BATON ROUGE, La. (press release) – The State Library of Louisiana announces a special round of funding to provide relief to Louisiana public libraries from the devastating economic impacts of the current crisis. Through the CARES Act, the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) awarded $30 million to State Library Agencies nationwide. The State Library of Louisiana received $420,058 of that recovery funding and will quickly distribute these funds directly to all public libraries in Louisiana.
“Louisiana’s public libraries have been working tirelessly to create new ways to serve Louisianans remotely through online resources and virtual programming, while at the same time preparing to reopen to the public with new service and safety protocols in place,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “We are extremely grateful for this much needed funding to assist our state’s public libraries as they continue to serve all Louisianans during this unprecedented time, keeping all of us Louisiana Strong.”
To provide economic relief as quickly as possible and focus assistance on every parish, Lieutenant Governor Nungesser and the State Library of Louisiana will distribute this funding to every parish library system to be spent on expanding digital network access, purchasing internet accessible devices, and addressing digital inclusion by providing technical support services to citizens.
“We realize just how critical public libraries are to the well-being of our entire state. This is especially true of our children, many of whom rely solely upon the access of information and Wi-Fi provided by their public libraries when they are not in school,” said State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton. “This funding will provide some relief to our libraries, who are working to provide what many of our citizens need most right now – access to technology and broadband.”
For more information on the State Library of Louisiana, on resources related to COVID-19, or to use our interactive map showing the status of every public library in Louisiana, visit www.state.lib.la.us.