Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Newsletter

Our summer newsletter is available! Click here to read about our new summer exhibit, learn about recent donations, and find information on our upcoming September RELIC program. Be sure to read the article about the Bossier Parish Library's history - we have a 70th birthday coming up!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teens Travel in Time

"You Are Here - Travel in Time". If you’re a teen, you’re invited to go backward and forward in time this summer with the Bossier Parish Library’s Teen Summer Reading Program. The program meets every Wednesday June 15-July 13 2-4pm, but teens can go to as many or as few sessions as they want. Historically they will be diving into the 1920’s, touching on the popularity of flappers and the opening of King Tut’s tomb before traveling back to the time of the Ancient Egyptians. They’ll look ahead to 2012 and the Mayan prophecy that the world will end on December 21, 2012, and finally back again in time to a Renaissance Faire. On June 29, Local History and Outreach Specialist Pam Carlisle will be conducting a program on the history of Bossier Parish, from Caddo Indians up through at least the 1960’s, particularly from the perspective of food! They’ll even do a little cooking themselves (traveling forward in time with the use of a microwave). Teens will also learn about a Bossier Parish ‘then and now’ photography project in which they can participate. Programs will have plenty of future speculation, too, including this year’s SRP lock-in (July 8-9 from 7pm to 7am), with a theme of space, aliens, and robots. Go to to see the Library Events calendar for each day’s theme. To sign up, see Tonya Oswalt, director of Young Adult Services at the Central Library or call her at 746-1693.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bossier Parish School Yearbooks

The collection of Bossier Parish School Yearbooks at the History Center is one of our most frequently used resources. However, there are many schools for which we have no yearbooks, or only a partial collection for a school. If you have yearbooks that you would like to donate, or if you know someone who might want to donate yearbooks, please contact a staff member at the History Center at 746-7717. Your donation will be greatly appreciated, and you will be contributing to the preservation of Bossier Parish history.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Billie Stevens - In Honor of Bossier Parish Library's 70th Anniversary

Billie Stevens and the Bossier Parish Library Bookmobile

Wanted: Bossier Parish Librarian C. 1950. Duties include: Put buckets under leaks, cut the tops off of large cans and nail them to cover holes in the floor, order books for all the schools in the Parish (in addition to the public library books), take the bookmobile on unpaved roads to Rocky Mount (or Chalybeate Springs, Red Land, Walker’s Chapel, or Mott), help get it out of a ditch, get back to Benton and type all the records of the circulated books and magazines, present children’s story hour, write a book review of the latest gardening book for the parish garden club meetings and home demonstration clubs, paint the walls and shelves, fix the plumbing and pay son to mow the grass out of own pocket or do it yourself. Sound nearly impossible? It was all in a day’s work for Mrs. Billie Williams Stevens of Benton, who worked for Bossier Parish Libraries from 1950 to 1984 and sat for an oral history interview in 2001.

She was with the library almost from its beginning. The library started in 1940 at the urging of the Bossier High School PTA as a demonstration library by the Louisiana Library Commission (now the State Library). It relied on library assistants from the Works Progress Administration, which was a Federal employment program created by the Franklin Roosevelt administration to pull the U.S. out of the Great Depression. Bossier had never had a public library save for some books donated to the courthouse for public use. The demonstration library system allowed the parish to experience the benefits of a public library for a year-long trial period, after which the parish would choose to either to abandon the program or take over the library by accepting the state’s books and equipment. The Police Jury voted almost unanimously to adopt the library on June 12, 1941. Although the war made the library very focal as a “War Information Center”, dedicated funding for the library was thwarted by World War II. It limped along financially until 1947 when it was funded with a tax specifically for the library system.

Bossier Parish Libraries 70th Anniversary Event

Bossier Parish Libraries are turning 70! On Thursday, June 30, 2011 from 11:30AM—3:30PM, Bossier Parish Library will host a reception in the History Center to celebrate 70-years of public service to the citizens of Bossier Parish. The public is invited to celebrate with us. There will be cake, cookies, coffee and lemonade. At 11:30AM a small ceremony will take place in honor of this special occasion. Please stop by, and you can check out our exhibits while you're here (including current temporary exhibits Confederate Currency, Summertime in Bossier Parish and Something Blue - Weddings in Bossier Parish).

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Hours

Just a reminder that we have switched to our summer hours - the Historical Center now closes at 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.