Shreve Memorial Library
Staff members at Shreve Memorial Library dresses in costumes from each decade of the library's 90 years during a recent anniversary celebration.
Shreve Memorial Library recently celebrated 90 years of providing for the needs of its patrons with speeches by local notables and an anniversary cake.
Dressed to represent the fashions of those previous nine decades, library staffers interacted with the public and talked about their plans for the library's future.
Through the years, the styles have changed, for both men's and women's apparel. So have the library's offerings. Today's library offers far more than printed books and periodicals. Patrons may check out movies via DVD, download individual songs and music videos, audio books and ebooks, learn languages and computer usage, and receive help with homework.
Among its 21 branches, the library's collections contain 383,176 volumes and circulate 1,162,937 items a year. Back when the library opened, it contained 6,991 volumes, fitting in what is now the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce building on Edwards Street.
Librarians wonder about the future of libraries in general. Shreveport's library is no exception. Library director Dr. Ron Heezen spoke at the celebration on some of those changing directions:
- In the past three years, adults are reading more fiction, somewhat of a surprise perhaps; does that mean that they find current television and movie offerings not to their taste?
- Public programming attendance is up more than 50 percent. Are people craving more face-to-face interaction with their peers?
- An aging population portends more need for resources that fill seniors' needs.
- Pre-schoolers gain pre-literacy skills in library programs.
- School-age children use Shreve Memorial's resources and services too.
- Some resources, like the genealogy collection, have moved to the relatively new Broadmoor Resource Center, so that researchers can more easily plan a day of work.
The library plans to develop a strategic plan for its future. Charting a course into new waters is a necessity for keeping the treasure ship of the library afloat.
-- By Lani Duke