BATON ROUGE – The State Library of Louisiana announces a special round of funding to help communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic as well as related economic and community needs through equitable approaches. Through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded $200 million to State Library Agencies nationwide. The State Library of Louisiana received $3,012,150 of that funding. State Library staff is quickly distributing funding directly to all public libraries in Louisiana.
“Louisiana’s public libraries have worked tirelessly to provide online resources and virtual programming, access to information and materials, and assistance with anything from completing virtual school assignments to applying for hurricane relief,” 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.”
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. The funding will aid in expanding digital network access, purchasing internet-accessible devices, and addressing digital inclusion by providing technical support services to citizens, particularly in support of education, health, and workforce development needs.
“Libraries are critical to the well-being of our entire state. We’ve seen it in times of natural disasters, and the pandemic has exposed just how much our citizens rely on access and assistance provided by their public libraries,” said State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton. “This funding will provide additional relief to our libraries, who are working to provide what many of our citizens need most right now – access to information, 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.