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North Carolina

Contact Name: 
Ms. Caroline "Cal" Shepard
Contact Title: 
State Librarian
State Library Address: 
State Library of North Carolina
4640 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4640
+1 919 807 7410
+1 919 733 8748
Contact Email Address: 

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.


Caroline Shepard

“We are committed to providing a mixture of competitive grants given directly to libraries on the local level and statewide projects that meet wider needs of larger audiences. This allows us to leverage funding where it will have the greatest impact. Areas of focus include technology, programming, workforce development, and even pilot projects to test cutting edge concepts and ideas. We are always looking for collaborative partners such as the University of North Carolina which co-hosts our LSTA-funded Digital Heritage Center benefitting cultural heritage institutions all across the state.”

-- Cal Shepard, State Librarian, State Library of North Carolina

Project Examples

EZ Literacy & Lifelong Learning - Babies Into Books
The Henderson County Public Library partnered with two local hospitals to provide early literacy kits for every baby born there. The kits contained early literacy information, a bilingual board book, and a survey to return to the library in exchange for another free book. Almost all materials were offered in English and Spanish, and more than 400 kits were distributed. Library staff presented at the hospitals’ new parent classes about the kit and the importance of reading to their babies every day. The library also created a video presentation to be shown at parent classes and posted on the library's website. The benefits of this program were better informed parents, more baby storytime participants at the library, and increased awareness of how the library supports early literacy. It also demonstrated how librarians can reach an unserved audience by going where the patrons are.
IMLS Funds: $6,910

Project Access & Digitization – Better Living in North Carolina
The North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries and the F. D. Bluford Library at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&T) collaborated on a project to help North Carolinians access primary source materials. The two-year project, “Better Living in North Carolina: Bringing Science and Technology to the People,” focused on agricultural extension materials. The materials reveal the transformation of North Carolina’s agricultural economy during the 20th century and the ways science and technology improved the lives of its citizens. More than 360,000 images were digitized from archival documents, including many on microfilm. The project is creating a single online access point in which library users, North Carolina citizens, and researchers throughout the world can access these important historical materials. 
IMLS Funds: $94,256

EZ Literacy & Lifelong Learning - Career & Technology Lab
The Troutman Library, a branch of Iredell County Public Library, established a Career & Technology Lab (CTL), by using grant funds to purchase laptops, software licenses, a charging cart, and related supplies. The library partnered with Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina and Mitchell Community College to provide weekly computer classes. The CTL targeted library users who are unemployed, underemployed, returning to the workforce, or lacking basic computer skills. The library offered small group computer classes to work on resume writing, job searching, and basic computer skills. This project improved services and lifelong learning opportunities by helping participating adults gain the skills needed to find better jobs.
IMLS Funds: $10,420

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

View the IMLS funding by state report - North Carolina (PDF 1.04 MB) with additional information about all IMLS funding for this state (FY 2011 – FY 2016).

Five-Year Plan Highlights

Goal 1: Strengthening Capacity - North Carolinians will have libraries with essential resources and capable staff that enable them to provide exceptional library programs and services.

  • Projects include:
    • Annual assessment of library staff training needs
    • Learning opportunities for library staff related to user needs
    • Support for improved use of electronic information resources
    • Targeted funding opportunities for technology/devices/hardware
    • Programs/services to address specific needs in communities
    • Statewide tools and resources that improve library efficiency
    • Support for statewide networks

Goal 2: Expanding Access - North Carolinians will have expanded access to resources for learning and success in school, work, and life.

  • Projects include:
    • Learning opportunities for library staff related to collections and digital literacy
    • Support for improved use of electronic information resources
    • Needs assessments/plans for library collections to be digitized
    • Digitization, access, and preservation of North Carolina library materials
    • Programs/services to address specific needs in communities
    • Statewide digital initiatives and consulting
    • Programs that reduce the digital divide
    • Shared statewide electronic resources
    • Integrated library systems (ILS)

Goal 3: Community Engagement - North Carolinians will have libraries that cooperate, coordinate, collaborate, and communicate to help the community address its needs.

  • Projects include:
    • Learning opportunities for library staff related to partnerships/collaboration
    • Statewide partnerships
    • Support for libraries in developing new partnerships and collaborations
    • Programs/services that partner with other organizations to reach underserved users
    • Initiatives that embed librarians in community programs and services

IMLS Data Collection

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

Public Libraries Survey
The Public Libraries Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Data are collected from more than 9,000 public library systems with over 17,000 public library outlets. Explore state-level profiles to find and compare totals on key data such as numbers of libraries and librarians, revenue and expenditures, and collection sizes.

Content last reviewed on
March 19, 2018