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January 11, 2023

Modern Library System Moving Washington Parish Forward

Submitted by Mary Jo Poole, President of Friends of the Library

The Washington Parish Library System has something for all residents to enjoy and be proud of.

In 2022, the library has had children, teen and adult programs. Adding to the rotation of programs that already existed, like the “Summer Reading Program” for children, the new Library Director, Sonnet Ireland, now includes adult programming such as recipe swaps, craft programs, programs that talk about crime and the avoidance of scams, how to talk to the doctor, and more “Tech Time” programs giving assistance with computers and technical devices. In addition, “Teen Game Night” has become popular with the teenage crowd at the Franklinton and Bogalusa branches. The Library has created partnerships to offer virtual programming on financial and legal issues.

The Library System has had multiple outreach programs working with the Council on Aging, the Franklinton Association of Challenged Citizens, Head Start, 4-H, the Chambers of Commerce, and the Washington Parish Animal Shelter, to name a few. The system has partnered with our local museums, and made an effort to promote them as well as other local events and organizations.

The future plans for 2023, according to Ireland, include multiple partnerships. Currently partnering with the Franklinton Police Dept. to create programming on public safety, the Library hopes to expand the partnership to Washington Parish Sheriff's Office and Bogalusa Police Department. Partnerships with the parks departments will result in outdoor programming and additional outreach. Plans are being made to partner even more with local schools to ensure the library is able to meet the needs of the young people in our communities. Ireland wants more partnerships with first responders to help children get comfortable with firefighters, 911 operations, paramedics, and police. “Of course, a primary goal of 2023 will be to maintain our current partnerships, and deepen them, to provide even more programs and services that our community needs”, says Ireland.

The Library System serves homeschool families, and will be expanding homebound services to residents who are unable physically to come into a branch. The system hopes to increase virtual programming to allow residents access to the programs when it's most convenient for them.

Friends of the Library are very happy with the excellent programs the Library provides for all of Washington Parish. We would like to invite everyone to join Friends of the Library to support our Library System. For more information about the Washington Parish Library System or about becoming a Friend, visit the Library website https://washingtonparishlibrary.info.

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