History of Pointe Coupee Parish Library
Learn About The Library
One of the most cherished institutions of Pointe Coupee Parish is its public library. The history of the Pointe Coupee Parish Library is rooted in culture, dedication, sacrifice, and immeasurable generosity.
During its infancy, the library was made up of a small collection of books from the private collections of founder Adrienne Lawrence Claiborne and Pointe Coupee Book Club members. Now, the library carries a wealth of materials such as books, magazines, videos, databases, and more.
Over the years, many have visited the Pointe Coupee Parish Library, and most of the parish’s citizens hold library cards. Students stop by for homework help, teachers regularly bring their classes for storytime and research projects, and adults enjoy our vast book collection.
Recently, the Pointe Coupee Parish Library established its Historical Materials collection, which has seen significant contributions from the community. Our residents even add to this extraordinary collection by bringing priceless family photographs, documents, and letters for scanning. Over 3,000 pictures and articles have been scanned and published as a web-based digital collection.
History of Pointe Coupee Parish Library: The Road Ahead
In the most recent history of the Pointe Coupee Parish Library, it has consistently ranked first statewide in circulation and collection size per capita. This was no small feat and says a great deal about the library system’s support from its general public.
For the last 60 years, each tax proposition on the ballot supporting the public library has passed by a resounding margin. The newest tax will help the public library efforts through 2031. When faced with harsh economic times, the Pointe Coupee Parish Library system and its employees were humbled by the public’s overwhelming and continued support.
We strive to live up to the motto of the 1993 Library Board of Control: quality over quantity. We are proud to provide the citizens of Pointe Coupee with our quality programs, collections, and facilities and continue to contribute to the history of the Pointe Coupee Parish Library.
History of the Pointe Coupee Parish Library: Timeline
Ms. Adrienne Lawrence Claiborne established the first library in the parish at the site formerly known as Raymond’s Pharmacy in New Roads, LA.
Ms. Claiborne charged .25 per month for individuals to use her personal collection of books. Many of these are in the library’s special collections today.
The Pointe Coupee Book Club officially begins its duties as a public library, using books from Ms. Claiborne’s private collection and books and materials from other members.
The library becomes a WPA project, and Miss Lillian St. Romain is certified as Librarian, serving until her retirement in 1947.
The expanded library moves into the Gosserand Building in New Roads, LA.
The WPA support is discontinued; however, the Louisiana Library Commission noted that Pointe Coupee was eligible for a parish-wide library under the system and took the library over for a year as a demonstration project.
As a result, branches of the library were established, a parish bookmobile was provided, as well as a substantial increase in books, and the Inter-Library Loan Service was initiated.
The Pointe Coupee Parish Library officially opened its doors on April 27, 1941.
Plans were made to construct a headquarters in New Roads with branches in Innis, Livonia, Rougon, and Morganza.
The new spacious library opened in New Roads in the autumn of 1966 with a total floor area of 8700 sq. ft.
1994 - 1997
The Pointe Coupee Parish Library began a massive renovation and expansion project with an LSCA II Construction grant.
The project encompassed the renovation and expansion of the New Roads main library in 1995, the renovation and expansion of the four outlying branch libraries in 1996, and a system-wide computer system in 1997.
A new Innis Branch Library was constructed.
The 10,000 sq. ft. facility houses a state-of-the-art library with a large, community utilized meeting room.
The Pointe Coupee Parish Library completes a 15-year promise to residents of the southern end of the parish with a new Livonia Branch Library.
This 10,000 sq. ft. building was designed to accommodate all users in an inviting modern facility with numerous amounts of digital content.
About the Founder – Adrienne Lawrence Claiborne
The greater portion of the tract of land on which the New Roads library is located was donated by the heirs of the late District Attorney Fred C. Claiborne and his wife, Adrienne Claiborne. Ms. Adrienne Claiborne was one of the foremost pioneers of the library movement in Point Coupee Parish, as she privately established the first library in the parish in 1910.
Ms. Adrienne Claiborne rented books, many from her private collection, for twenty-five cents per month. The library was open every weekday afternoon and operated on a non-profit donation basis.
Today’s library carries numerous books and magazines, videos, CDs, audiobooks, digital books, digital magazines, streaming videos, photographs, microfilm, newspapers, databases, hotspots, and computers. A century ago, Ms. Adrienne Lawrence Claiborne dreamt of a library in Pointe Coupee Parish. While she planted the seed, we will continue to nurture and care for her vision.
Contribute to the history of the Pointe Coupee Library when you donate materials to our Historical Materials Collection or visit our main branch in New Roads to learn more about our founder, Ms. Adrienne Claiborne. There’s plenty to discover when you browse through our collection or utilize our many services.