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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.


State Library of Louisiana Provides 60 LYRC Book Set Grants

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Baton Rouge – The Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Program, a reading enrichment program of the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana, provided 60 complete sets of LYRC books to 13 parish library systems: 30 sets of the 3-5 grade titles and 30 sets of the 6-8 grade titles. This donation was made possible through a generous donation from Capital One Bank.

State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said, “LYRC is one of many programs that the State Library of Louisiana has developed where the primary goal is to encourage our children to read. This particular program, LYRC, fosters a love of reading among the children of Louisiana by giving them a voice in recognizing outstanding work in children’s literature.”

Founded in 1999, with the first award was presented in 2000. Participation in this program has climbed from 5,485 votes the first year to more than 29,000 students in 2009. LYRC is underwritten by Capital One Bank with additional support from Perma-Bound Books.  Now entering its 11th year, the program continues to encourage Louisiana’s youth to read for pleasure.

The library systems that received the book sets are: Assumption, Audubon, Avoyelles, Bossier, Calcasieu, Grant, Jefferson, Livingston, New Orleans, Richland, St. James, Terrebonne and Vermillion. These public libraries submitted grant applications stating their intended strategies to partner with local schools to promote LYRC and literacy. Grant requests were evaluated for feasibility, organization and potential effectiveness. The State Library is pleased to have been able to offer this opportunity to Louisiana’s public libraries. It is our hope that this project will cultivate valuable relationships between public libraries and their local schools.

For complete details about LYRC, please visit the State Library’s website at www.state.lib.la.us.



September 22, 2010

Paulita Chartier
Communications Director
State Library of Louisiana
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Public Libraries Launch Free Online Homework Help – HomeworkLouisiana Powered By Tutor.Com

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Port Allen, LA  - The State Library of Louisiana today launched the free educational service HomeworkLouisiana, an online tool that connects Louisiana K-12 students, adults preparing for the GED and college students to a live tutor online for one on one help with homework. It also offers studying and test preparation in all core academic subjects including math, science, social studies and English. The West Baton Rouge Parish Library in Port Allen hosted the event.

The State Library is able to offer this resource as part of the Louisiana Libraries: Connecting People to Their Potential project, which is funded through an $8.8 million Broadband USA grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The State Library provides this service to every Louisiana public library, thereby making it available to all Louisiana citizens.

Tutors are available Sunday through Thursday 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. The network is comprised of more than 1,800 tutors who are certified teachers, professors, graduate school students, university students and professionals who are experts in their field.  Each tutor passes a third party security background check.

The SkillsCenter is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. HomeworkLouisiana can be accessed from a Louisiana public library or from a home computer by going to www.homeworkla.org.  Students travelling out of the state must have a Louisiana public library card to access the service.

State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said, “Last year, Louisiana public libraries saw well over 6.5 million uses of their computers by individuals. Research shows us that this is 57% of our citizens. Clearly, our public libraries are vital as access points to information. Without full access to the tremendous amount of information available through the Internet, a person cannot be a full participant in today’s world. This is particularly important for our students, whatever their age. This is why HomeworkLouisiana is particularly important for our students. We know that it is critical that students receive the very best learning opportunities available, and Homework Louisiana is one more valuable tool that students now have.”

Students who use HomeworkLouisiana’s online tutoring and homework services report they are able to better complete homework assignments, build their confidence in their academic abilities and improve their grades.  

“The State Library, one of five agencies that fall under the Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, is a strong advocate for literacy in all its forms. One of the driving forces of the DCRT is to provide informational and educational resources to our citizens so that they might grow and prosper, contributing to our state’s economic and intellectual well being,” said Pam Breaux, Secretary of DCRT. “I am very proud of the State Librarian and her staff, who worked long and hard on winning the $8.8 million grant that made this possible. For Louisiana students, bound to be the future workforce and backbone of our Louisiana economy, this is a tremendous coup. We very much hope that the use of HomeworkLouisiana as well as our other grant funded programs, becomes commonplace in Louisiana society,” she finished.

The HomeworkLouisiana Online Classroom has been optimized to enhance a one-on-one learning session.  It includes real-time chat, an interactive whiteboard, math tools that include drag and drop shapes and commonly used equations, graphing paper and much more.  A student and tutor can also share files or browse educational resources on the Web.

ProofPoint™ Real-Time Writing Center enables students to upload documents to receive a live review, edits and writing strategy assistance. SkillsCenter™ Resource Library includes thousands of vetted resources for independent study such as tutorials, videos and study guides that map to the subjects.

Tutor.com is the world’s largest online tutoring service. The Tutor.com network of more than 1,800 professional tutors have delivered more than 5 million one-to-one tutoring sessions in a proprietary online classroom optimized for learning, since 2001. Tutor.com powers tutoring and homework help programs for school districts including East Baton Rouge; the Department of Defense; the states of Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Louisiana and Rhode Island; and, thousands of public libraries and schools. For more information, visit www.tutor.com.



Press Release
August 18, 2010

Paulita Chartier
Communications Director
State Library of Louisiana
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