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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Library Director reflects on first year

Library Director reflects on first year

It’s already been a year…

I had spent the last few days reflecting on my first full year as library director when out of the blue my son asks, “Mom, do you like your job?” (It had been another trying day with the leaking roof at the Thibodaux branch).

Without batting an eye or giving it any thought I answered, “Yes Wil, I love my job!”
I can’t believe where this position has taken me in the last year; the things I’ve learned and the things the library system has accomplished are amazing.

Growing up, libraries were very different than they are today. Back then, libraries were just repositories for information. If you needed to research something you went to the periodical guides, hard copies of encyclopedias that were usually outdated, or you went to the stacks full of books.

Today, we have those same opportunities, minus periodical guides, but we also have e-Books, audio books, DVD’s and music CD’s to check out.

Libraries are now a gateway to information! If you need to research something, libraries have access to online encyclopedias, databases and the World-Wide Web. We can even help you find information in a library on the other side of the world! But in today’s world, this is just a small part of what libraries are about. They are also community hubs where individual libraries are actively involved within the communities they reside. In times of tragedy and triumphs – the library and its staff are here to share those experiences with its patrons.

Libraries have something for everyone. Lafourche Parish libraries are more than books. We have recently added Lego tables for kids of all ages to enjoy, Xbox 360 gaming systems, an exciting new 3D printer and much, much more. Be on the lookout for iPads in our libraries for patron use and Mac computers for adults and teens that prefer the Apple computer experience.

The library is constantly adding new programs including the newly popular Rainbow Loom crafts, updated Duct Tape projects and Ready Reading Programs for all ages. And we continue to provide our popular bingo games, specialized speakers, and genealogy classes.

Programs change often and we are always looking for new ideas to bring to our patrons. Check out our new user friendly website and calendar for monthly programs. If you need individual help, the library now offers the Book-a-Librarian program where you can schedule an appointment to get one-on-one assistance from a degreed librarian—whether it is help with your new e-Reader, resume or research help or computer instruction, we have librarians to help – all you have to do is ask.

Storage sheds have been added at all branches to store programming supplies and materials. The Larose, Golden Meadow and Thibodaux branches are in the process of having updated shelving installed to maximize space and allow for more materials to be housed in those branches. I am also looking for a way to provide the Gheens branch with a permanent structure.

In addition, we are updating our patron computers with the latest operating systems, keeping up with technological advances in our branches for both staff and patrons, and installing modern Wi-Fi routers in all ten branch sites.

All of this can be a bit overwhelming at times, but I am very fortunate to have an amazing and talented staff and a very supportive board. In spite of the leaking roof and last fall’s millage election stress, my goal has always been to provide quality library services to all Lafourche Parish residents while meeting their educational and entertainment needs. Libraries are here to enrich the lives of all and I am proud to say that the staff of the Lafourche Parish Library always works tirelessly to meet these goals.

So Wil, let me say again after much thought this time, “I love my job and I am honored to be a part of such an amazing organization and prodigious community!”

Laura Sanders
Lafourche Parish Public Library Director