs are committed to using videoconferencing technology and saving travel money and time with a move to virtual library visits.
IMLS Funds: $631,254

Partnership with Maine Department of Education and Maine Public Utilities Commission
This state library partnership manages the Maine School and Library Network (MSLN), the statewide telecommunications and Internet delivery system for public libraries and K-12 schools. It also provides E-Rate coordinator services to libraries and schools so they can benefit from Universal Service Fund. Networkmaine, a unit within the University of Maine System formed to enhance telecommunications services and increase opportunities for high-speed connections for libraries and schools in the state, encompasses the planning and budgeting for MSLN. It also provides libraries and schools with no-cost web hosting and email services. During the project period, the Maine State Library assisted Networkmaine staff during the E-Rate application process for the 230 participating Maine public libraries, including providing needed data for the Networkmaine consortial MSLN application. Access to broadband connections in public libraries in the state’s many rural communities is vital for Maine residents who either have no access at home or who are struggling financially and cannot afford it.
IMLS Funds: $61,821

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 Maine's 5-year plan for 2013-2017 (PDF, 437KB). View all states' plans.


Five-Year Plan Highlights

Lifelong Learning

General Services and Initiatives

  • Expand and enhance lifelong learning opportunities for Maine residents of all ages.

Information Access

General Services and Initiatives

  • Expand library resource sharing statewide for traditional print materials as well as e-resources and services statewide through partnerships between the Maine Regional Library Systems and Area Reference and Resource Centers—our core organizational centers.

Access to E-Resources

  • Expand library e-resource sharing statewide through partnerships between the University of Maine and the Maine State Library for Maine InfoNet, and through partnerships with Networkmaine, the Maine Department of Education, Maine Public Utilities Commission, and the Maine State Government Office of Information Technology.

Interlibrary Loans

  • Lead an ongoing evaluation of our interlibrary loan services and initiate improvements where needed.

Institutional Capacity

Continuing Education

  • Deliver professional development opportunities to all professional library staff in Maine, with an emphasis on 21st century skills, digital literacy, and core competencies for library staff members who do not have professional degrees.


  • Foster cooperation and networking among public, special, academic, and school libraries and librarians to increase collaboration and better serve Maine residents.

Human Services

Special Services for Special Needs

  • Provide individuals with disabilities with access to large-print books, books-on-tape, digital books through the National Library Service’s Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD), and descriptive videos augmented with special narration from Maine State Library Outreach Services.
  • In acknowledgement of the needs of Maine residents who are living in unserved or underserved areas or who are homebound for medical reasons, support Books-By-Mail via the U.S. Postal Service.


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 Maine's 5-year evaluation for 2008-2012 (PDF, 1,360KB). 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 Maine's profile from the most recent PLS publication (PDF, 336KB).