What is the Library's mission statement?

To advance literacy, inspire lifelong learning and strengthen our community by serving everyone in Ouachita Parish

When will the Library close for holidays?
2020  
New Year's Day Wednesday, January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Monday, January 20
Easter Thursday, April 9 - All branches will close early at 5 p.m.
  Friday, April 10
  Saturday, April 11
  Sunday, April 12
Library In-Service Wednesday, April 29
Mother's Day Sunday, May 10
SummerFest Saturday, May 16 - All branches except Main Branch will close 
so you can attend SummerFest at the Main Branch.
Memorial Day Monday, May 25
Father's Day Sunday, June 21
Independence Day Thursday, July 2 -  All branches will close early at 5 p.m.
  Friday, July 3
  Saturday, July 4
  Sunday, July 5
Labor Day Monday, September 7
Thanksgiving Wednesday, November 25 - All branches will close early at 5 p.m.
  Thursday, November 26
  Friday, November 27
Christmas Tuesday, December 22 - All branches will close early at 5 p.m.
  Wednesday, December 23
  Thursday, December 24
  Friday, December 25
  Saturday, December 26
  Sunday, December 27
New Year Wednesday, December 30 - All branches close early at 5 p.m.
  Thursday, December 31
2021  
  Friday, January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day  
Monday, January 18
Who are the members of the Library Board of Control?

The Ouachita Parish Public Library is governed by a Library Board of Control. Board members are committed to ensuring all citizens of the parish have a library system that is a model for the entire state. Board members are appointed by the Ouachita Parish Police Jury. Current members are:

  • Betty Ward Cooper - President
  • Darris Waren - Vice President
  • Alex McMorris
  • Wyman Mardis
  • Andrea L. Griggs
  • Robert Wright
  • Misti Cordell
  • Jack Clampit- Police Jury, ex-officio member
  • Robin Toms - Secretary and Library Director

*Contact the Administrative offices at (318) 327-1490 Ext. 3002 for Library Board of Control contact information.

When and where does the Board of Control meet?

Library Board of Control Meeting Dates:

Date

Location

December 12, 2019 Ouachita Valley Branch
January 9, 2020 Main Branch
February 13, 2020 Anna Meyer Family Learning Center Branch
March 12, 2020 West Ouachita Branch
April 9, 2020 Ollie Burns Memorial Branch 
May 14, 2020 West Monroe Branch
June 18, 2020 EDIT: The June Board meeting has been cancelled.
July 9, 2019 Cpl. J.R. Searcy Memorial Branch
August 13, 2020 Sterlington Memorial Branch
September 10, 2020       Louise Williams Branch
October 8, 2020 Main Branch
November 12, 2020 Main Branch
December 10, 2020 Ouachita Valley Branch

*All meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at noon unless advertised to the contrary.

What is Fraud Report Hotline?

Louisiana Legislative Auditor - Fraud Report Hotline

fight-fraud-250x250

Circulation and Borrowing Policy

We are happy to encourage all residents of our parish to obtain a library card. Your Ouachita Parish Public Library card allows you to enjoy the many resources of our Library and is your ticket to hours of reading, listening, and viewing pleasure. With the card, you have access to our online databases, downloadable eBooks, eServices,  and library catalog. An application for a card is available at any of the Library's ten locations, as well as our Bookmobile. Your Library card can be used at any branch to check out books, recordings, framed artwork, periodicals, videos, CDs, and eServices. Children's cards (under age 17) have some checkout and download restrictions.

To get a Ouachita Parish Public Library card you must present a photo ID and a piece of U.S. mail showing your address. You must be 17 years or older to get a card without a parent/guardian signature. Until your card is processed, you will only be able to check out two items. 

Remember, you are responsible for any materials checked out on your card. If you forget your card and you are in good standing with the Library, you may use your valid Louisiana driver's license for checkout, but it does not take the place of your Library card. You are encouraged to use your Library card instead of your driver's license. Your Library card will have empowerment features such as eService access.

The due date of your items can be located either on the printed receipt you can request at the checkout desk or
by eReceipt, which can be texted or emailed to you.  eReceipts are a much more environmentally friendly option that we encourage. You can also check your account online through the online catalog and on the OPPL iLibrary mobile app for due dates and a list of all items checked out. Be sure to check your receipt for all return dates.

The fine for all overdue materials is $.25 per day. These materials are inspected after each use and damages assessed if needed.  Please pay fines upon returning items. Items may be returned to any branch of the Ouachita Parish Public Library System regardless of checkout location.

If you have not finished using the materials by the end of the loan period, you may renew them by calling our Telephone Messaging System, our automated telephone renewal service, at 327-1497. Items can also be renewed via our catalog in your account as well as with our OPPL iLibrary mobile app. Renewals are only permitted if no one else has requested the item. Items can be renewed, one time only, for an additional loan period depending on type. If your items are overdue, they cannot be renewed. Please return more popular books as soon as possible due to the high volume of requests.

IF YOUR  LIBRARY CARD IS LOST OR STOLEN PLEASE REPORT IT TO THE LIBRARY AT ONCE AS YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DEBTS INCURRED.

Please contact the Circulation Department for any additional questions or information at
(318) 327-1490.

DVD Borrowing Policy

WHO MAY BORROW:
Borrowers must have a valid Ouachita Parish Public Library card with no outstanding charges and must be at least 17 years old. If you live in another parish, you must have a Trailblazer card, which may be obtained at your local parish library.

LOAN PERIOD AND LIMIT:
Videos and DVDs are loaned for a period of 7 days. There is a limit of 10 DVDs per adult card at a time. Overdue fines are $.25 per day for each overdue video or DVD.  Trailblazer cards are limited to 4 DVDs per card. Please contact the  Circulation Desk at any of our locations if you have additional questions.

REQUESTING VIDEO AND DVD: 
Video/DVD item requests may be made at any branch of the Ouachita Parish Public Library system.  Requests may also be placed on the public computers provided by the  Ouachita Parish Public Library or from any personal home computer through our online services. Renewals may also be made through the OPPL iLibrary mobile app. Requests will be filled in the order they are placed, regardless of the branch that houses the item or the branch where the request is placed. Video/DVD materials may be returned to any branch of the Ouachita Parish Public Library.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS:
The borrower is responsible for any damages to Video/DVD materials (including the case) while checked out on their card. Senior citizens are not exempt from damaged item charges. VHSs should be rewound before being returned. Video/DVD materials may be renewed only one time and they may be brought into the library for renewal, by calling TeleCirc (our automated renewal service) at 327-1497, or by using the Patron Account page located in the Library's Catalog System. Renewals are allowed only if the item has not been renewed before or if it has not been requested by another patron. This is consistent with book renewal process.

PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS:
Video/DVD materials that are being shown to a group, such as a daycare, schools, or churches, must have public performance rights so as not to be in violation of copyright laws. These are usually clearly marked and a notation is provided within the computer item record. Patrons may check with the library before showing an item if they desire more information on copyright laws. Staff will not knowingly check out non-public performance materials for use in a group setting.

Electronic Access and Internet Policy

I. Mission

"Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression encompasses the freedom of speech and the corollary right to receive information. These rights extend to children as well as adults.

Libraries and librarians protect and promote these rights by selecting, producing, providing access to, identifying, retrieving, organizing, providing instruction in the use of, and preserving recorded expression regardless of the format or technology." (ALA Draft Version 1.1, Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks)

The Library's mission is to provide patrons with the best and most current possible resources. It is the library's desire to offer access to a resourceful electronic environment for the use of all of the citizens of Ouachita Parish.

II. Electronic Resources and Users Responsibility

Use of electronic resources is considered a privilege and is intended primarily for information and research. Equal access to that information is a cornerstone of the Library's mission. These online resources contain a wealth of valuable information. However, users should be aware that some information may be inaccurate, outdated, or offensive. Your use of these resources carries with it a responsibility to evaluate the quality of the information accessed. Parents, not the Library, are responsible for the use of these resources by their children.

III. Prohibited Uses

Workstation use is a privilege. It may not be used for illegal, unauthorized, unethical or commercial purposes.

Manipulation of internal hardware and or software is strictly prohibited, including uploading of any software. Perpetrators of malicious damage to the system will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Transmitting or downloading any material in violation of state or federal law is not permitted. It is not permitted to send, receive, or display text or graphics which may reasonably be construed as obscene. Patrons may not copy or download any material in violation of copyright law.

Library staff has the right to determine the appropriateness of workstation use and can, at any time, require the patron to leave the workstation. Patrons who refuse to abide by the Library's internet policy will lose the privilege of using the workstation. Since workstations are in the public area, patrons may be asked to leave a workstation if the graphical material displayed is offensive.

Prohibited uses will result in the loss of workstation privileges. The first offense will result in loss of use for the remainder of the day. The second offense will result in loss of use for a week. The third offense will result in loss of use of the workstation permanently or at the discretion of the Director. Appeals of such should be made to the Director in accordance with the Library's general policy.

IV. Limitations

Age: All patrons should and will have equal access to all forms of information. However, because of the high cost and delicate nature of complex electronic and mechanical equipment, children age 12 and under will be required to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian when using the workstation. Unaccompanied children must present their library card to the staff to verify age. Only children 12 and under will be allowed to use Children's Room workstations as adequate workstations for adult use are provided.

Workstations located in the Genealogy Department are for the exclusive use of patrons conducting genealogical research. All others will be asked to use the general adult workstations located near the Reference Department.

V. Acceptable Uses (Examples)

  • Research and educational information
  • Unstructured navigation ("surfing") of the Internet to locate sites of interest and to hone usage skills.
  • Printing from full-text databases
  • Downloading (with library administration permission) of public domain software on flash drives provided by and purchased from the library. Downloading of software and files not in the public domain is a violation of copyright law and is expressly prohibited.


VI. Costs

There is no charge for basic use of the workstation. Patrons will assume the cost of printing information and graphics at the current Library photocopying cost per page. Downloading onto flash drives will be permitted at no charge if the patron supplies the flash drive. If you do not have a flash drive but wish to purchase one, please ask the librarian at the Reference Desk for assistance. 


VII. Patron Requests

Electronic information and technology is emerging, expanding, and changing constantly. The Library encourages Ouachita Parish citizens to make use of this new technology and welcomes comments and suggestions regarding policies governing use. The Library administration is aware that as the environment changes policy may have to change, too. To this end, this policy will remain constantly in a state of review and adjusted when necessary to meet this parish’s electronic information needs. Comments and suggestions may be made to the Library Director in person, over the telephone, or in writing.

Interlibrary Loan Policy (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service to provide materials that are unavailable in the Ouachita Parish Public Library system. Eligible patrons can use ILL to borrow materials from other libraries. Items that can be borrowed include books, magazines, audio-visual materials, and photocopied articles, pamphlets, etc. Most items are loaned without charge.


Eligibility

Patrons must have an active OPPL library card in good standing. The card must have an adult status (17 years or older) and be in the name of the patron requesting the material. Trailblazer patrons and patrons who live outside the parish are not eligible to use the ILL service. These patrons may initiate ILL requests through their home parish library's ILL service.

Application

Request forms are located at the Reference Desk of all OPPL's branches. These can be filled out and returned to reference staff. A patron may request up to five items at a time. The patron or staff should verify that the system does not have the materials before submitting the request.

When submitting a magazine/journal article request the patron must give all of the necessary information such as name of magazine, name of article, the date of magazine (or volume and number) and the pages of the article. Charges are usually incurred for articles copied by another library. Fees up to $5.00 an article can be charged. These fees are charged by the lending library not OPPL.

Materials Available to Borrow

Materials borrowed are books, magazines, DVDs, or copied articles (see application), copied files of vertical file material. New material (6 months or newer) is hard to borrow and is usually not loaned therefore ILL requests cannot be taken for new items.

Materials not borrowed by OPPL include genealogy and reference materials. Genealogy and reference material can be photocopied with fees when the patron can provide full bibliographic information (title, date, page numbers).

Time Period and Notification

It takes approximately one week to two weeks for in-state material to arrive. Out-of-state or hard to obtain material can take longer (over two weeks). The ILL or reference staff will notify the patron by phone when the materials are in and are available to be checked out. If the patron has not been contacted about materials after two weeks, please contact the ILL dept to inquire on the status of the request.

Condition of Loan

The lending library specifies the length of time materials can be kept, usually two weeks.

ILL materials cannot be renewed.

Some exceptions may apply to the loan. "In-house use only" material cannot be checked out and must be used in the library only. These items are usually textbooks, reference type books, film, or expensive multi volume material.

Some materials require a deposit before the item is allowed to be checked out. These items are expensive ($60.00 value or more) and this deposit ensures the material will be returned to the lending library.

An ILL request is available at the Reference Desk of any of the branches including the Main branch where the department is located.

How do I contact Library staff?

The Main Branch serves as the Library system's administrative headquarters.

 

Position Email Phone Number
Main Branch Manager hpriestley@oplib.org 318.327.1490
Anna Meyer Branch Manager ngreen@oplib.org 318.327.1351
Carver-McDonald Branch Manager jpowell@oplib.org 318.327.1477
Louise Williams Branch Manager twright@oplib.org 318.327.5422
Ollie Burns Memorial Branch Manager ncollins@oplib.org 318.327.1235
Ouachita Valley Branch Manager ncollins@oplib.org 318.327.1470
Cpl. J.R. Searcy Memorial Branch Manager vpowell@oplib.org 318.327.1240
Sterlington Memorial Branch Manager ssmith@oplib.org 318.327.1382
West Monroe Branch Manager dsidders@oplib.org 318.327.1365
West Ouachita Branch Manager kbyrd@oplib.org 318.327.5413
Bookmobile Branch Manager kdemoss@oplib.org 318.327.1490
Library Director rtoms@oplib.org 318.327.1490
Head of Public Services ngreen@oplib.org 318.327.1490
Communications Coordinator dtolbird@oplib.org 318.327.1490
Head of IT lprice@oplib.org 318.327.1490
Business Manager mbinford@oplib.org 318.327.1490
Youth Services Coordinator lbosworth@oplib.org 318.327.1490
Head of Technical Services jdavis@oplib.org 318.327.1490
Operations Coordinator cchatham@oplib.org 318.327.1490

 

How can I apply for a job at the Library?

Join our team. The Ouachita Parish Public Library is located in the beautiful twin cities of Monroe/West Monroe in northeast Louisiana. The Library system consists of 10 branches plus a bookmobile. Ouachita Parish Public Library serves a population of 156,325 and is proud to be one of the top libraries in the state.

The Library offers benefits, including an excellent retirement system, vacations, sick leave and health insurance. Employees may advance to higher positions according to their abilities, qualifications, education, based on the needs of the library. A criminal background check and drug screening are part of the pre-hire process. The screening will be done by an independent laboratory with the cost to be covered by the library. Ouachita Parish Public Library is an at-will, equal opportunity employer.

Current Library employees are given three days priority in applying for the vacant position before outside applicants will be considered. Library employees may still apply after the designated deadline but priority will not be given.

Applications and resumes may be submitted in person or by email to the Library Administrative Office at the Main Branch Library. Click here for the official application form, or by picking one up at the Library Administrative Office. For more information call 318.327.1490 or email (cchatham@oplib.org). Applications may be returned online or in person at any Library branch.   

 
What is the Friends of Ouachita Public Library?

The Friends of the Ouachita Public Library is a nonprofit organization that supports activities and programs of the Library.

When is the Book Sale?

NOTE: Due to the pandemic, the Friends are not currently hosting the monthly Book Sale.

The Friends of the Library hold a book sale on the last Friday and Saturday of every month at the West Ouachita Branch

How can I become a Friend?

Download the form below, print it out, fill it out and mail it to this address:

Friends of the Ouachita Public Library
1800 Stubbs Avenue
Monroe, LA 71201

PDF iconFriendsForm.pdf

Who can I contact to learn more about the Friends?

The Friends are always looking for volunteers to help with the Book Sale.
Please call 318.327.1490 ext. 3041 or email: agreer@oplib.org.

What is the history of the Library?

The Ouachita Parish Public Library began in 1916 in a one-room building with 731 donated books and has grown into one of the largest and busiest libraries in the state of Louisiana with ten branches and a bookmobile that circulate over one million items a year.  

The first mention of a library in Monroe was in 1884.  Mrs. Louisa Lamy McGuire willed her late husband’s office on Wood Street and his law books in the hopes it would be used as a public library.  A Public Library Association was established and a letter to the editor in the August 2, 1884 Monroe Bulletin from Mr. Ralph Prosser relates the progress of the association, “In the middle of last April, a meeting of the Board of Directors was held at the office of Messrs. Millsaps & Scholars, Mr. Franklin Garrett presided. At this meeting, among other committees, one was appointed, of which I was chairman, to solicit contributions for repairs of the building and the necessary preparation of it for books.”  In 1899, the building was given to the Ouachita Guards for use as an armory and the books were given to the new Monroe City High School’s library.

During 1913, several Library Association meetings were held in the Chamber of Commerce rooms for the purpose of obtaining a public library.  In 1915, Mrs. Jessie Sadler, President of the Civic League of Monroe appointed a library committee with Mrs. Walter L. Jones serving as chair.  Mrs. Jones solicited members to join the committee for a fee of $2.50 each in the hopes of establishing a library. During this time, Judge A. A. Gunby found the will of Mrs. Louise L. McGuire and the bequest of the building on Wood Street.  The building was repaired and The Book Club and the Twentieth Century Book Club donated books. A trained, experienced librarian was hired and the Monroe Public Library opened May 8, 1916.   

Important Dates

May 8, 1916 - Monroe Public Library opens at 119 Wood Street, Monroe

January 28, 1921 - Library opens on 418 Jackson Street, home donated by Anna Ruth Meyer

September 1940 -Monroe Public Library becomes Ouachita Parish Public Library

October 8, 1941 - West Monroe Branch opens at 307 Wood Street, West Monroe

May 3, 1946 - West Monroe Branch relocates to the corner of Natchitoches and Cypress

April 1, 1948 - Bookmobile service was established

Summer 1948 - First Summer Reading Club for children

February 6, 1949 - Carver Branch opens at 109 ½ Powell’s Alley, Monroe

April 15, 1949 - Ouachita Parish Public Library receives the Modisette Award

February 12, 1950 - Carver relocates to 116 North 10th Street, Monroe

June 1, 1958 - West Monroe Branch relocates to 315 Cypress Street, West Monroe

April 12, 1959 - New Main Branch opens at 1800 Stubbs Avenue, Monroe

October 30, 1960 - Anna Meyer Branch, 418 Jackson Street, remodeled

December 18, 1964 - Carver Branch relocates to 2941 Renwick Street, Monroe

January 12, 1969 - Joseph Bennett McGuire Genealogy Room opens at Main Branch

June 5, 1977 - Ouachita Valley Branch opens at 601 McMillan Road, West Monroe

June 22, 1994 - Anna Meyer Branch relocates to 1808 U.S. Highway 165 South, Monroe

December 16, 2001 - West Ouachita Branch opens at 188 Hwy 546, West Monroe

August 20, 2005 - Louise Williams Branch opens at 140 Bayou Oaks Drive, Monroe

June 14, 2007 - Sterlington Memorial Branch opens at 305 Keystone Road, Monroe

June 11, 2009 - Carver renamed Carver-McDonald Branch in honor of Odalie McDonald

August 12, 2010 - Ollie Burns Memorial Branch opens at 5601 Hwy 165 By-Pass, Richwood

February 10, 2011 - Cpl. J.R. Searcy Memorial Branch opens at 5775 Jonesboro Road, West Monroe

 

Head Librarians

1916: Alice Gillam

1916–1917: Edith Gunby

1917–1932: Lillian Mitchell Williamson

1933–1939: Edith Townes

1939–1940: Gertrude Brown, acting librarian

1941–1946: Frances Michie

1945–1946: Marie Powers, acting librarian

1946–1973: Frances Flanders

1973–1978: Julia Avant

1978–1991: Agnes Harris

1991–2001: Ben Brady

2001–2010: Cheryl Cooper Mouliere

2010–Present: Robin Toms

What is the Library's mailing address?

All mail can be sent to the Main Branch Library at:

Ouachita Parish Public Library
1800 Stubbs Avenue
Monroe, LA 71201

What is the Library's phone number?

318.327.1490

Can I email a librarian?

Yes. You can email any questions about the Library or any research questions to help@oplib.org.