LAFAYETTE, La. — The Lafayette Public Library's board has finally admitted that the director, Teresa Elberson, has resigned.
The board sent out a press release stating that she retired "late Friday" after more than 38 years with the system.
The release quotes Elberson as saying "It has been a pleasure to work for LCG and the library system for 38 years. I was the last hire of Ms. Lucille Arceneaux, the first library director, before she retired. It has been an honor to work with many former library directors as well as current and past Library Board of Control members, both as a library administrator and then as library director for the last 4 years. "
During her time as director, Elberson managed the growth of the library system by overseeing the construction and opening of the West Regional Library, which replaced the Scott Branch as the fifth regional library in the system. She also added a brand new, pedal-powered mobile library called the BiblioBike in 2018. In 2019, Elberson re-introduced Lafayette Parish to a bookmobile service with the GoGo Biblio Bookmobile.
Additionally, many beneficial and beloved services were brought to the Lafayette Public Library under her direction. In 2020, Elberson and the Lafayette Public Library were the recipients of the James O. Modisette Award for Public Libraries, the highest honor a public library in Louisiana can receive.
“I have had a wonderful career as a librarian,” Elberson is quoted as saying. “I started out shelving books for $1.25 an hour back in the summer of 1973 while in high school to ending my service as the Director of one of the best library systems in the state. I look forward to having more time for friends, family, quilting, birdwatching and hiking.”
Library Board President Doug Palombo is quoted in the release as saying the following:
We knew Teresa hoped to retire in the near future, but her announcement came sooner than expected. When she called to inform me of her decision, she told me her mind was firmly made up that the time was now. She said she had peace about her decision, her family was thrilled, and she was very happy that she would now have more time to spend with her husband, her family, and her friends
The release does not mention the recent turmoil related to new board members and their stated desires to change the library's processes and offerings, including rejecting a grant that would have paid for a virtual program about the history of voting rights.
The reason given was to "get the other side." The program was drafted by a UL professor of history. To read about it, click here. You can also read the story by our media partners, The Advocate, here.
KATC has obtained the letter of retirement that Elberson sent on Jan. 29: