Full TIme Branches
I. Atkins Branch
In April 1963 the Judson Street School PTA requested that the Library open a branch near the school. The Board included the project in an upcoming bond issue, which funded the construction of the branch. The Atkins Branch at 2709 Hassett St. was formally opened to the public on September 26, 1965. The land on which it was built was part of a parcel donated by John B. Atkins for a City park so the branch was named for him. This building was 3,700 square feet in size. The building's roof was replaced in 1982, and shelving was added several times over its life span. The Atkins Branch replaced the older Queensborough Branch, a much smaller building located in the same general area.
The Library's 1996 capital tax issue provided funding for a new Atkins Branch building, located at 3704 Greenwood Road. This building is 9,750 square feet in size and was designed by Richard S Kravet and Cynthia Dubberly of Manning Architects. It was opened to the public on October 22, 2006. The building's important features are a huge bank of windows facing the view on the north side of the building, and the aquatic and nautical theme of its interior design, inspired by its location near Cross Lake. Cost of the building was $2,800,813.
II. Broadmoor Branch
In February 1947 a civic organization in the Broadmoor community requested that the Library Board construct a library in the area. The building was constructed at 4025 Youree Drive, on the grounds of A. C. Steere Elementary School. In August of 1947 the City Council approved a proposal to build two small branches, one in Broadmoor and one in Queensborough, with a cost not to exceed $5,000 each. Architect Dewey Somdal was asked to draw up plans for the Broadmoor building in March 1948. The Broadmoor Branch was open and operating by August of 1948, located at 4025 Youree Drive on the grounds of A. C. Steere School. The original building was much smaller than the current building at that site.
In January of 1956, the decision was made to expand the branch. Neild-Somdal Associates designed the addition, which made the building L-shaped and included space for separate adult and children's collections and work space for staff. This addition was completed around September of 1956.
In 1969 the building was expanded again, making the library U-shaped. This expansion was designed by Van Os and Flaxman and was open to the public by September 1969. The final size of the expanded building was 4,088 square feet.
In the planning process for new branches which began in 1992-93, it was determined that the Library would build two resource centers in the eastern and western parts of Shreveport, which would serve as backup collections for the surrounding neighborhood branches in each area and would duplicate some, of the reference resources held at the Main Library. The genealogy patrons also strongly wanted the Genealogy Library to be relocated from the Main Library to a branch. It was determined that Broadmoor would be the eastern resource center for the system, and it would also house the Genealogy Library.
On April 2, 2000, a new Broadmoor Branch resource center was opened at 1212 Captain Shreve Drive, constructed with funds from the Library's 1996 capital tax issue. At this time the Genealogy Library was moved from the Main Library to Broadmoor, and was incorporated into Broadmoor Branch as a department. The new building was designed by Clarence Babineaux of Schuldt, Goza, Babineaux Architects. It is 32,000 square feet in size. About 8,000 square feet of this total is occupied by the Genealogy Library. The cost of the building was $5,405,552 including land.
III. Cedar Grove/ Line Avenue Branch
Cedar Grove, the first branch of Shreve Memorial Library, was opened in April, 1929 at 6700 Southern Avenue. At this time the branch was only open part-time. The branch consisted of two rooms, located in a 1922 building which formerly served as the town hall of the incorporated village of Cedar Grove.
In September 1946 the Board proposed to the City that the branch take over the whole front part of the building and turn it into one large room. This was apparently not done, and the librarian wrote in 1950 that, "Cedar Grove is the biggest eyesore and a disgrace to the system." Mayor Clyde Fant moved to remodel the building in 1952 after several civic committees from the area called upon him concerning the state of the branch. The work was completed in February 1953. A ir-conditioning and a patio were added in 1957. In 1966 the branch was remodeled again by architects Van Os and Flaxman, and a 12' x 56' addition was made. This remodeling was completed and the building reopened on December 14, 1966. Its total size was 1,966 square feet.
Funds from the 1996 capital tax were used to construct the new Cedar Grove/Line Avenue Branch at 8303 Line Avenue. The architect for the new, 10,770 square foot branch was Bobby Osteen of Slack Alost Miremont Architects. The grand opening ceremony was held on November 14, 1999. The total cost of the building was $2,456,359.
IV. Hamilton/South Caddo Branch (formerly the J. C. Hamilton Branch)
The J. C. Hamilton Branch at 2604 Hillcrest in the Werner Park neighborhood was opened to the public on July 3, 1961. Architects were Meleton & Massey. The building was named for J. C. Hamilton, who donated the land for the branch and was president of the Library Board from 1942 until his death in 1947.
The branch replaced the smaller Werner Park Branch, which was closed as soon as Hamilton opened. Hamilton Branch originally housed a bookmobile garage in the back, but the bookmobile operation later moved to the Extension Headquarters building on Creswell St. In 1971-72, the Hamilton branch was remodeled and the garage was converted to part of the library. This added about 1,126 square feet to Shreve Memorial Library Summary of Histories of Library Branches as of 2009, the service area, making the building's total size 5,190 square feet. Additional parking space was added at this time by purchasing a lot at 6135 Bowie Street.
In the 1992-93 planning process, Hamilton was originally envisioned as a neighborhood branch. However, public input from both the Hamilton and South Caddo Branch service areas, including a petition signed by many citizens, inspired the Library Board to merge the two branches into a single large building of 26,000 square feet. This branch was designated as the western resource center for the system. Its larger collections and expanded reference and children's services programs were intended as a backup for neighborhood branches in the area. The cost of the building was $4,968,709, including land. The architect was Clarence Babineaux of SGB Architects.
V. Hollywood/Union Avenue Branch (Formerly the Bookmobile-Extension Center)
This branch was constructed as the Union Avenue Branch, located at 5802 Union Avenue. The building opened on February 21, 1965 on land leased from the Caddo Parish School Board. Supposedly Mayor Clyde Fant himself determined the location of the branch, a problematic one since it was only 1.8 miles from the Cedar Grove Branch and less than a mile from Hamilton. By 1968 the branch's circulation had become very low, partly because it was so close to two other branches. On January 13, 1978 the building was closed as a public branch, and it became the home of the Extension Services department, the book-routing operation for the part-time branches, and the bookmobile operation. The building was 3,693 square feet in size.
In the summer of 1983, Commissioner Hersey Wilson began discussing with the Library Board the possibility of reopening the branch to the public. An official request to reopen the branch to the public was made by Commissioner Pennywell on October 11, 1984. Public interest was demonstrated by a petition signed by 252 citizens and a public meeting attended by 40-50 people. Citizens at the meeting stated the need for the branch due to the large number of school-age children in the area. The Library Board agreed to open the branch to the public on a part-time afternoon basis (20 hours per week) in June, 1985, while maintaining the routing, bookmobile, and Extension office functions of the building during the morning hours. The branch was renamed the Bookmobile Center to emphasize its dual function. At that time the Library operated two bookmobiles, which continued to operate from this building. Later the hours of this branch were expanded to make it a full-time branch, open all day Monday through Friday and also on Saturday and Monday through Wednesday evenings.
Funded by the 1996 capital tax issue, the new branch was named the Hollywood/Union Avenue Branch in recognition of its location at the corner of Hollywood and Union Avenues. The new building was built on the site of the old one, which was demolished. A new address of 2105 Hollywood Avenue was assigned to the site. The land, which belonged to the Caddo Parish School Board, was officially leased to the Library. The grand opening ceremony was held on September 16, 2006. The new building was designed by Mischa Farrell, Architect, and is 8,500 square feet in size. The plan had been to move the bookmobile operation to the Atkins branch but that was opposed by the Atkins community so the bookmobile operation remained at Hollywood/Union. The cost of the building was $2,287,371. The most striking feature of the branch is the set of large internal windows behind the service desk depicting portraits of citizens of the community. Artists for the project were Neil Johnson, who photographed living citizens nominated in community meetings, and Walter Washington, who made drawings of deceased citizens who were nominated by the community. The artists were selected through a competition coordinated by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.
VI. Mooretown Branch
In 1989, Mooretown community resident Barbara Norton and other members of the community asked the Library Board to provide library service in the area beyond the level of the bookmobile stops which were made there. In that year Shreve Memorial Library and Shreveport Parks and Recreation cooperated to establish a library room within the Airport Park Recreation Center at 6500 Kennedy Drive. Shreve Memorial Library provided advice and assistance; books were donated by the public through a book drive spearheaded by Mrs. Norton; and the cost of the part-time library manager was covered by SPAR. In the planning process of 1992-1993, it was decided that there was a need for a full-time library branch in the area.
Funded by the 1996 capital tax issue, the new Mooretown Branch Library opened to the public on September 28, 2003. It is 8,500 square feet in size and is located at 4360 Hollywood Avenue. The site was obtained on a long-term lease from the City of Shreveport. The cost of the building was $1,888,460. The architect was Byron J. Stewart of Byron J. Stewart & Associates of New Orleans; his Shreveport associate was Mischa Farrell, Architect. A pedestrian bridge over a large drainage ditch was constructed by the Library to allow citizens on the north side of the branch to access it easily. The most dramatic feature of the branch is the large ceramic tile mural over the circulation desk depicting the history of Mooretown. The mural design project was coordinated by Shreveport Regional Arts Council. Artists for the mural project were Marcus Akinlana, Walter Washington, and Patrick Marshall.
VII. North Caddo Branch
The predecessor of the North Caddo Branch was the Vivian Branch Library, founded in 1930 by the Caddo Parish Police Jury. The Vivian Branch was originally located in an upstairs room over the Ritz movie theater on West Front Street. It later moved to the old City Hall. In June, 1939, the branch moved to a room specifically planned for it in the new City Hall building.
In 1968 a Caddo Parish bond issue was passed to provide $150,000 for the construction of three new Parish libraries. In January 1971, the Library Board heard requests for a new library in north Caddo Parish, which would serve as a resource center for the part-time branches in the area. The Library Board decided on Vivian as the site and it was approved by the Police Jury in October 1972. The site was at 414 North Pine Street. A building of 2,900 square feet was constructed on the site. Architects for the building were Walker & Walker. The grand opening ceremony for the building was on December 12, 1974.
During the 1992-93 planning process, the Library Board heard the requests of Vivian citizens to relocate the library to the old Vivian Elementary School building, which had been vacated by the School Board. The two-story brick building from the 1920's was a local landmark and was designed by Architect Edward F. Neild. The Library acquired the building through a purchase/exchange with the Caddo Parish School Board that involved three properties. The Library donated the old Broadmoor, Lakeside/Wallette, and North Caddo buildings to the School Board in exchange for the Vivian Elementary School building with surrounding land, and the land upon which the new Wallette Branch was built. The architect for the new North Caddo branch was George A. Jackson, Jr. The old elementary school was completely gutted and the interior was rebuilt as a two-story, 12,600-square-foot library branch. The branch opened to the public on July 18, 1999. Total cost was $1,829,807.
VIII. North Shreveport Branch
The 1992-93 planning process indicated that one of the underserved areas in the Library's service area was North Shreveport. A completely new branch for this area was planned and was funded by the 1996 capital tax issue. The building was designed by Mark Prevot and Niall Whatley of Alliance Architects. This building opened to the public on June 29, 2003. It is 8,500 square feet in size and is located at 4844 North Market Street. The building was designed to be reminiscent of farm buildings and the children's area continues the barn theme with corrugated metal siding and a "hayloft" tower. The total cost was $1,997,524.
IX. David Raines Branch
In 1969, Library Board President Robert H. Nelson Jr. appointed a committee to study the community in northwest Shreveport which was then known as the Cooper Road area as a possible site for a branch library. The Board decided to place a new branch in a multi-use community center whose construction was being planned by the Caddo Parish Police Jury. The David Raines Community Center was built with funds from the Police Jury, a Housing and Urban Development Grant, and the Library. The site was three acres in size. Architect for the building was Robert Smith. The Library paid $35,000 to the Parish for the share of the building occupied by the library branch. This funding came from the Library's 1968 bond issue. The library branch was 2,824 square feet in size and opened on December 3, 1972.
A new David Raines Branch was constructed with funds from the 1996 capital tax issue. It is 8,500 square feet in size and is located at 2855 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The architect was Lauren Marchive of the Newman Marchive Partnership. The new building was opened to the public in July, 2003. It has a dramatic tent-like roof structure with natural wood exposed on the interior. Total cost to build it was $1,908,385.
X. South Caddo Branch
The South Caddo branch was built with funds from the Library's 1968 bond issue. The land for the branch was donated by the Western Electric Company to Caddo Parish. The Parish then donated a one-half interest in the land to the City and the Library constructed the branch. The completed building, 6 located at 9701 Baird Road, was formally opened to the public on March 20, 1974. At that time the Summer Grove and Forbing branches of the library were closed, because they were replaced by South Caddo. The building was designed by Walker & Walker, and was 4,263 square feet in size.
The 1992-93 branch study recommended that this building be replaced by a new facility of the community branch size. However, the Hamilton Branch service area was very close to South Caddo's and citizens of the area signed a petition requesting that the new branch be merged with Hamilton in order to make a larger facility. A large lot at the corner of Baird Road and Bert Kouns had been considered by Wal-Mart as a site for a store, but this was rejected by the community. There was much support for locating the new library branch on this site, so the Library Board chose it as the location for the combined branches. The new Hamilton/ South Caddo Resource Center opened on May 18, 2003. Its architect was Clarence Babineaux of Schult, Goza, Babineaux Architects. The building is 26,233 square feet in size and was built at a total cost of $4,968,709. The old South Caddo Branch closed when the new building opened, and was donated by the City to a civic organization.
XI. Mavice Colley Wallette Branch (Formerly the Lakeside Branch)
Librarian Lois White Henderson first approached the Library Board with a request for a branch for African-American citizens in 1932. In 1933 the Lakeside Branch was opened in a building at 1852 Milam Street, apparently on a partly volunteer basis. In November of 1933, The Board received a request for a fully funded branch library. By 1935 the Library was providing a paid staff member for the branch, and by 1935 the Library was paying the rental cost of the facility. Mrs. Otis Emmanuel, later the branch librarian, remembers that around 1949 or 1950, a request for a permanent, fully-funded branch for African-American citizens was made to the Library Board by a group of prominent citizens in the community, including Mrs. Eddie D. Jones. By August of 1950, Mayor Clyde Fant had made an agreement that a new Lakeside Branch would be built on grounds of the Booker T. Washington High School.
The new building was dedicated on February 18, 1951. Mrs. Otis Emmanuel, holder of a Master's degree in Library Science, was the librarian. Her assistant was Miss Bernadine Emerson. Outreach programs at the branch included a circulation station and juvenile storytime at the Elamito Terrace Apartments. The Lakeside Branch was, and would long remain, the Library's only outlet for service to African-American citizens. Bookmobile service, which was instituted in 1957, helped to extend service to the population, but Lakeside was the only branch open to these citizens until the 1960's. In 1964 the Lakeside Branch was remodeled and approximately doubled in size, bringing its size to 1,758 square feet.
A new building for the branch was funded by the Library's 1996 capital tax issue. This new building was named for longtime Library Board member Mavice Colley Wallette. The lead architect was Bill C. Beebe of Morgan, Hill Sutton, and Mitchell. The new building is 9,043 square feet in size and was opened to the public on February 5, 2000. The land was acquired as part of an exchange of property and funds between the Library and the Caddo Parish School Board. The Library gave the old Broadmoor, Lakeside, Shreve Memorial Library Summary of Histories of Library Branches as of 2009, and North Caddo buildings, plus an amount of money, to the School Board in exchange for the property on which Wallette was built and the Vivian Elementary School, which was remodeled as the new North Caddo Branch. The new Wallette Branch was designed by the same architectural firm which designed the prize-winning J. S Clark Middle School next door and it includes features like the brightly colored metal hoods over the windows that are similar to the school building's colors. There are small windows of colored glass which cast shafts of colored light across the interior in the afternoon. Ghanian wooden stools and Kente cloth hangings from Africa form part of the decoration of the branch.
XII. West Shreveport Branch
The 1988 Library tax proposals included a capital tax for the construction of branches in two areas which were perceived to be unserved: North Shreveport and West Shreveport. There was a separate tax proposal for the support of the libraries and it included allowances for the personnel costs of these two proposed branches. The support tax passed, but the capital tax did not, so that the Library received funding for the personnel for these branches but not the buildings. The Library Board decided to open a branch in a leased, temporary facility in the West Shreveport area, because indications were that this was the fastest-growing area of the City at that time.
A 3,600 square foot commercial space was leased for this purpose in May, 1989. The facility was located in the Huntington Park Shopping Center at 5723 Pines Road, Suite 110. The space had formerly been a retail bicycle shop. Partitions were built to create an enclosed office/staff lounge space and a meeting room at the back of the facility and to make restrooms handicapped accessible. The entire space was carpeted and repainted. Much of the library furniture and shelving was purchased second-hand from St. Vincent's Academy, which had recently closed. The branch opened with a collection of about 10,000 books, made up of new purchases, purchases from the St. Vincent's library, and books pulled from other branches. This branch, located in a shopping center near a Wal-Mart, was very popular and had excellent circulation figures from the beginning.
A new Library-owned facility was funded by the 1996 capital tax issue. It was constructed at 4380 Pines Road. The architects were Richard Kravet and Cynthia Dubberly of Billes Manning Architects LLC. The branch is 14,120 square feet in size and was built at a total cost of $2,717,509. Among its special features are a technology center and a "treehouse"-themed children's area.
Part Time Branches
I. The Belcher-Wyche Branch Library
The Belcher Branch Library was established in 1938 in the village of Belcher. Like all of the part-time branches, it was a cooperative endeavor between Shreve Memorial Library and the village in which it was located. The Library was to provide the books and library staff member, and the Town was supposed to provide the building, utilities, and maintenance. The branch was housed in the Belcher School building and seems to have served largely as a school library during this period, though it was open to both adults and children. The first branch librarian was Miss Susie P. Brown. Later, Miss Margery Wyche was the librarian for many years.
In January of 1970, with the institution of school libraries funded by the Caddo Parish School Board, the branch moved to a new location provided by the citizens of Belcher. This building had formerly been the Community Clinic of Belcher and had recently become the Village Hall. The building was renovated shortly before the library moved in. The space allocated within this building for the library was about 616 square feet in size.
The Library's 1996 capital tax issue offered the municipalities which had a part-time library branch a chance to apply for a grant to improve or replace their existing branch facility. The municipality would retain ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the building. Belcher Mayor Jennifer Fant applied for the grant amount designated for villages below 800 in population, which was $65,400. Later the village received a further grant from the Library of $10,000 for furniture, fixtures, equipment, and asbestos abatement, making the total amount granted by the Library $75,400. The Village chose to keep the branch in its location in the Village Hall. The renovation included eliminating several interior walls to make the space more usable, as it had been divided into several small rooms in its previous life as a cottage hospital. An addition of approximately 320 square feet was made to the back of the building. The final size of the renovated branch is 936 square feet. The adjoining Village Hall is used for library programs and meetings. The contractor for the renovation was Wiley Construction.
The renovated branch opened for service the week of October 30, 1998. Its location is 409 Charles Street in Belcher. In April, 1999, the Library Board voted at the request of the Village of Belcher to change the branch's name to the Belcher-Wyche Branch in honor of longtime librarian Margery Wyche. In 2008 the branch began to be staffed by two people. The branch is open 15 hours per week.
II. The Blanchard Branch Library
The Blanchard Branch Library was established in 1933 as the tenth part-time branch of Shreve Memorial Library. It was a cooperative endeavor between Shreve Memorial Library and the Town of Blanchard, the Library providing the librarian and books and the Town providing the building, maintenance and utilities. The library was housed in a log building which also served as the Town Hall. The first librarian was Miss Rosa V. Cole.
In 1949 a new wood-frame building was constructed for the library on the grounds of Blanchard School. It was built partially from materials salvaged from the old wooden school building, which was demolished at that time. The cost of the new branch building was $844.41, of which $400 was paid by the Police Jury and the rest donated by local citizens. The new building was formally opened on November 15, 1949. Mrs. Waylon Morgan was the librarian at that time. Miss Mattie Lou Ashby became the librarian in 1958. She was succeeded by Mrs. Frances Andrews.
In 1976, the branch was scheduled to be closed due to the lack of running water and toilet facilities. Caddo Parish Health Unit officials required that the branch either receive these improvements or be closed. Federal EPA regulations also required that every building in the town had to be tied in to the new Blanchard sewerage system. The Blanchard Town Council did not provide these systems by the deadline for tying on to the sewerage system. In early December of 1976, a Library Board member inspected the branches at Blanchard and Bethany and reported that it would not be feasible for the Library to remodel either building. The Board decided to close both branches on December 31, 1976 and substitute bookmobile stops.
Several days after the announcement of the Blanchard Branch's closure, local residents formed a Library Renovation Panel to consider remodeling the building. Another alternative considered was moving the branch to the nearby Kiwanis Club hut. The group chose renovation and conducted a fundraising drive. The Library Board contributed $2,250 remaining from the 1968 Caddo Parish bond issue for library construction. The rest of the funding was donated by local businesses, clubs, and citizens.
The renovated branch was dedicated on May 14, 1977. The renovation included an extension to house a restroom, closet space, and a small children's area. Central heating and air conditioning systems, a new roof, interior and exterior repainting, and electrical system rewiring were also added at this time. This building in its expanded state was 569 square feet in size.
The Library's 1996 capital tax issue offered the municipalities which had a part-time library branch a chance to apply for a grant to improve or replace their existing branch facility. The municipality would retain ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the building. Blanchard Mayor Larry Permenter applied for the grant amount designated for towns above 800 in population, which was $109,000. The Town later received a grant from the Library of $10,000 for furniture, fixtures, and equipment, making the total amount granted by the Library $119,000. The Town purchased a lot at 344 Alexander Street in Blanchard and constructed a new building of 1,008 square feet for the branch. The architect for the building was William L. Gary. The construction contractor was Integrity Construction. The grand opening ceremony was held on December 19, 1999. Mrs. Grace Harr is now the librarian and starting in 2008 the library became a two-person branch. The assistant librarian is Ms. Hollie Owens. It is currently open 29 hours per week.
Blanchard and constructed a new building of 1,008 square feet for the branch. The architect for the building was William L. Gary. The construction contractor was Integrity Construction. The grand opening ceremony was held on December 19, 1999. It is currently open 29 hours per week.
III. The Gilliam Branch Library
The Gilliam Branch Library was established in 1931 and was partly sponsored by the local Parent-Teacher Association. Like the other part-time branches, it was intended as a cooperative endeavor between Shreve Memorial Library and the Village of Gilliam. The library was originally located in Shaver Brothers Store, with Mrs. J. N Shaver as the first librarian (called a "custodian" at that time). Later, Mr. R. T. Douglas provided a building and utilities for the library. In 1955 the branch was moved into the Gilliam Post Office, where it remained until 1971. It was open 6 hours per week.
In April, 1971, the Shreve Memorial Library Board decided to close the branch for several reasons: circulation was very low, a suitable person could not be found for the position of librarian, and the branch was only 5 miles from the Hosston and Belcher branches. At this time a bookmobile stop of about 1 hour and 30 minutes every two weeks was substituted for the branch; n 1973 the stop was lengthened to 3 hours. Later the circulation lagged and by 1982 the bookmobile stop had shrunk to a 15-minute stop every two weeks.
In May of 1982, Mayor James Hall contacted library officials to ask whether a branch library could be re-established at Gilliam. Library Director Jim Pelton and Extension Librarian Cindy Ortego met with interested citizens on June 15th for input. Library staff then calculated the costs and benefits of a cooperative branch versus a bookmobile stop and recommended reinstituting the branch. By early July of 1982, the Library Board had approved the Village's request for a branch on condition that it must be a cooperative endeavor with the Library and that the Village provide the facility, maintenance, utilities, and shelving. The Village Council voted unanimously to provide these things.
The branch was established in a room of the Gilliam Village Hall with Mrs. Beverly Caldwell as the librarian. Though the room was only about 180 square feet in size, adjustable metal shelving was arranged to take maximum advantage of the space.
In the spring of 1986 the First National Bank branch in Gilliam was closed and the building was donated to the Village. The library moved into three rooms of this building. The shelving from the old building was moved to the new facility and augmented with new adjustable metal shelving purchased by the Village. The new location opened in June 1986, expanding the branch's floor space to 602 square feet. The book collection was much expanded. The new location allowed space for a separate children's room and a librarian's office in addition to the adult area.
The Library's 1996 capital tax issue offered the municipalities which had a part-time library branch a chance to apply for a grant to remodel, add onto, or replace their existing branch facility. The municipality would retain ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the building. Gilliam Mayor Helen Adger applied for the grant amount designated for villages below 800 in population, which was $65,400. Later the Village received a further grant from the Library of $10,000 for furniture, fixtures, and equipment making the total amount granted by the Library $75,400. Representative Roy "Hoppy" Hopkins obtained a further grant to the Village of Gilliam from the Louisiana Rural Development fund. The Village purchased the old Adger Store building at 12797 Main Street in Gilliam as the new site for the library. This building also incorporates the site of the Red River Crossroads Museum, which is housed in two glass-fronted display areas inside the branch. Architect for the project was Vincent P. DeFatta of Coyle Engineering Co., Inc. The builder was J. L. Stewart. The size of the building is 2,200 square feet. The building was opened to the public on February 28, 1999. The branch is open 10 hours per week.
IV. Higginbotham-Bryson Branch Library (in Greenwood, Louisiana):
This branch was originally opened on July 18, 1930, as the Greenwood Branch Library. It was one of the first five part-time branches founded under a partnership between Shreve Memorial Library and the Caddo Parish Police Jury.
The branch was originally housed in a back room of a store building. Mrs. E W Bryson was the first librarian and Mrs. Margaret Higginbotham assisted with the organization of the branch and was later the librarian. Mrs. Bryson remembered that during the Depression years the branch not only provided books but was the site of many programs that benefitted the community, including sessions where the Cooperative Extension Department brought in canning equipment for local residents to can their produce and meat. In May 1939, the library moved into larger quarters at the front of the same building. By August of 1942 it had moved to the cafeteria of the local school. In September of 1949 the branch was remodeled and enlarged to twice its original size; it was still located in the school grounds. The remodeling was done "with the cooperation of Mr. Hawkins, principal of Greenwood High School, and the Greenwood community," according to a library newsletter.
Later the branch was moved to a room in the Greenwood Town Hall on Highway 80. In October 1975 the Library the Library Board allocated $1,000 for the renovation and repair of the branch. This library area was 350 square feet in size.
Mrs. E W Bryson, the first librarian, was succeeded by Mrs. E E. (Ruth) Harkrider in September 1944. Later Mrs. Mary Arnold became the librarian, followed by Mrs. Margaret S Higginbotham. Upon Mrs. Higginbotham's death in 1976, Mrs. Bryson took up the position again. In December of 1976, the Greenwood branch was re-named the Margaret S Higginbotham Branch in Mrs. Higginbotham's memory.
In 1987 the Town of Greenwood constructed a new municipal and community center complex. A new room of this building was designed for the Higginbotham library branch. This branch was 624 square feet in size. In 1999 the branch was re-named the Higginbotham-Bryson Branch in honor of Mrs. Bryson's long service as librarian.
The Library's 1996 capital tax issue offered the municipalities which had a part-time library branch a chance to apply for a grant to remodel, add onto, or replace their existing branch facility. The municipality would retain ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the building. Greenwood Mayor Jerry Melot applied for the grant amount designated for towns above 800 in population, which was $109,000. The Town received a grant from the Library of $10,000 for furniture, fixtures, and equipment, making the total amount granted by the Library $119,000. The Town of Greenwood purchased a building at 9359 Greenwood Road in Greenwood which was a former convenience store. This building was completely renovated to hold a Community Center on one end and the branch library on the other. The new library facility is 1,528 square feet in size. It opened in mid-October, 2002. Mrs. Cathy Key succeeded Mrs. Claire Loveridge as the librarian and the library now has three staff members. The branch is currently open 22 hours per week.
V. The Hosston Branch Library
The Hosston Branch Library was established in 1931. Hosston School, which was constructed in 1931, had no room for a library, so the branch was located in a two-room building which belonged to the School Board and was being used as a community building. The branch remained in this building for several years but then moved to the Hosston Post Office. In 1974, a new brick building was constructed by the Village of Hosston to house the Village Hall, the library, and a garage for the Village fire truck. The library room was 350 square feet in size.
The Library's 1996 capital tax issue offered the municipalities which had a part-time library branch a chance to apply for a grant to remodel, add onto, or replace their existing branch facility. The municipality would retain ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the building. Hosston Mayor H. Gorben McKinney applied for the grant amount designated for villages below 800 in population, which was $65,400. Later the Village received a further grant from the Library of $10,000 for furniture, fixtures, and equipment making the total amount granted by the Library $75,400. The Village of Hosston purchased the former Citizen's Bank Building located at 15487 U. S Highway 71 and renovated it as a library. The architect was William L. Gary. The construction company doing the renovation was Integrity, Inc. The size of the building is 1,768 square feet. The branch was opened to the public on May 16, 1999.
The first librarian at Hosston was Miss Faye Jolley, followed by Mrs. G. S Knox in 1938. Mrs. Knox was the librarian for 28 years and was followed by Merle Ann Reneau. Mrs. Mable Kirby was hired as the librarian in 1970 and served in the position until her death in 2005. The branch is open 16 hours per week.
VI. The Means branch Library (in Ida, Louisiana):
The Ida Branch Library opened on August 1, 1930 and was one of the first five rural branches sponsored jointly by the Caddo Parish Police Jury and Shreve Memorial Library. Mr. Jim Wynn, Police Juror, contacted Mrs. G. M. Middleton, president of the Ida Parent-Teacher Association, about the idea of establishing a branch in the town. The P. T. A agreed and a committee consisting of Mrs. Middleton, Miss Stella Means, and Mrs. Charlie J. Smith worked to establish the branch. The first librarian was Mrs. Parrie Hill Smith. The branch was housed in the Ida Masonic Lodge. A 1930 library newsletter stated that "the Masons gave the space and the citizens gave the material and labor" to make the library room. In 1932 the Parent-Teacher Association renovated the room in which the library was located. They added new flooring and wallpaper, a new window and door, and new furniture. In the spring of 1939 the branch moved into the lower floor of the Masonic Lodge.
In January 1970 the library moved across the street from the Masonic Lodge to a house owned by the Means estate. The James Taylor and Delle Bonner Means family donated the site to the Ida community. In November, 1970, Library Board member Mrs. Robert Sexton announced that the Ida community was planning to build a new library building and wished to name the branch for the late Mrs. James Means, Sr. In January 1972, the Delle Bonner Means Memorial Library, located in a room of the new Ida Community Building, was dedicated. The new building housed both the Village Hall and the library branch. The library was 480 square feet in size.
The Library's 1996 capital tax issue offered the municipalities which had a part-time library branch a chance to apply for a grant to remodel, add onto, or replace their existing branch facility. The municipality would retain ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the building. The Mayor of Ida, Jerry A. Means, applied for the grant of $65,400 amount designated by the Library for villages below 800 in population. Later the Village received a further grant from the Library of $10,000 for furniture, fixtures, and equipment making the total amount granted by the Library $75,400. The Village of Ida decided to move the library to the other side of the Village Hall from the space it then occupied and also to make an 18' x 42' addition to the building. The final size of the library room is 992 square feet. Land for the addition was donated to the Village by a private owner. The project designer and construction manager was Mr. Ben E Taylor of Ida. The building is located at 7016 East Magnolia Lane in Ida. It was opened to the public in the spring of 2003.
Librarians of the Means Branch included: Mrs. Parrie Hill Smith (1930-34), Mrs. Ruby Collins Thomas (1934 - 43?), Mrs. Gladys Allison Chandler (1943 - 1963), Miss Jewell Allison Jackson (1963 - after 1972), and Mrs. Maxine Cochrell. The branch is presently open 12 hours per week.
VII. The Mooringsport Branch Library
The Mooringsport Branch Library was opened on June 18, 1930 as one of the first five rural part-time branches in the Parish. Mrs. L. G. Bonham was the first librarian. As at the Ida Branch, space for the library was given by the local Masons, and the materials and labor were donated by private citizens. The original book collection was 177 volumes.
In 1940 the branch moved into the new Village Hall and in May, 1947 it moved into a larger room in the same building. Later the branch was moved to the Community Building facing the elementary school. This building had formerly been the school's home economics cottage. One side of the building is the library and the other houses the Mooringsport Community Center.
In October 1975, the Library Board approved a motion to renovate and repair the branch, pledging the Library's support up to the amount of $4000. Mooringsport Mayor Robert Guth was asked to supervise and contract for the work to be done on the branch. Work was completed by January 1976 at a total cost of $4,585. The Library paid $4,000 of the cost and the Town of Mooringsport bore the rest of the expense. The library was 400 square feet in size.
The Library's 1996 capital tax issue offered the municipalities which had a part-time library branch a chance to apply for a grant to remodel, add onto, or replace their existing branch facility. The municipality would retain ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the building. Mooringsport Mayor J. B. Nichols applied for the grant amount designated for towns above 800 in population, which was $109,000. The Town received a grant from the Library of $10,000 for furniture, fixtures, and equipment, making the total amount granted by the Library $119,000.
The Town of Mooringsport decided to leave the library at its existing location at 603 Latimer Street and to renovate and extend the library room. William L. Gary was the architect for the project and Integrity, Inc. was the contractor. The Caddo Parish School Board formally granted the Town a 20-year lease on the building. The addition was 20' x 38' in size, making the building size a total of 1,740 square feet. The addition was designed to be in exactly the same style as the existing 1920's frame building. The Mooringsport Community Center still occupies the other side of this building. The new library facility opened on April 20, 2000.
Mrs. Betty Carlisle was long the librarian of this branch. Later librarians included Diane Maxwell, Claudia Guth, Ranee Terry, and Kelly Stewart. The branch is open 27 hours per week.
XIII. The Oil City Branch Library
The Oil City Branch Library was the ninth part-time rural branch to be established by Shreve Memorial Library. It opened on March 14, 1932. Its first librarian was Miss Anna Belle Ferguson. In November of 1932 the local Parent-Teacher Association put a gas meter in the branch and began paying for the gas used by the library. In the summer of 1944 the branch moved into new quarters in a building leased by the Town for a Town Hall and library. Mrs. Corinne Haygood was the librarian at that time. Later, Mrs. Helen Wilson became the librarian.
The branch remained in the Town Hall until 1983. In February or March of that year, the Town council voted to move the library out of the Town Hall because the space was needed for storage of municipal records. The council proposed to move the branch to a building across the street from the Town Hall. The new building was owned by Mr. Dub Allen and was leased by then Town of Oil City. The library was 565 square feet in size. In April of 1983, the Town council voted to match Shreve Memorial Library funding of $2,000 for the purchase of adjustable metal shelving for the branch. The Library repainted the interior, replaced the flooring, and provided some new furniture and books for the new branch. Mr. Dub Allen contributed a heater/air conditioner unit to replace the old gas heater, and also built a new concrete walk to the door. The branch had its formal opening on August 14, 1983.
The Library's 1996 capital tax issue offered the municipalities which had a part-time library branch a chance to apply for a grant to remodel, add onto, or replace their existing branch facility. The municipality would retain ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the building. Oil City Mayor Todd Hopkins applied for the grant amount designated for towns above 800 in population, which was $109,000. The Town received a grant from the Library of $10,000 for furniture, fixtures, and equipment, making the total amount granted by the Library $119,000. The Town purchased a building at 102 Allen Street which had previously been a Willis-Knighton Healthcare clinic and renovated it as the new library branch. The building is 1,600 square feet in size. It opened to the public on June 2, 1998. In 2008 Mayor J. C. "Chip" Dickey requested and was awarded a grant of $8,000 from the Library Board to assist in a renovation which included a new roof, general repairs, and the addition of a porch to the front of the building.
Mrs. Helen D. Wilson was a longtime librarian of the Oil City Branch. She was succeeded as librarian by Ms. Vicki Poe.
IX. The Rodessa Branch Library:
The Rodessa Branch Library opened in early August, 1936. It was sponsored by the Rodessa Lions Club and located in the Rodessa News building. Mrs. H. G. Knipp was the first librarian. In May 1939, the branch was given a room of its own in one of the school buildings. In July 1941 the library moved into a building on Main Street provided rent-free by Mrs. C. S Fairless. By August 1942 a library newsletter reported that the library "had moved in the center of town and close to the Post Office." The branch continued its travels in July 1944, when it moved into a "building formerly occupied by Drive. Hendrick."
At some later time the branch was moved into the Rodessa Village Hall. The room occupied by the library was remodeled in 1973. In the summer of 1987, further improvements were made to the library and to the Village Hall. The library received new flooring and new blinds, and the woodwork was painted. The whole building received central air conditioning.
Shreve Memorial Library's 1996 capital tax issue included a provision for the Library to grant funds to each village or town which had apart-time library branch so that the buildings could be remodeled or replaced. Rodessa Mayor Milton Hartsell applied for a grant on behalf of the Village of Rodessa and in January 2000 the Library Board awarded the Village a grant of $65,400 for the renovation and $10,000 for shelving, equipment and furniture. Library architecture consultant Denelle Wrightson of Phillips Swager Associates did preliminary space planning for a renovation and addition to the existing building. The library room was enlarged from 605 square feet to 838 square feet by adding on to the building. A new handicapped-accessible entrance to the Village Hall and library was created. Restrooms were remodeled to create an ADA-compliant handicapped restroom for the building. New lighting, carpeting, and central air and heat were added. Other improvements included a new roof, landscaping, and new signage. The remodeled library was opened to the public on February 5, 2001. A grand opening ceremony was held on March 10, 2001.
Rodessa branch librarians over the years included Mrs. Lottie Hinson, Mrs. Kathryn Flores, and Mr. Willie Flores. In 2008 the Library Board decided that the part-time branches should have two staff members instead of a single worker.