Software Upgrade Oct 25

You will not be able to access your account OCT 22-24 as we make necessary software upgrades.  This means you cannot place holds, renew items, or make changes to your account.  You should still be able to access digital materials.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

Weekly Update - 10.06.21

Weekly Update - 10.06.21

This week in library news, my topic of choice is potentially familiar since it’s been shared on social media and even made the local news. I’m using this week’s column to give readers more facts and hopefully answer the most pressing questions about Bossier Parish Libraries’ new construction project. For full details you can visit our website and click on “Capital Projects FAQ” under the About Us tab, and you can email us any questions you have at contactus@bossierlibrary.org. For now, let me go over the basic information for those unfamiliar with this project we’ve undertaken.

This project was conceptualized back in 2012 when it became clear that our Central Branch was soon going to be too small and in need of too many repairs to continue accommodating the community it served. The original plan was to remodel the existing location, but after a cost estimate of $20 million, we knew we needed to go back to the drawing board. Why was the cost of a remodel so high? Remodeling costs can easily skyrocket (hence the high estimate) as unforeseen complications are uncovered as walls are broken into and taken down; in addition, our remodel would have involved 3 separate buildings that have been connected by a breezeway and a meandering hallway in order to create the space we need. Plus, with a remodel we would have faced having to close our largest library for a period of 2 years. Adding in the cost of renting temporary space and the limitations we would face in providing services for the public, it became clear that a remodel would burden the community and still not necessarily provide the space we were hoping to create.

As we rethought our approach to a necessary upgrade to our Central Library, we consulted an architect on a brand-new design. On October 22, 2020 the Library Board of Control approved plans to move forward on the construction of a new $9.5 million Central Library; and on September 21, 2021 the Bossier Parish Police Jury met to open the bid proposals for the project. Due to Covid-related inflation of supplies and materials, the cost estimate for this project has been increased slightly to $9.75 million. This cost estimate includes everything for this project: the architects, contractors, materials, equipment, technology infrastructure, and all the physical items that our patrons will see and use (bookshelves, desks, tables, chairs, improved technological infrastructure, and more.) Even with the changes we have faced over the last year, the cost for a new build remains less than half of what a remodel would cost.

However, some of you may be asking, why build a new branch at all instead of maintaining the existing space we have? Simply put: to meet the ever-increasing needs of a growing community. A new Central Library & History Center is a project we have been working toward for the last several years based on feedback we received through a community survey/needs assessment as the needs of our communities within Bossier Parish continue to grow and evolve. As Walter Cronkite once said, “whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” And, while we love that sentiment, we didn’t actually want ask to for additional funds to make this project happen so we set aside funding from our dedicated tax millage to make this happen. Keep reading in the coming months to learn more about how this new library will benefit you and our community as a whole.