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Novelist James Wilcox Honored With Louisiana Writer Award

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Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne is announcing this year’s recipient of the Louisiana Center for the Book Louisiana Writer Award, acclaimed author James Wilcox. Lt. Governor Dardenne and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton will recognize Wilcox at an award ceremony during the Louisiana Book Festival on Saturday, Oct. 29.

“After a one-year hiatus, the book festival will return to Capitol Park to celebrate books by authors from Louisiana and the rest of the world,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “The festival is a perfect time to give the Louisiana Writer Award which honors the best writers from our great state.”

The Louisiana Book Festival is a free, daylong event where authors such as Wilcox will hold workshops to discuss their works and careers. Writing workshops for hopeful authors are available as well as food, entertainment and activities for children.

Wilcox, director of creative writing at LSU, is the author of nine novels, most of which are set in or feature characters from the fictional town of Tula Springs, La. His most famous novel, Modern Baptists, was released in 1983 and has been included in Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon and was listed in the GQ 45th anniversary issue as one of the best works of fiction published in the past 45 years.

“James Wilcox and his enduring and ongoing work, from Modern Baptists to Hunk City, exemplify Louisiana’s rich cultural and literary heritage,” State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said. “Born in Hammond, James has drawn on his Louisiana experience to create unforgettable residents of his fictional Tula Springs. Though it doesn’t really exist, anyone who lives in Louisiana has been there or knows somebody who lives there.“

Wilcox’s book reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Elle. His eighth novel, Heavenly Days, was featured on the New York Times Notable Book list. Wilcox currently holds the MacCurdy Distinguished Professorship in the LSU College of Arts and Sciences.

The Louisiana Writer Award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the literary and intellectual life of Louisiana. Past recipients include novelist and short story writer Tim Gautreaux; children’s author William Joyce; poets Yusef Komunyakaa and William Jay Smith; historian Carl A. Brasseaux; novelists James Lee Burke, Ernest J. Gaines, Shirley Ann Grau, Elmore Leonard and Valerie Martin; and scholar Lewis P. Simpson.

For more information about the Louisiana Book Festival, visit www.LouisianaBookFestival.org

www.crt.la.gov


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
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Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
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Laptop Check-Out Program Begins in Libraries throughout the State this Summer

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Following a successful pilot program in Ouachita, Jefferson Davis and West Baton Rouge parishes, the State Library, in partnership with public libraries, is implementing a statewide laptop check-out program. The program is funded through an $8.8 million competitive grant awarded to the State Library of Louisiana in February 2010 from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program of the Department of Commerce. The State Library is supplying 640 laptop computers to public libraries throughout the state, with each parish receiving 10 laptops. The process will be carried out on a regional basis to reduce travel costs and facilitate speedy deployment. Laptops will be available in every parish for patrons to borrow by the end of the year.

“This new laptop program is designed to give more citizens access to technology that can better their future and Louisiana’s future,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “Many Louisianans do not have home computers and only 43 percent of Louisianans have access to the Internet at home.”

The laptops are Internet-ready so that citizens can take them to any hot spot to access the Internet. The laptops also have GPS software that allows the State Library to recover them in the event of loss or theft.

The three-year grant that supports the laptop program, Louisiana Libraries: Connecting People to Their Potential, is also enabling the State Library to provide workforce development tools and training, online tutoring and health and wellness education available to citizens. Programs made available through the grant include high-end electronic resources that offer skills practice and live one-on-one tutoring to students and those preparing for various entrance exams. In addition, the State Library created the Louisiana Jobs & Career Center website, www.lajacc.org, compiling the best job search and career tools for Louisianans.

“We have an outstanding opportunity with this grant to make a fundamental difference in the lives of our citizens,” State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said. “To date, we have used only 39 percent of the total grant and have much left to do. We will continue to partner with Louisiana’s 339 public libraries to offer more training statewide.”

More than 7,000 citizens have learned computer application and business skills from attending the 1,200 free classes that the State Library has presented thus far in partnership with local public libraries.

To find out more, call 888.487.2700 or visit www.lajacc.org or www.state.lib.la.us.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
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Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
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Winners of Library Teen Video Challenge Announced

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southlafteens1_250
Left to right: Nykala Shea Bell, Annie Dronet, Holland Campbell, Ryan Voorhies. Sitting: Dallas Mouton.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne is announcing the Louisiana winners of the first Collaborative Summer Library Program, Teen Video Challenge, a national program managed locally by the State Library of Louisiana. A team of teenagers representing the Lafayette Public Library created the winning Louisiana video: Dallas Mouton, Holland Campbell, Nykala Bell, Anne Dronet and Ryan Voorhies. The video features the teens participating in a focus group to determine why they do not want to spend their summer at a public library. The video then shifts to showing the teens enjoying the summer activities they did not think they could actually do in a library.  To view the winning videos, visit the CSLP website and watch the Louisiana video, http://cslpreads.org/winners.html

“The reading enrichment programs that the State Library of Louisiana provides are critical to the future success of the state,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “A strong foundation in reading skills naturally produces a stronger, more educated workforce and that only strengthens Louisiana’s overall economy.”
Winning videos from the 20 participating states will be used by public libraries to promote summer reading nationwide. The video competition encourages teens to promote summer reading and public libraries with a focus on the 2011 slogan, You Are Here.

State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton is delighted with the creative, enthusiastic response from participating teens. “Teens have always been a hard market to reach and today it is even more difficult to attract their attention. They have numerous opportunities to choose from when deciding how they’re going to spend their time and energy. We are glad these teens chose a public library program to engage their creativity,” Hamilton said.

The national Collaborative Summer Library Program will award $250 to the winning team and $100 to the Lafayette Public Library System.

– www.crt.la.gov –

 


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
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Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
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Louisiana Winners in 2010-11 Letters About Literature Writing Competition

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Louisiana Winners in 2010-11 Letters About Literature Writing Competition
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne is announcing the state winners of this year’s Library of Congress Letters About Literature competition, sponsored by the Louisiana Center for the Book in State Library of Louisiana in partnership with the Louisiana Writing Project.

The first place winners: Allison Walters of Ursuline Academy in New Orleans, Michel Elliot of Immaculate Conception Cathedral School in Lake Charles and Dillon Hutson of Destrehan High School each qualify for the national competition, with those winners to be announced in April.

Louisiana’s finalists were chosen out of more than 1,000 entries submitted to the Letters About Literature Center for the Book national headquarters. A panel of judges which included teachers and librarians from all over the state selected the winning entries in each age group.

“Letters About Literature is a unique program that allows our young readers to truly consider the meaning of the work as it relates to their own lives,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “In doing so, it adds another level of involvement which improves Louisiana’s culture of literacy.”

To enter, students wrote a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre explaining how that author's work changed their way of thinking about themselves or the world and how the chosen books impacted their life or worldview.

Michel Elliot, the youngest first-place winner wrote in his letter to Dr. Seuss, “Books take me out of myself and into adventures that I would never think of on my own. I don’t look for hidden meanings, or drama or answers to mysteries of the universe. I read for fun….books, like life, should be fun.”

The following are the Letters About Literature Louisiana winners:

Level I (Grades 4-6)
1st Place:     Allison Walters, Ursuline Academy, New Orleans
Teacher: Katie Martin

2nd Place:    Imogen Hoffman, Ursuline Academy, New Orleans
Teacher: Katie Martin

3rd Place:     Regan Appleton, Runnels School, Baton Rouge
Teacher: Marsha Curry

Level II (Grades 7-8)

1st Place:    Michel Elliot, Immaculate Conception Cathedral School, Lake Charles
Teacher: Paula McLean

2nd Place:      Emma Brouphy, Mt. Carmel Academy, New Orleans
Teacher: Kristen Hode

3rd Place:    Justice Cressley, Belle Chasse Academ
Teacher: Stephanie Andrews

Honorable Mention:    Tori Elizabeth King, Alexandria Middle Magnet School
Teacher: Renae Broussard

Level III (Grades 9-12)
1st Place:     Dillion Hutson, Destrehan High School
Teacher: Lynn Thompson

2nd Place:    Monika Daniels, Bolton High School, Alexandria
Teacher: Nancy Monroe

3rd Place:    Margaret Parsons, St. Scholastica Academy, Covington
Teacher: Elizabeth Tocco

Honorable Mention:     Abraham Younes, Bolton High School, Alexandria
Teacher: Nancy Monroe

Read the Letters

LAL 2010-11 State First Place Winners Letters
LAL 2010-11 State Second Place Winners Letters
LAL 2010-11 State Third Place Winners Letters
LAL 2010-11 State Honorable Mention Letters

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 21, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
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Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
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Just Listen To Yourself!

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Just Listen To Yourself!
In celebration of National Poetry Month, Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne is announcing a special event: Just Listen to Yourself: The Louisiana Poet Laureate Presents Louisiana Poets. Louisiana’s Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque is hosting the event from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13, at the State Library.

Bourque has invited poets from around the state to participate in this reading of their work. Included are Caroline Ancelet, Jack Bedell, Marilyn Burel, Sidney Creaghan, Charles deGravelles, Elizabeth Foos, Julie Kane, Bonny McDonald, Alison Pelegrin, Brad Richard and Chancelier Skidmore.

“Darrell Bourque has worked tirelessly during his term as Louisiana poet laureate to promote poetry, literacy and creativity throughout the state, going far beyond the expectations of the role of poet laureate. He encourages appreciation for and development of the literary resources of our state,” Lt. Governor Dardenne said.

“This program is so wonderfully characteristic of Darrell Bourque’s selflessness and dedication to the art of poetry,” State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said. “Though he easily could have presented solo as one of the last appearances of his poet laureate commission, it was his preference to spotlight fellow Louisiana poets. It also speaks volumes about how much he is admired to see the number of highly regarded poets from across the state who responded to his call.”

The lunchtime program is free and open to the public. Attendees may bring their lunch and come and go as their schedules allow. The State Library of Louisiana is wheelchair accessible.

Presenting Poets
Darrell Bourque. Bourque’s work includes his most recent collection, In Ordinary Light: New and Selected Poems, Call and Response with Jack Bedell, Blue Boat and Plainsongs.

Caroline Ancelet, Acadiana High School, Scott. Ancelet is an active member of the Acadiana Writing Project and director of the Dead of Winter Poetry retreats sponsored by AWP. Her poems will appear in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Contemporary Louisiana Edition, forthcoming from Texas Review Press.

Jack Bedell, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond. Bedell is a professor of English where he is the coordinator for programs in creative writing, editor of Louisiana Literature and the director of Louisiana Literature Press. Bedell is a finalist for the next Louisiana poet laureate.

Marilyn Burel, teacher, Baton Rouge. Burel teaches at the O'Brien House, a treatment center for female alcoholics and addicts, many of whom are impoverished and have been incarcerated. She is published in Sojourn, Florida English and the Rose and Thorn Journal.

Sidney Creaghan
, psychotherapist, Lafayette. Creaghan is a visual artist as well as a poet. She has work forthcoming in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Contemporary Louisiana Edition.

Charles deGravelles, Episcopal High School, Baton Rouge. DeGravelles’ collection of poems, The Well-Governed Son, was published by New Orleans Poetry Journal Press. He contributed original music for the Louisiana Imagining Lincoln Project as part of the national observance of the Lincoln Bicentennial.

Elizabeth Foos, Forest Heights Academy for Excellence, Baton Rouge. Foos has worked the region as an independent, traveling poetry teacher before becoming a dramatic arts teacher.

Julie Kane, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches. Kane is a professor of English. Her most recent book, Jazz Funeral, is the winner of the 2009 Donald Justice Poetry Prize. Kane is one of the finalists for the soon to be named Louisiana Poet Laureate.

Bonny McDonald, Math, Science, and Arts Academy-West Bank, Plaquemine. McDonald is a teacher in the Baton Rouge area who has worked with the Big Buddy. She is a frequent contributor to Louisiana Writing Project activities and has worked with the Dead of Winter poetry retreats sponsored by the Acadiana Writing Project.

Alison Pelegrin, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond. Pelegrin is on the English and writing faculty of Southeastern Louisiana University. She is a recipient of fellowships from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Her most recent collections are Big Muddy River of Stars and Hurricane Party. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, and The Southern Review.

Brad Richard, Lusher Charter School, New Orleans. Brad is the chair of the creative writing program. His most recent book, Motion Studies, is the winner of the 2010 Washington Prize from The Word Works.

Chancelier “Xero” Skidmore, teaching artist with Big Buddy's WordPlay Teen Writing Project, Baton Rouge. Skidmore’s favorite movie is The Big Lebowski and he is currently the third ranked Slam Poet in the world.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 21, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

State Library Announces 2011 Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award Winners and New Program for Teens

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State Library Announces 2011 Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award Winners and New Program for Teens

Nearly 28,000 elementary and middle school students across the state have chosen the winners of the 2011 Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award. Two Bobbies by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery and illustrated by Jean Cassels was the top choice of third through fifth graders. Found by Margaret Paterson Haddix received the most votes from middle school students. The second place winners, or Honor Books for 2011, are Molly the Pony: A True Story by Pam Kaster for third through fifth grades and Boys Are Dogs by Leslie Margolis for sixth through eighth grades.

Next year’s awards will include a new category, the Louisiana Teen Readers’ Choice Award program for students in grades nine through 12.

The Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award, now in its 12th year, is a reading enrichment program of the State Library of Louisiana underwritten by Capital One with additional support by PermaBound Books. It is a model collaborative reading program involving students, teachers and public librarians in all regions of the state.

“The State Library of Louisiana’s expansion of the Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice program allows our state’s high school students to have a voice in the recognition of great literature,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “Students can now participate in this literacy program from elementary school through graduation, taking those skills of independent reading with them.”

Students who participate in the Readers’ Choice Award programs are encouraged to read the books that are on carefully selected, age appropriate lists. In 2010, the program saw an increase in participation of more than 10,000 students. Voting day is an exciting time in many schools and libraries throughout Louisiana as students cast their votes, sometimes using voting booths supplied by the Secretary of State’s Voter Outreach Division.

State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton is pleased with the continued success of the program. “We began this program 12 years ago in an effort to pursue one of the core missions of the State Library of Louisiana – to foster a culture of literacy in our citizens. Our children had a relatively low national reading rate,” Hamilton said. “But, once our children become readers, we find that everything else falls into place: they achieve much more throughout their formal education and grow into adults who do indeed value that culture of literacy.”

For information about the program as well as a list of books nominated for next year’s awards visit www.state.lib.la.us and click on Literacy and Reading, then on Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award.

Previous winners of the award include: Marley: A Dog Like No Other by John Grogan (2010), Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (2010), The Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine (2009), Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita (2009), Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by Kevin O’Malley (2008) and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (2008).

www.crt.la.gov –

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 21, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

SLOL Leveraging Assets

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The State Library of Louisiana is leveraging all of its assets to ensure that while the State Library itself must operate on a skeletal budget, Louisiana’s public libraries will continue to receive State Library services with as few interruptions as possible. To this end, changes to the Administrative Code have been approved and puts the State Library in line with policies that are being put into place by Louisiana’s other state agencies. These new rules went into effect on January 1, 2011.

Fines and Fees for Library Materials (Overdue Material and Replacement Costs)
Beginning January 3, 2011, the State Library began charging fines for overdue material as well as a processing fee for lost materials.  The per day fine for overdue items is now $.10 up to a maximum per book of $10. For lost items or destroyed material, the State Library now adds a $25 processing fee to the replacement cost of each item. If the item is then returned during the same fiscal year, the patron will receive a refund of the replacement cost. These fees and fines that the State Library will now charge fall in line with the best practices of other state library agencies and will ensure that patrons make every effort to return materials, which at this point are financially difficult to replace.

Meeting Room Charges
The State Library has four meeting rooms that seat from eight to 100 people each. Previously, groups that were under the auspices of a Louisiana state agency were not charged a fee. Under the new rules, however, the State Library not only began charging fees to rent these meeting rooms, but also has made them available to the general public for rental. Those charges run from $65 up to $500, depending on the meeting room, the length of use and the renter. The State Library charges additional costs for items or services such as equipment usage, supplies, security or cleaning. The meeting rooms will remain free for library functions and CRT meetings.

Gumbo Digital Images
The Gumbo images that are in the Louisiana Digital Library are quite popular.  The State Library gets frequent requests for higher resolution images for use in newspapers, advertisements, for educational use, and many other reasons.  Up until now, the Library charged a flat rate of $10 per image regardless of who was making the purchase or how the image was to be used.   Fees now range from $10 up to $100, with the State Librarian having discretionary leeway depending on the circumstances.

All told, the State Library continues to use every available means to continue services to public libraries as well as our own patrons. The primary goals are to make sure the State Library is able to maintain a healthy collection and that our resources are used fairly by the general public, state agencies and our own patrons. As always, we will continue searching new, more effective and efficient ways to meet these goals.

 

State Librarian Keynote Speaker at Two Disaster Preparedness Conferences

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State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton was the keynote speaker at two separate conferences, in Maryland and Virginia, where she gave a presentation on disaster preparedness and recovery. Leading the State Library of Louisiana through four major hurricanes during her first three years as State Librarian, Hamilton has had plenty of hands-on experience as a leader during catastrophic disasters, specifically hurricanes.

Thus having had to become experts in the field, Hamilton and her team at the State Library of Louisiana have detailed their efforts before,  during and after the four major hurricanes they worked through, into a presentation to demonstrate issues and best practices for dealing with a disaster.  These efforts are currently being formalized into a plan that can be shared with the rest of the nation.

Key points include:

  • Libraries become natural communications hubs after a disaster.
  • Having a good communication plan that encompasses, staff, relatives of staff, library trustees, local officials, other libraries, the media and the general public is crucial.
  • Business continuity takes precedence over all other emergency preparedness concerns.

In an effort to be better prepared for natural disasters, emergency preparedness officials around the nation are recognizing the role of libraries and are seeing the value of learning best practices for libraries during a disaster.

Hamilton has been able to share with the nation’s state librarians, academic library leaders and county and state emergency personnel what did work and what did not work in Louisiana in the aftermath of Louisiana’s 4 major hurricanes. The mutual goal of all involved is for libraries to be best positioned to do what they do best during a disaster and for emergency officials to be able to assist public libraries to plan for and respond to disasters.

 


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