A woman stands in a room surrounded by books.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

UPDATE #2: Library buildings will need to remain closed to the public on Tuesday, June 29 to complete the rebuilding of our network. The process is being analyzed on a day-by-day basis, and all updates will be shared on the Library's website and social media channels. Patrons are encouraged to borrow e-books, e-audiobooks and more on the cloudLibrary and Hoopla apps. Download those apps to your device here: https://www.oplib.org/e-books-streaming

UPDATE #1: The Library will remain closed to the public on Monday, June 28 to complete the rebuilding of our network. Currently, we anticipate reopening to the public tomorrow, on Tuesday, June 29 at 9 a.m. Further updates on that will be provided today at 5 p.m.

ORIGINAL: All branches of the Ouachita Parish Public Library will close to the public June 23-27 for inventory and data collection. Library staff have rebuilt systems after an attempted malware attack caused a critical network failure on April 21. The network failure caused the online catalog, most databases and all phones and internet to go down, but the attack caused no encryption or loss of data on the Library’s servers. 

“Even though our computers were down, we were determined to deliver essential Library service to our patrons,” said Library Director Robin Toms. 

The Library remained open over the past two months for patrons to borrow books, DVDs and other physical items. During that time, patrons borrowed an estimated 35,000 items and Library staff created handwritten records of those circulated items.  

“Now that the network is coming back online, we must log all those handwritten check-outs and check-ins into the digital, Integrated Library System. It’s essential that we track every item borrowed so that we can accurately account for the location of each item, as well as report our statistics of use to parish, state and federal government agencies as required,” Toms said.  

After inputting the data, Library staff will then reshelve the tens of thousands of returned items. Toms expects Library branches to reopen on Monday, June 28. While the physical buildings are closed to the public, patrons are encouraged to borrow e-books, e-audiobooks, movies and music on the cloudLibrary and Hoopla apps.  

“We expect most systems and services to be working normally when we reopen to the public. However, there could still be some issues that arise and will need to be worked through,” Toms said. “We are grateful and sincerely appreciative for the patience and understanding shown by our community during this challenging time.” 

Even though branches will be closed for public service, patrons may still shop at the Friends of the Ouachita Public Library book sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 25-26 at the West Ouachita Branch, located at 188 Hwy. 546 in West Monroe. The public may enter the book sale entrance near the back on the left-side of the building.  

The Library has not charged any overdue fines on materials due since April 21. To avoid overdue fines, patrons should return Library items to any branch by July 31. Damaged or lost items will still be charged as usual. Beginning August 1, overdue fines will once again be assessed and charged on all items returned past their due date.  

All updates will be shared on oplib.org and Library social media pages.