Doyline library branching out

By Paige Nash

The Webster Parish Library System has exciting news to share with the parish, particularly the Doyline community. The Town of Doyline has allowed the library to be housed at its current location for many years. The current building seems to have served its purpose and it is time for the branch to relocate to a more permanent home, one that better accommodates the needs of the community.  

“The need for a new facility in Doyline has been on our radar for quite some time,” said Webster Parish Libraries Director, Savannah Jones. “Not only is it needed – but it is also necessary. If you have been to the current location, you know why. The problem was finding a suitable, new location to house a branch in the heart of the town.” 

The branch is currently located at 333 Main Street in Doyline. The building is old, and they have been battling leaks for the last few years. There is also no restroom. 

On April 11, title work was completed, and a piece of property was transferred from First Baptist Church of Doyline to the library system with the community’s best interest in mind. The property is a lot located right next to the church’s administrative building, which is on Fuller Street. 

“We are beyond grateful for the support shown from the FBC of Doyline,” said Jones. “It is evident we are two entities that both care deeply about the Doyline community.” 

Branch manager, Kelly Burge is particularly ecstatic over the acquisition. 

“I was born and raised in the Town of Doyline and used the library as a child,” said Burge. “I am very excited for the possibility for branch growth in the near future. When I accepted this position four years ago, I never dreamed I would love a job as much as I do this one.” 

The Webster Parish Library System is the fourth oldest library system in the state of Louisiana and was created in hopes to be a “model” library for other branches to follow. The system operates off a millage rate that is voted on by parish residents every 10 years. Webster Parish Libraries is hoping to get back on the ballot for renewal in the upcoming election, which will be taking place in spring of next year. 

“We have hopes of eventually building a new branch at the location, but ultimately that decision is made by the people within the parish,” said Jones. “We are in the process of trying to position ourselves to build without having to go out to the public for additional funds. We always strive to be good stewards of public funds and make decisions with the parish residents’ needs in mind.” 

In the meantime, they are looking into possibly setting up a temporary trailer to house the branch until a more permanent structure can be built. 

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