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Vernon Parish Library, Leesville,
by Howard L. Coy Jr., Director
Vernon Parish Library
The Vernon Parish Library was established in 1956 as a
pilot library by the Louisiana State Library. It's first location was in a room
in the basement of the Vernon Parish Courthouse. In 1958, they moved into a new
building located on the Courthouse grounds. In 1995, the Library moved to our
current location. Located on 2.61 acres, the new building is a 20,000 sq. ft.
and is 4 1/2 time the size of the old building. The Library System consists of
the main branch and two branches and one Mobile Branch. An electronic sign was
recently acquired for promoting programs and services.
The Mobile Branch (bookmobile) was purchased in 2012.
It contains the usual books, Audio-Books, CD's, DVD's, and Magazines. It also
has two public use laptops connected to the Internet, a color
copier/scanner/printer. The unit makes community stops in each of the towns in
the parish, as well as serving area nursing homes and Senior Centers. The Mobile
Branch Dept. also offers Books-by-Mail for shut-ins. This free service offers
library materials for those individuals that are shut-in most of the time,
whether it be for a brief period of time, or long-term. Patrons have to submit a
form with a doctor's signature to qualify. Materials are placed in a bag, with a
pre-addressed, postage paid return mailing label for return to the Library.
Patrons can request specific items, or suggest areas of interest with the
Library staff making the selections.
The Library offers many programs and services. It was
the first public library in Louisiana to offer a color photocopier,
800-toll-free telephone number and circulate Fishing Rods and Reels. These
Fishing Rods and reels were purchased with funds from civic organization and a
grant from Wal-Mart.
The Library is a Federal and State Depository Library.
It is one of two public libraries in the state to be a Federal Depository
Library, with a collection of 17.16%. All documents are inter-shelved with the
regular collection, using the Dewey Decimal System. All documents are cataloged
the day they arrive, and on the shelves within 5 days.
The Library has an active Archive Collection. All
items in the Archives are stored in acid-free containers in a
humidity/temperature controlled room. The collection includes a large collection
of school yearbooks, and local history. Some of the local history items include
materials about local schools, churches, New Llano Cooperative Colony, Fort Polk
Military base and Funeral Programs. One special collection is a collection of
first student photographs kept by one teacher. Some of the items have been
copied and copies are made available for the public to purchase. As part of
making items from the Archives easily available to the public, the Library has a
Flickr webpage with over 14,500 photographs arranged in folders, and most
individuals identified and tags added. This collection receives an average of
35,325 hits a month.
The Library has a well used genealogical collection.
The collection consists of local records, including Sanborn Fire Insurance maps,
local Genealogical Society journal, which the Library has indexed, cemetery
records. The collection includes photographs of most of the cemetery tombstones
in the parish.
Disney Collection Claude “Buddy”
Leach Children's Wing
The Claude “Buddy” Leach Children's Wing,
is so named because of a gift made in Mr. Leach's honor on his birthday by his
wife. Only interest from the money is used to help purchase materials for the
collection. A local motorcycle club, hosts a run every year and the proceeds are
donated to the Children's wing as a memorial for one of their
Claude "Buddy" Leach Plaque Smart
The room includes the usual books and audio-visuals
for loan. It also includes a Smart Table, and Early Learning Literacy Computer.
The collection also includes 20 LaunchPad Tablets with games and activities for
checkout. The Children's Librarian offers free tutoring on the use of tablets
and the Library's collections for adults.
Preschool storytimes are held each Wednesday morning,
and during the summer, storytimes and summer reading programs. Hunter Safety
classes are held each summer, in cooperation with the Louisiana Wildlife and
The Library has a meeting room that seats 100 with
full kitchen facilities available for use by local groups. It is used an average
of 34 times a month. The Library also offers various programs throughout the
year, including author programs and computer training classes. The library also
has two small Study Rooms available.
One of two Study rooms
COMPUTERS / DATABASES /
Computers, Adult non-fiction,
Seven computers are set up in the reference area for
“serious” use. They can be used to access .org, .edu and .gov sites,
as well as Library databases. The Library has Genealogy databases, as well as
Lexis-Nexis. We have 10 additional public access computers. A KIC scanner is
available for public use. The Library has 20 laptops for use inside the library,
using our WiFi network. The Library has two machines for handicapped used.
These machines enlarge print for visually impaired patrons, or read to the
patron that is blind.
The Library is a part of Libraries Southwest regional
Library organization. We offer a Libraries
Southwest Library card which can be used at 5
other member libraries. The Organization also offers OverDrive for our patrons.
Archives upstairs, Computer Game
collection Circulation Desk
The Library has a collection of computer games for
children and adults. Also included are the usual Large Print books, magazines,
DVD's, audiobooks for adults and children, book/CD's for children, Genealogy,
Reference, Microfilm/fiche, computer tablets for children and two Kindles.
Library materials are selected and ordered within two days of receiving the
reviewing journals, cataloged the same day they arrive, processed and on the
shelves within 5 days. The same applies for State and Federal documents.
We offer all of the Library's collection of newspapers
online, up through 2016. They are searchable. Other databases are Lexis-Nexis,
TumbleBooks for Children, Legal forms, Chilton's Auto Repair Database, Zinio
Magazines, Freegal, Hoopla, Atomic Training, Heritage Quest, Ancestry, World
Book, Artists Works and several through the La. State Library statewide database
Copyright 2017 by Howard L. Coy
About the author:
Howard L. Coy Jr. is the director of the Vernon
Parish Library for the past 34 years. Current activities include serving on the
local Volunteer Fire Dept. Board and Treasurer, Treasurer and Board member of a
local low-income Senior Apartments. He has been active in state and regional
library organizations and various local community organizations. He is the
recipient of the Charles E. Dunbar La. Civil Service Award, La. Library
Association's Modisette award for School Libraries, and LLA's Meritorious
Vernon Parish Library, 1401 Nolan Trace, Leesville,
LA 71446, phone number 337-239-2027 or 800-737-2231; Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org; URL: www.vernon.lib.la.us