LPL Board of Control meets new members, names new VP

The Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control met Wednesday night and appointed Jan Canterbury a new board vice president.

By T. Scott Boatright

The Lincoln Parish Library (LPL) Board of Control was introduced to its two new members during Wednesday’s monthly meeting while also appointing Jan Canterbury as new board vice president.

Earlier this month, the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LLPJ) appointed the two new Library Board of Control members based on the geographical void left by recent board vacancies, with Deborah Gilliam being appointed to represent the Grambling area and Eric McCulloch to represent the Choudrant area.

“This gives me an opportunity to serve in a place of learning, which is an idea I love,” said Gilliam, who teaches in the computer lab at Lincoln Preparatory School.

McCulloch, a financial adviser for Edward Jones in Ruston, also serves on the board for the Ruston Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and brings fiscal skills that will be put to use by the Library Board of Control and could be seen following Wednesday’s meeting talking and crunching numbers with LPL Director Jeremy Bolom.

“I met with (Lincoln Parish Administrator) Doug Postel and (LPPJ member) Logan Hunt. I’ve worked with both of them on the Chamber for years, and they thought I’d be able to help (the LPL Board of Control) because of my financial background,” McCulloch said. “They said they had never really had anyone on the LPL Board of Control with that primary background.

“The Chamber has used the (LPL) Events Center, and we like the facilities and library and believe it’s a great asset for our community. Of course I couldn’t say no. I did realize I would be a good fit to help them out with budget and that kind of (work).”

Canterbury wasn’t in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting but was the lone nominee for vice president (nominated by Bill Jones)  and was quickly and unanimously voted in by the LPL Board.

“I did speak with Jan at one point and she said that she would be willing to do it, but if someone else wanted to do it that would be fine, too,” said LPL Board President Amy Jones. “I don’t want to hold anyone back, but she said she was willing to do it if that was agreeable to everyone else.”

In other business, the LPL approved a request from Bolom  to extend the library’s (reduced) summer hours (9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Mondays-Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays) through Sept. 6 for the purpose of cross training the library’s staff.

“The reason I’m requesting this is so I can begin the cross training. I want to start de-compartmentalizing the library to build more cooperation between departments,” Bolom said. “Basically it’s dissolving research and reader services and circulation into one group of people so that we don’t have different departments needing to find coverage if someone is sick or what have you.

“So the reason I’m asking for this extra month (of extended hours) is so we have enough overlap of staff to be able to shadow each other and learn the various tasks. So that’s where that’s coming from.”

Smith immediately expressed her support of the idea.

“I think it’s for a very specific purpose. If it gets the departments into whatever shape he wants to run them in, I think that serves a good purpose to keep the (operation) hours reduced until Labor Day,” Smith said.

The LPL Board also agreed to Board member Sandra Dupree’s request to make sure thank you letters for donations to the library are made in a more timely fashion than they have been in the past.

Bolom told the Board that upon investigating he had found that the thank yous had not been made in a timely fashion and that he had found a stack of donation letters that still hadn’t been acknowledged, adding that we would take over those duties.

“If I get a bunch all of a sudden, I’ll reach out to the Board to help but right now (the donations) are very occasional and if I take care of it when I deposit the (donation) check, it will be fine,” Bolom said. “I think keeping it straight-lined like that is better.”


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