The Main Library of the Rapides Parish Library System began serving the greater Alexandria/ Pineville community in 1942 from the fourth floor of the Rapides Parish Courthouse. Today, the Main Library continues its tradition of service to the children, teens and adults of the community through a vast collection of materials including books, periodicals, video cassettes, audio cassettes, DVDs and CDs.
In 2006, Rapides Parish voters approved a one mill property tax increase. In addition to preventing the development of a budget deficit, it enabled the library to secure a line of credit for building projects including a 10,000 square foot regional library to replace to Fuhrer Branch. The new Westside Regional Library opened its doors Monday April 06, 2009.
During World War II, the Boyce Branch of the Rapides Parish Library System opened to serve the communities of Boyce, Rapides Station, Hot Wells, Cotile, Gardner, Wilda, Lena, Flatwoods, and Chopin. Today, the library still serves the same communities, but they now do it from a more substantial building. In 1996, the Boyce Branch moved from the J. E. Johnson building into a new rental facility on Ulster Street.
The Gunter Branch of the Rapides Parish Library System opened its doors in 1983, and since 1992 has circulated its collection on a computerized system.
In 2008 the Hineston Branch moved into its new building at 1810 Highway 121, on part of the property that held the Fair Oaks Nursing Home, donated by Mr. Teddy Price. At 4000 square feet, the new facility is more than double the size of the old branch. It features a meeting room and computer lab. The nursing home building and land north of it were sold off, leaving more than an acre for the current and potential needs of the branch.
Today the Georgie G. Johnson Branch of the Rapides Parish Library System is located in the Old Lecompte High School in the heart of the Pie Capital of Louisiana. Ann Johnson, benefactor, had the new branch named in honor of her mother, Mrs. Georgie G. Johnson, now deceased.
In June, 2008, the branch moved into a spacious new building, built on land donated by Mr. J. W. McDonald before his death. In addition to the library's collections, we now offer meeting room space and a computer lab for classes of up to ten participants.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch is located at 1115 Broadway Avenue in Alexandria and is a full-service branch, comparable in size and hours of operation as Gunter, Martin, Robertson and Westside libraries. The King branch has an open and inviting atmosphere featuring a public meeting space, computer learning stations, interactive areas for children, a study zone for teens, a knowledgeable staff, and a large variety of books, periodicals, and research materials.
Read the latest news on the construction of our new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch in Alexandria, LA.
The Martin Branch of the Rapides Parish Library System is a landmark in the Pineville community. In 1950, the children of Mildred B. Martin endowed the library in her honor. Mrs. Martin was the wife of prominent Pineville businessman Roy O. Martin, Sr., and through the continuing generosity of the Martin family, the library has expanded its building and made extensive renovations.
On March 24, 1942, the Robertson Branch of the Rapides Parish Library System opened to service the communities in Tioga, Kingsville, Paradise, Ball, and southern Grant Parish. The library's staff prides itself on providing its communities with a friendly, service-oriented branch. At the Robertson Branch, customers are the staff's first priority, and workers enjoy gathering books and information for the library's patrons.
Library customers don't always have the ability or desire to come into the library. This problem is why we have outreach services. Our outreach services department is responsible for not only bringing the library to those who cannot come to the library, but also for creating events and programming to interest people in coming into the library.