LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The Lafayette Public Library Foundation (LPLF) is pushing for the development of a branch in Northeast Lafayette Parish. Funds for the development of a Northeast branch have been set aside for over two years.
The City-Parish Council voted to use $12 million in library reserve funds for a new regional library on the northside of the Parish and to fund an expansion at the North Regional Library in Carencro in June of 2019, KLFY reported.
But a branch to the east of I-49 is yet to exist.
The LPLF said in a press release that a new Northeast branch would make services and resources accessible to what they call a largely underserved area.
Northeast Lafayette is home to well over 31,000 citizens, 71.8% of whom are Black, and 32% are households with children. There are eight (8) public schools in this district, over 7,000 children and 84.8% of them attend public school. Children living in this district do not have easy access to the closest full-service library branch due to both physical and transportation barriers.LPLF Press Release
The current upcoming millage renewal, which will be on the Nov. 13 ballot, offers an opportunity to maintain the current library system funding, plus provide more options for equitable operation of the entire system — including the possibility of a Northeast branch.
We support renewal of the library millage on November 13th and encourage voters to vote “Yes”. The funds for development of Northeast are budgeted. Sound fiscal management would dictate that a reasonable plan to support operating and maintaining this new library can be put in place. We have confidence that the Library Director and staff can develop such a plan that will allow for savings that will not result in a reduction in the existing budget prior to commencement of design of the Northeast Branch.LPLF Press Release
LPLF is a volunteer-run organization that supplements government (tax-based) funding of our libraries by encouraging private donations and endowments that provide books and services and fund special programs and projects.