The July 2021 Blog
Volume 3, Edition 9
A Word from the
First Lady of Louisiana
I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!
I’m excited to share a few bills with you that were especially dear to me in this last legislative session. They are directly related to my Foster Care and Human Sex Trafficking Prevention and Awareness initiatives and will help move Louisiana forward in these areas. I offer my gratitude to all those who helped make these bills a reality.
- SB 170 creates the Office of Human Trafficking Prevention. My thanks to Senator Ronnie Johns for making this a priority.
- SB 211 requires in-service training for teachers and certain other school personnel on adverse childhood experiences and trauma-informed education. Thank you to Senator Katrina Jackson for sponsoring this bill.
- SB 151 by Senator Regina Barrow, which enacts the Foster Youth’s Bill of Rights. Thank you, Senator Barrow! If you would like to read more about this bill, you can do so here.
First Lady Edwards and supporters of SB 170 gather
to watch Governor Edwards sign the bill into law.
If you have some time, look back at my 2021 April Blog where I highlight the CDC’s study of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). It’s so important to be wise and knowledgeable about such issues. The CDC website provides statistics and resources on ACEs. Please note that one in every six people has experienced trauma and its effects somehow. When I first learned about these topics, it changed my understanding and empathy toward those who suffer or deal with these issues. I encourage you to learn more about this important topic and how it affects all of us.
Our children are our future, and we must provide them with the tools needed for success – for instance, the power of a book and reading. I visited the State Library of Louisiana recently. What an incredible team of individuals that run our state library! I was impressed with how essential they are to so many. This group of amazing people is so humble about the work they do and the services they provide to so many people throughout the state of Louisiana. Today they are a small team of 44 after being cut from 78 positions beginning in 2008, yet they still perform the duties of those 78 positions. Rebecca Hamilton, our State Librarian, showed us around and introduced me to all the staff. I was able to see firsthand the incredible work they do.
Did you know the Summer Reading Program is not just for kids? I always loved bringing my kiddos to the public library. The State Library of Louisiana supports all parish libraries with this and many other programs. Our son was such a great reader growing up. The school AR program helped encourage reading—such a great incentive for our young students. My mom is an avid reader and visits our local library weekly. My daughters love audiobooks while traveling and driving. Of course, the Governor loves books and reads nightly. I particularly like books of encouragement with a focus on faith and biographies. Books can take your mind on journeys and faraway places that your feet and body cannot.
I also discovered during my tour that the State Library of Louisiana also administers the Homework Louisiana program and makes it available to all 340 public libraries in Louisiana. I used this program with my children many years ago. It is such an excellent resource. The library also has an incredible Louisiana Collection. This archival department is run by Ms. Charlene and her assistant Mr. Samuel and they have tremendous knowledge of our historical and digital archive collections.
A whole floor at the State Library of Louisiana focuses on the blind and physically disabled community. This section is called the Talking Books and Braille Library. The work here is so impressive! Nearly a thousand digitally recorded books housed in this area go out to patrons daily. Additionally, the library services on this floor include videos that speak on the benefits of receiving free audio, Braille, and large-print music scores, texts, and other instructional materials and recordings in the mail, or downloading them through the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) app. So many of our Louisiana families benefit from these services.
Lastly, the State Library of Louisiana has one of the best Book Festivals in the world! This annual award-winning event draws nearly 30,000 people each year to downtown Baton Rouge in a single day. With this event, it’s all boots on the ground for the staff! In an upcoming blog issue, we will feature Rebecca Hamilton, State Librarian, writing about the Book Festival, which occurs on a Saturday in late October/early November each year. It’s definitely on my calendar for Saturday, October 30th this year! In the meantime, you can read the feature piece from Rebecca on the Summer Reading program below.
There is one other thing I wanted to share. An area on the lower floor of the State Library features a sound studio for a program that was called Louisiana Voices. At one time, local celebrities and other notable Louisianans would record Louisiana authored books and magazines for our citizens to check out through the Talking Books and Braille Library mentioned above. How amazing to have the recordings of people like Cokie Roberts, Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu, Governor Kathleen Blanco, other well-known local news and radio personalities, and so many others! This area is such a wonderful and historical collection of Louisiana voices. BUT…. the Louisiana Voices program was canceled in September of 2010 due to a lack of funding. The studio and all the equipment are still there. The program costs about $100,000 annually to operate. If you know anyone interested in helping the library bring back this historical and popular program, please let our State Librarian, Rebecca Hamilton, know. The Louisiana Library and Book Festival Foundation supports efforts like these and is happy to receive donations for library programs.
The amazing people working in the State Library of Louisiana do so much for our state with so little pay and resources. Rebecca has the most incredible stories of past disasters and how the library assisted in so many ways. If you haven’t had a chance to visit the State Library of Louisiana or your local parish library, you should take some time to do so. It will be well worth your time.
State Library of Louisiana
701 North 4th Street,
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Phone: (225) 342-4913
Fax: (225) 219-4804
So, sign up for your library card at your local parish library and see all that is waiting for you!
Thank you to all our Librarians and Library Staff. You are amazing people that give so much to our state. We are grateful for your dedication!
Love to you all,
Join the Summer Reading Program –
“Tails & Tales”
Youth and Adults can Join!
The State Library of Louisiana announces the 2021 statewide Summer Reading Program, “Tails and Tales,” following the general theme of animals. This program is a free annual program that allows children, teens, and adults to access the vast resources of Louisiana’s public libraries. The program aims to combat summer learning loss by offering dynamic, entertaining, and educational programs across the state for children and teens.
“Reading during the summer break is critical for students to retain knowledge learned in the previous school year,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Students who don’t read throughout the summer are at risk of falling behind, and, by the end of sixth grade, children who consistently lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates. This is why the State Library’s Summer Reading Program is so important.”
03. GOVERNOR'S MANSION
Christmas in July at the Governor’s Mansion
It’s Christmas in July at the Governor’s Mansion Preservation Foundation! Buy any ornament and get 10% off your total purchase for the whole month of July. Your discount is automatically applied at checkout. The 2021 ornament is in stock now. Get ahead of your Christmas shopping and be on the lookout for the 2021 ornament! For information or questions about store items, contact Jennifer Gomez, Executive Residence Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Our Fluttering Heart”
by Dr. Arezu Bhatnagar
PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA
Making A Difference
04. FEATURED RECIPE
Clairly Vegan is a healthy, plant-based meal prep service nourishing everyone from busy moms and families, professionals, athletes, and non-vegans. Here, owner Claire Steiner shares her vegan version of Eggplant Cacciatore! Enjoy!
SOMETHING TO DISCERN
05. PAST QUOTES
THE FIRST DOGS
06. THE FIRST DOGS
Celebrate July with the red, white and doggy crew!
07. OUR EDITOR
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Delery has lived there all of her life except during undergraduate school and a brief stint in Seattle, WA. She is a mother to four boys, ranging in ages from 21 to 16, and they are the heart and soul of her life.
After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications, she went on to receive a Masters in Non-Profit Management from Louisiana State University. Her volunteer work has mostly evolved from issues that have affected her personally. Actively engaged in disability rights advocacy, Delery has testified numerous times in the Louisiana Legislature regarding issues that affect persons with developmental disabilities. She served as the chair of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, worked for seven years directing regional advocacy efforts and is a graduate of Louisiana’s Partners In Policymaking.