LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The Lafayette Public Library’s budget deficit of $1.3M has been slashed in under two years.

Parish Council Chairman Josh Carlson says with a budget deficit the building of a new library in the northern part of the parish and various projects at other branches would have gone through the money that was in reserve.

“We brought in a new library director, that was one of the first things we tasked him to do.  We don’t want to lose services as much as possible, but we have got to fix this.  We cannot run a $2M a year deficit,” Carlson said.

Library Director Danny Gillan credits the new director with turning things around.

In a statement, Gillane explains the changes that had to be made.  

“In addition to closing on Sundays, the library re-evaluated staffing both by number and by classification and made appropriate changes. The library also made adjustments to its materials budgets to reflect better collection usage.”

He reports the library’s budget is balanced as of October 31 and that he anticipates a surplus for the fiscal year 2022-23.

Carlson now says with the library being financially secure, planned projects can move forward.

“We will be able to build this new library that we are looking at and continue to operate all the libraries that we have today with the same amount of funding, no new taxes.”

Gillane says the public can expect the library to continue to provide programming and services for the foreseeable future and to continue to look for ways to serve all of Lafayette Parish.