Libraries Southwest hosts annual author dinner
You are invited to the Libraries Southwest Annual Author Dinner on Tuesday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Treasures of Marilyn's located at 3510 5th Avenue in Lake Charles.
- Registration is required, and the deadline to register is Oct. 1, 2017.
- The cost of the meal and program is $30.00.
- A cash bar will open at 5:00 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m.
- To register, please visit your local public library or print the appropriate form below.
Local author Curt Iles will be the guest speaker.
- Curt Iles is a writer living in central Louisiana and is the author of eleven books about rural Louisiana.
- A graduate of Louisiana College and McNeese State University, he has served as a teacher, coach, and school principal, camp director, missionary, and full time writer/speaker.
- Curt grew up in an area of Southwest Louisiana formerly known as “No Man’s Land.”
- His pioneer ancestors arrived there two hundred years ago and he is the 8th generation to live in this region of the state.
- After college, he and his wife of 36 years, DeDe, returned to rural Louisiana where they taught school and raised a family. This rural piney woods area is the bedrock of many of his stories and books.
- In 2012, Curt and DeDe sold their home, land, and possessions, and took a two-year assignment to Africa.
- During this sojourn, which stretched to three years, they served with the International Mission Board.
- They were based in Uganda but worked in South Sudan, Chad, and other countries. This experience is chronicled in his short story collection, “Trampled Grass.”
- After returning from three years in Africa, Curt and DeDe have settled in the Central Louisiana town of Alexandria.
- His books are published though Creekbank Stories and contain seven short story collections, three historical novels and one children’s book. Creekbank Stories exists to share stories worth telling and that make a difference.
- Learn more about Curt and his works.
The annual Lynda Carlberg Award will also be presented to Rebecca Hamilton, State Librarian of Louisiana.
- A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Rebecca earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University.
- She began her career in 1989 as a library associate at the West Baton Rouge Parish Library. In 1996, she became Assistant Director of the St. Mary Parish Library System and later Assistant Director for the
- Audubon Regional Library System, the state’s only tri-parish library system.
- In 2001, she accepted the position of CEO/Director of the St. Mary Parish Library system and in 2003 she was named Associate State Librarian at the State Library of Louisiana.
- In July of 2005 Rebecca was appointed State Librarian by Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu. This appointment made her Louisiana's only fourth State Librarian in the agency’s 84-year history and youngest State Librarian in the nation. Under her direction, the State Library of Louisiana underwent a total reorganization to streamline operations and efficiencies.
- She has doubled the amount of State Aid to Public Libraries, the largest increase in the history of the program and the first increase in 20 years.
- She also oversaw the rebuilding of the State Library’s internal network and backup systems, a 3year project, and as a result, during the storms of 2008, the State Library never lost Internet connectivity when all other offices in state government were down.
- She worked closely with SOLINET to obtain a $12 Million grant to provide temporary library facilities after the storms in both Louisiana and Mississippi.
- Since the beginning of her administration, the State Library has implemented a new interlibrary loan system for public libraries, added content to the statewide databases, secured a line item in the annual budget for public library training and grown the annual Louisiana Book Festival to an attendance of 21,000.
- In recent years, Hamilton has served on the Executive Board of the St. Mary Parish Literacy Council and the Executive Board of the Bayouland Library Consortium.
- She has served as a member and Secretary of the State Board of Library Examiners, the body that certifies Louisiana public library directors.
- She has also served the Louisiana Library Association on many committees.
- Most recently she was named one of the most outstanding graduates of the LSU School of Library and Information Science and has been elected to the Southeastern Library Network, Inc. (SOLINET) board of directors representing State Library Agencies.
- In November 2007, she was name one of the Top 40 Under 40 by the Baton Rouge Business Report.
- In her spare time, Rebecca is incredibly passionate about animals and regularly rescues and fosters cats and other animals. She often holds clothing and shoe sales to raise funds for animal adoption causes and shelters.
- She’s incredibly generous – after the floods, she organized a clothing drive for the State Library staff who lost their homes and possessions and made sure that she found them good business suits and clothing so that they could get back on their feet.
- She’s also a great fan of punk music and is currently working on a documentary on the Baton Rouge punk rock scene.
The Lynda Carlberg Award was established to honor special individuals for their contributions to libraries, and in memory of Lynda Carlberg, director of the Calcasieu Parish Public Library system from 1978 to 1997. She was active in state, regional, and national library activities and many local community activities.
Previous recipients of the Lynda Carlberg Award are:
- Sallie Farrell, 1998
- Minnie Lou Lynch, 1999
- Tom Jaques, 2000
- Joy Lowe, 2002
- Ralph Boe, 2004
- Joe Landrum, 2005
- Gretchen Fairbanks, 2007
- Sona Dombourian, 2009
- Lyle Johnson, 2012
- Michael E. Matthews, 2013
- Sara Zimmerman, 2014
- Amanda Taylor, 2015
- Beth Vandersteen, 2016
Libraries Southwest is a non-profit corporation of libraries, librarians, trustees, and individuals interested in the promotion and enhancement of libraries and library services in Southwest Louisiana. Membership forms are available in public libraries.
Libraries Southwest institutional members are: Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, Jefferson Davis, South St. Landry Community Library, Vermillion, and Vernon parish libraries, as well as Calcasieu Parish School Libraries, Frazar Memorial Library at McNeese State University, and SOWELA Technical Community College.