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Lafayette Library Board of Control proposes changing mission statement, services

Student ID cards work as a library card in Lafayette Parish.
Posted at 4:56 PM, Apr 20, 2021

LAFAYETTE, La. — The recently appointed member of the Lafayette Library Board of Control proposed a change to the library’s current mission statement and limiting some services that are currently offered.

The mission of Lafayette Public Library is to enhance the quality of life of our community by providing free and equal access to high-quality, cost-effective library services that meet the needs and expectations of our diverse community for information, life-long learning, recreation, and cultural enrichment.

During its regular meeting on Monday, one of the board members, Robert Judge, proposed removing “recreation” and “cultural enrichment” from the library’s mission statement.

The Lafayette Parish Council voted to appoint Robert L. Judge, Jr. to the Lafayette Parish Library Board of Control in February for the remainder of an unexpired five-year term, through Sept. 30, 2025.

Judge said that since the library is a subdivision of the Lafayette Consolidated Government, which already offers recreation services to citizens, the library offering recreation is a duplication of services, a misuse of taxpayer resources and fiscally irresponsible.

Judge also questioned why the library is engaged in cultural enrichment since LCG already provides for the cultural enrichment of its citizens through its cultural development projects such as the Heymann Center, Lafayette Science Museum and Acadian Park Station Trails.

Judge said that the reformed mission statement would restore the public’s trust in the library itself and would free up staff and funds to expand its base services.

One of the services that Judge said should be cut because they are not supported by the public is the electric vehicle charging station established at one of the libraries.

You can watch Monday's meeting here.

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