Lutcher library changes unveiled

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 3, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

LUTCHER – St. James Parish government officials and members of the community toured the newly expanded facilities of the St. James Parish Public Library in Lutcher recently during a dedication ceremony.
The ceremony began with a ribbon cutting and several brief speeches by Parish President Timmy Roussel, State Library of Louisiana Consultant Jeffrey Courouleau, Library Supervisor Margaret Simon, St. James Parish Director of Operations Jody Chenier and Keri Walker, the new library supervisor. Attendees were also allowed to tour the facilities and sign up for library cards. Additionally, refreshments were served.
The $2.2 million dollar project was started in August and completed in February. The building itself was enlarged, with a parking lot and garage added to accommodate future growth in the parish. The inside of the building received new insulated walls and roofing, along with new plumbing and drainage systems and other modern utilities such as a computer lab. The new facility is also Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified, which ensures the building will focus on environmental and economic standards.
The ceremony also honored two library system retirees, Lillian Simon and Margaret Simon. Lillian Simon was on the St. James Parish Library Board for more than 50 years. Margaret Simon started her career as a bookmobile clerk in the ’80s. She was promoted to library associate in 1986, then library manager in 2004. More recently, Simon was promoted to library supervisor in 2008.
Courouleau presented Lillian Simon with a plaque to thank her for her years of service in the parish.
“I’m the last board member (still living), and I was the first. It’s been a pleasure serving the library board. It’s my baby, and I hate to retire today. We’re in good hands,” said Lillian Simon.”I could go on and on, but we have to keep it going, and with your help we will do it.”
“I look forward to serving the community working for this library. Me along with everyone else up here and all of the staff. We want to make sure the library continues to be an asset to our community and to the future,” said Walker.