State Programs > State Profiles

State Librarian

Ms. Irene Padilla
Assistant State Superintendent for Libraries
Maryland State Department of Education
Division of Library Development and Services
200 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410/767-0435
Fax: 410/333-2507

State library website:

photo of Maryland State Librarian“Partnerships have proved valuable to our libraries’ ability to offer basic and enrichment services, and we’ll continue outreach efforts to find partner expertise that will help us fulfill our goals. With our libraries as community anchors, we’ll emphasize programs related to civic engagement.”

--Irene Padilla, Assistant State Superintendent for Libraries, Maryland State Department of Education

Read the Maryland Division of Library Development and Services 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
$2,964,835 $2,889,137 $2,787,551 $2,899,835 $2,893,697

View allotments for all states


Project Examples

Shaniya Harcum reading a Braille bookCommunity Outreach for Maryland Library Users with Print Disabilities
The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped not only provides alternative library materials to patrons who need them, but also provides programs to enrich their educational and cultural lives. During the project period, library staff planned and managed the One Maryland One Book program as well as a summer reading program for adults in collaboration with other organizations that service the blind and visually impaired. They presented 11 educational/cultural programs onsite to 227 attendees as well as 25 programs in offsite locations to 2,211 attendees. They conducted 25 outreach programs to retirement centers, low-vision groups, churches, public libraries, and disability fairs, with 2,333 individuals attending, and they offered five tours/library presentations at their facilities for 89 attendees.
IMLS Funds: $299,325

Ask Us Now logo: Info experts 24/7Maryland Ask Us Now!
Maryland Ask Us Now! provides live 24/7 service using the expertise of librarians for ready reference, research guidance, and help navigating the Internet. In doing so, this project enables Maryland residents and students of Maryland educational institutions to meet their information needs and further their educational goals. The strength of Maryland AskUsNow! lies in the strong collaboration between partners that was established when the project began over ten years ago. This basic structure – cooperative partners working with a project coordinator – can serve as a model for similar services. During the project period the AskUsNow! customer portal was redesigned to run on a new content management system.
IMLS Funds: $200,000

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 Maryland's 5-year plan for 2013-2017 (PDF, 380KB). View all states' plans.


Five-Year Plan Highlights

Lifelong Learning


  • Facilitate the creation of Family Library Councils, especially in communities that serve Title I, FARMS (Free and Reduced Meals Student), and low-income residents, in programs that increase literacy and learning for children from birth to five years of age.
  • Support the One Maryland One Book partnership to engage Maryland residents in lifelong learning and literacy-based engagement with one another.
  • Support the creation of Early Literacy Activity Centers for young children and their caregivers.

Information Access

Access to E-Resources

  • Offer more e-resources cost-effectively by making joint purchases through the Maryland Library Consortium.
  • Continue to facilitate and support an e-book/e-content advisory committee to assist in statewide and local planning.


  • Provide grants, pending available funding, for digitization preservation and collection projects.

Reference Services

  • An advisory stakeholder team will review the efficacy of the current AskUsNow! and InfoEyes statewide interactive information services provided by Maryland libraries in relation to changing information literacy trends, customer expectations, and varied economic environments, and use their findings to explore enhanced and alternative approaches.
  • Continue support for AskUsNow! and InfoEyes.

Institutional Capacity

Continuing Education

  • Using a competitive grant approach and pending available funding, support libraries that submit excellent proposals for designing a comprehensive strategic plan.
  • Pending available funding, provide grants to libraries for innovations related to user self-service to improve customer service and increase the efficiency of operations.
  • Establish a task group to assist with improvements in our information sharing and statewide professional development conferences.
  • Lead and facilitate continuing education in-person and online for staff development and improvement, and through which attendees can share problems and best practices.
  • Continue the Library Associate Training Institute for library pre-professionals.

Marketing and Market Research

  • Using a competitive grant approach and pending available funding, support libraries that submit excellent proposals for designing a comprehensive master plan for their facilities.
  • Using a competitive grant approach and pending available funding, support libraries that submit excellent proposals for the exploration of new technologies that will engage the public.


  • Increase collaborative efforts and partnerships with national, state, and local organizations for programs such as the Summer Reading Program.
  • Increase collaborative efforts and partnerships with national, state, and local organizations for programs such as Career Technology Awareness and Workforce Development.
  • Support a statewide staff training event to share best practices and brainstorm on how best to engage adults as library users in their communities.


  • Support libraries in their efforts to develop technology plans that support affordable access to telecommunications services, Internet access, and infrastructure connectedness.

Civic Engagement


  • Provide financial support for libraries that propose programs related to civic engagement.

Civic Collaboration

  • Promote statewide awareness through existing and new partnerships of Maryland libraries’ designation as an essential service in the event of declared disasters.

Human Services

Special Services for Special Needs

  • Seek customer input to improve materials and services for the blind and physically handicapped.
  • Support the Maryland Accessible Text program through which the visually impaired receive e-textbooks and other e-materials needed, in a timely manner, for their post-secondary school studies.
  • Provide assistive technology for blind and physically handicapped library users.
  • Facilitate a task force to study the feasibility of establishing a Maryland Deaf Culture Library.

Health and Social Services Information

  • Maintain our collaboration with the Maryland Oral Health Learning Alliance in its efforts to work toward better oral health for Maryland residents of all ages.


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 Maryland's 5-year evaluation for 2008-2012 (PDF, 2,518KB). 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 Maryland's profile from the most recent PLS publication (PDF, 336KB).