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January Librarian’s Lines

January 2015

Librarian’s Lines

Dr. Linda LeBert-Corbello


The New Year is off to a great beginning!


The students in Jefferson Davis Parish in cooperation with school librarians participated in the Louisiana Young Reader’s Choice Award.   The schools that participated included:  Jennings Elementary, Elton, Lake Arthur Elementary, Hathaway, Welsh Roanoke, and Jennings Jr. and Sr. high school.  Three hundred and fourteen students read and selected the following books as their favorite:


  • Grades 3-5:  The Ghost Tree
  • Grades 6-8:  The False Prince
  • Grades 9-12:  The Selection


These choices were submitted to the State Library.   We are all eagerly waiting to see the outcome of the voting statewide.   Many thanks abound for the librarians who encourage the year-long process of reading books on the state’s selected list and the personnel at the Registrar of Voters, Lorraine Dees, Joann Blair and Holly Miller for determining a schedule for voting and for setting up voting machines for the students.   The process of reading and then voting allows students to participate in something that instills the appreciation of reading and allows for the democratic process to work effectively.


While visiting one school I asked about students’ favorite title.   I was deeply touched when a number of students named Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson and The Forgiveness Garden written by Lauren Thompson as their favorites.  Both books deal with life skills that should be instilled in all persons.   It seems that as parents, educators and society that in our world today much too much emphasis is placed on negative attributes.   I would just once like to watch the news (which I try to avoid) and hear thirty minutes of the many good and gracious acts happening throughout the world.  I realize it is important to know what is occurring in the world, I just want to hear more good than bad.  Perhaps, I am just being too much like a ‘Pollyanna.’  Yet, it does say something profound of our students when they select a book with such strong themes of goodness.  When the final list is published from the State of Louisiana, I will be sure to announce the winners.


Mr. Gary Davis has added a JOB RESOURCES link to our website:


Here are the sites you can access in your search of choices for work:    The Louisiana Workforce Commission is focused on transforming the state’s workforce system from a human service-focused culture into a demand-driven system.     CareerBuilder helps match the right talent with the right opportunity.      The State of Louisiana’s application process for civil service jobs is detailed.     This is a ‘One  Search All Jobs’ website.       The Teach Louisiana website serves as a one-stop shop for information regarding teacher certification.    Better Acadian Jobs helps to find jobs in Lafayette, LA.    When you work as a VA health care, administrative, or support professional, the career opportunities are virtually endless.     Monster is a global online employment solution for people seeking jobs and the employers who need great people.  Quick  Job Search and Listings       Find Open Jobs at Any Company.              Government jobs offering listed in every state.       State Library’s Job Search and Career Search Center.

I certainly hope these links will be of use to you.  If you do not have a computer at home, we have laptop computers for check-out and computers available within the library.

Please be reminded that we want all people in Jefferson Davis Parish to own a library card.  The card is FREE and can be obtained at your local library.  Children should be encouraged by parents to have a library card and enjoy the wealth of materials available at all libraries.

Pronunciator is a database provided by the state library that can be accessed on our website.  You can reach the site by clicking on Louisiana Database Collection.  Next, you must scroll down the right hand side of the page listed as Statewide Databases.  A patron can learn one of eighty language programs offered.  I have experimented with the Spanish language program.  I started with the lowest level where I began by learning colors in Spanish.  The program is for active learning, is simple to use and can amazingly teach the learner effectively.   Information on this program is being provided for all schools in the parish.

We had a fabulous year in 2014 while completing renovations on the Headquarters branch, painting both Elton and Lake Arthur libraries (inside and outside), adding to our collections and providing programs for all ages.  We are challenged in 2015 to work even more diligently to provide the materials you want and need.   Check the collections in your libraries and check into the e-book collection (Overdrive) and the e-magazine collection (Zinio)!  If there are titles and/or subjects you need contact Dr. Linda LeBert-Corbello at 824-1210.   Happy Reading in 2015!






DO YOU STILL HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT HEALTH INSURANCE? The Navigators for A Healthy Louisiana will be at Jennings Public Library 118 W Plaquemine St. Jennings, LA February 2nd 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Giving a presentation on the Affordable Healthcare. Come meet with an Insurance Navigator and get information and enrollment assistance during this current open enrollment period. You will be able to see your options, ask questions, learn about the changes and get FREE/CONFIDENTIAL help navigating through the marketplace. Penalties for not having insurance will be higher this year. Let us help you be prepared for this current enrollment period. For more information Vallian Senegal at 337-989-0001

This event is open to the public. For more information on other events you can visit our website @

Jefferson Davis Parish Library is starting its new R&R Classes (formerly called FYI Classes)!

Jefferson Davis Parish Library  is starting its new R&R Classes (formerly called FYI Classes)!

Join us as Ms. Kay Hebert will show us how to make our own homemade detergent/cleanser.

There will be a $2.00 supply fee.

This R&R class is being held on November 20, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. at the Jennings Headquarters Branch.

Due to limited space, please be sure to call 824-1210 and register with Miss Iris Hollier.

December Librarian’s Lines by Dr. Linda LeBert-Corbello

December 2014

Librarian’s Lines

What a year this has been!!  Jefferson Davis Parish Library progressed through the year as usual with the ordering of books, the work with patrons in securing desired materials, and in providing a variety of educational as well as fun classes.  Our biggest challenge this year was the five month process of moving all books and furnishings to storage facilities and then patiently witnessing the renovation of the first floor of the Jennings Headquarters library location.  The process was an arduous one as we watched the meticulous craftsmanship of everyone who contributed to the final design.  The Grand Re-Opening was attended by over one hundred and twenty persons.   The library is now in full ‘swing’ once again attending to the needs of the patrons of our parish.  Please come by and see the changes.  I call the change ‘simple elegance.’


I want to encourage all who have not yet picked up your copy of our annual recipe book ‘Delicious Christmas’ to please go by your local library and do so.  The library staff and the Board of Trustees contributed a wide variety of recipes to share with you and your family during this holiday season.


I also want to encourage all to watch our digital sign at the Headquarters building.  We will utilize this sign to inform the patrons of upcoming programs, information about our e-Resources and other general library news.


ALL of our branch libraries will be offering FYI classes in 2015.  Jennings Headquarters Branch will be offering evening classes that were formerly named FYI.  The new name for Jennings classes will be R & R (Rest & Relaxation).We are especially excited that the classes we are offering are pertinent to the needs and desires of the community we serve.  


Currently, the Mobile Branch Staff Kathy LeJeune and Kay Hebert are providing monthly classes to Bayou Villa.  I have attended some of these sessions and find the residents who attend delightful.  They enjoy a lesson, refreshments and fellowship.  This is just one example of the continued efforts all library personnel offer to enrich the lives of community.


Parents, please check with your children regarding their school’s involvement in the Young Reader’s Choice Program.  The students from grades 3 to high school are offered a list of books to read in order to be able to vote for their favorite book.  This project is a statewide project that encourages both literacy and the enjoyment of reading.   Lorraine Dees and her most efficient staff will travel the parish in January with their portable voting machines.  Thus, we teach the democratic process as well as accomplish literacy goals.  All libraries have designated a location for the 2015 books that are on the Young Reader’s Choice list.  I have read some of the books and have found them to be most enjoyable.  Do come by our libraries to see the titles for your children from grades 3 to high schools. Participating schools include: 


Lake Arthur Elementary

Jennings Elementary

Hathaway High School

Roanoke Junior High

Jennings Jr/High School

Elton School


Before beginning our work on budget items and goals for 2015, we were reminded of the end of 2006 at our library.  We had just completed two new libraries in Elton and Jennings.  The buildings and the furnishings were all brand new.  A great deal of money was spent and, incidentally, was spent well.  


The Board of Trustees in their wonderful wisdom then guided us to take a few years to focus on library collections while putting aside reserve funding for renovations for the McBurney Memorial Library.  By 2010 that library was completely renovated to offer a modern, efficient and up-to-date library.


As we look to 2015, the Board of Trustees has provided leadership in requiring that we step back and determine how to adequately continue to provide the best services to the parish.   Continual acquisition of new materials to include books, magazine, newspapers and e-Resources to all the patrons is the number one priority.   Originally there was a tentative plan to renovate the second floor of the Headquarters branch in 2015.   That renovation has been put on hold. A systematic focus on providing services for patrons while reserving funds to enhance any future renovations or dealing with unforeseen catastrophic events is another priority for the upcoming year.  This is a visionary approach to the future growth of Jefferson Davis Parish Library.   Other measures have been taken to ensure responsible fiscal management.  I commend the Board’s Finance Committee for their planning and efforts to insure wise stewardship of tax payers’ money.  


We hope that all of you can readily see the focus the Board of Trustees has placed on the work they do in collaborating with me and with our most excellent staff.   We wish all of you a happy season filled with gratitude for America and for the many freedoms we enjoy, especially the ability to read any material we choose to read.  Not all in this world have had the privilege of this simple enjoyment in the past…and some not in the present.


Happy New Year.

2014 Louisiana Teen Readers’ Choice Nominees

2014 Louisiana Teen Readers’ Choice Nominated Title List


  1. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kandare Blake, 9780765328656, 320 pgs. IL: UG – BL: 4.6 – AR Pts: 12.0 (horror, ghost story, first in a series, starred reviews, language, sequel is Girl of Nightmares)


  1. The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow, 9780061579684, 416 pgs. IL: MG+ – BL: 5.7 – AR Pts: 13.0 (WWII historical fiction, boxing, Jews, Nazi Germany, 2012 Booklist Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2012 Sydney Taylor Book Award)


  1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, 9780316134026, 432 pgs. IL: UG – BL: 5.8 – AR Pts: 16.0 (supernatural adventure, five starred reviews, sequel is Days of Blood & Starlight, Amazon’s Top 20 Books of the Year, 2011 Kirkus Best Books for Teens,  2011 Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year)


  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth, 9780062024022, 487 pgs. IL: UG – BL: 4.8 – AR Pts. 16.0 (dystopian adventure, sequel is Insurgent, being adapted into a movie, voted the “Favorite Book of 2011″ in the Goodreads Choice Awards, Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year)  


  1. Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King, 9780316129282, 282 pgs. IL: UG – BL: 4.2 – AR Pts: 9.0 (SLJ and VOYA Starred Reviews, humorous, bullies, some language)


  1. The Name of the Star: Shades of London Book 1 by Maureen Johnson, 9780399256608, 384 pgs. IL: MG+ – BL: 4.9 – AR Pts: 14.0 (Jack the Ripper copycat killer mystery, heroine from Louisiana, Edgar Allan Poe Award nominee)


  1. Shine by Lauren Myracle, 9780810984172, 359 pgs. IL: UG – BL: 4.4 – AR Pts. 11.0 (mystery, gritty realistic fiction, National Book Award nominee, 2012 Booklist Best Fiction for Young Adults, edgy language)


  1. Something Like Hope by Shawn Goodman, 9780385739399, 193 pgs. IL: UG – BL: 4.3 – AR Pts. 5.0 (juvenile justice system, gritty realistic fiction, edgy language, think of a girl version of a Walter Dean Myers book, winner of the Delacorte Press Award for a First Young Adult Novel, 2012 Booklist Best Fiction for Young Adults)


  1. Trapped by Michael Northrop, 0545210127, 232 pgs. IL: MG+ – BL: 5.3 – AR Pts. 9.0, (realistic fiction, blizzard, kind of like the movie The Breakfast Club, some language)


  1. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley, 9781442413337, 228 pgs. IL: UG – BL: 5.7 – AR Pts: 9.0 (2012 Printz Award winner, 2012 Morris Award winner, Louisiana author)


Young Readers Choice 2014 Nominees

Grades 3rd-5th, Nominated Title List

All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon. Illustrations by Katherine Tillotson

 America Is Under Attack: The Day the Towers Fell – September 11, 2001 by Don Brown

 Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet

 Bongo Fishing by Thatcher Hurd

 Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

 Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

 Escape by Night: A Civil War Adventure by Laurie Myers. Illustrations by Amy June Bates

 The Incredible Life of Balto by Meghan McCarthy

 Lots and Lots of Coins by Margarette S. Reid. Illustrations by True Kelley

 Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero by Marissa Moss. Illustrations by John Hendrix

 Olivia’s Birds by Olivia Bouler

 The Secret Kingdom: Chronicles of the Red King, Book 1 by Jenny Nimmo

 Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus by John Grandits. Illustrations by Michael Allen Austin

 Trundle’s Quest by Allan Jones. Illustrations by Gary Chalk

 Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan. Illustrations by Amy June Bates


Grades 6th-5th, Nominated Title List

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald

The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander

Hidden by Helen Frost

How to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston

Michael Vey: the Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

Quarterback Season by Fred Bowen

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

Silhouetted by the Blue by Traci L. Jones

Variant by Robison E. Wells

Wild Life by Cynthia DeFelice

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull


February Librarian’s Lines by Dr. Linda LeBert-Corbello

February Librarian’s Lines include the presentation given on the occasion of the 40th year that the McBurney Memorial Library building has served the public.  It is the third and final home of library services in Welsh, Louisiana.   Dr. Linda LeBert-Corbello lived in Welsh and was able to utilize each library building….she shares her memories of Welsh and the thrill of having a library.


Welsh Public Library


When a parish wide tax failed in Welsh for a free public library in 1927, citizens united with Miss Essae M. Cullver, Executive Secretary of the Louisiana Library Commission ,and Hon. J.O. Modisette, President of the Louisiana  Library Commission and a Jennings lawyer.   These two people met with the Board of Trustees for the Town of Welsh in the Masonic Hall in July 1929.  A decision was made that if Welsh could provide a fund that would maintain a library, the Louisiana Library Commission would send 500 loaned volumes to serve as Welsh’s first public and free library.  According to historical records, the Town Board agreed to a one mill reduction on other taxes in order not to raise anyone’s taxes.  The ordinance adopted on September 4, 1929 read:

“A Proposition to levy and assess and collect annually a one mill tax on all of the assessed and assessable property of the Town of Welsh, Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana, for a period of five years, beginning with the year 1929 and ending with the year 1933, for the purpose of supporting, operating, and maintaining a municipal, free public library in the Town of Welsh, Louisiana, title to which shall vest in the public.”

These efforts resulted in a fund of $900 a year to pay the librarian and buy new books and magazines.  The Library Board was established and consisted of:

  • Mrs. A. R. McBurney, President
  • Dr. B.J. LaCour, Vice-President
  • Mrs. R. R. Arceneaux, Secretary
  • Mrs. W.E. Faught, Treasurer
  • S.E. Carroll
  • Mrs. Laura Mae Kimball, Librarian.
  • Ex-officio members included:  John W. Armstrong, Mayor of Welsh, Mr. P.E. Wilson, Principal of Welsh High School and Miss Mary Yantis, Chairman of the Book Selection Committee.

The library was opened on February 25, 1930.  The State Library Commission loaned 500 volumes to Welsh City Hall to serve as Welsh’s first public and free library.  During the first year the following statistics were kept:

  • 3462 adult books checked out.
  • 3342 children’s books were checked out.

As a personal note, I was born in 1951 and lived in Welsh.  I remember the court house square.  City Hall was a beautiful massive building set in the middle of the location of the present police & fire station.  I remember walking to the library with my Mom and siblings and noting the signs posted on the grass surrounding the library:  KEEP OFF GRASS! I was amazed because even in the heat of summer the City Hall grass was always green. I also vividly remember walking into the City Hall to the back of the building where the books were kept.  I remember the smell of that room like it was yesterday.  Wonderful smell of books…lots of books.  We were each allowed to check out only two books.  Being one of seven siblings gave us an edge in that we would often share the books with each other after reading our own.  I would have been 8 years old when the library was then moved to the Home Economics Building in June 1959.  Documents state that Miss Essae M. Culver, State Librarians and Louisiana dignitaries attended the October Open House.

The new library became my new favorite.  It seemed like a real house of books.  We still walked to the library (my Mother never drove a car).  Sometimes, my older sisters would be the ones to walk us to the library on those very hot summer days.   I can still feel the hot blacktop road against my feet and the hot stones & rails along the railroad tracks.   The new building must have meant more books because I can remember thinking…how will I ever read all of these books?  I remember spending one summer reading every biography in a series that were blue-green with red lettering for the titles.  How I loved reading of Florence Nightingale, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and so many others.

Another pleasant memory of our library visits included visiting the Busy Bee Café and getting an ice cream cone on the way home.  I felt like a special little girl sitting on a red bar stood waiting my turn.  Ice cream cones were only for special times, not every time we went to the library….boy were they not the best I ever had?  I still smell the scent of the Busy Bee Café and I am sure my fellow Welsh Citizens remember it also.  It was like Mom’s best cooking and Christmas day cooking all wrapped together in a neat package.

In 1968 the Welsh Library became a part of the Parish Library System.  Mrs. A.R. McBurney was one of the first members of the Library Board.

Mayor Jimmy Martin, who was also representative-elect of Jeff Davis Parish, appeared before the Police Jury and stated that the Welsh Town Council would donate the site for the library building if the Police Jury would take over paving payments that would decrease each year and be completely paid within ten years.  This was accepted by the Police Jury.  The current building was built at a cost of $80,000.  It was financed by 60% of federal monies secured by the Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury and the remaining 40% donated by Mrs. A. R. McBurney as a memorial to her deceased husband A.R. McBurney and her deceased son Dr. William McBurney.  The building was built on the corner section of the property with the plans for a tie in with the ultimate construction of a Welsh Civic Center.  The building was renovated in 2010 to re-purpose the building for technology changes, appropriate functionality of the building for all ages and all events and general updating for a more modern décor.

This library has a total 14,256 holdings that include books, books on cassette, books on CDs, DVDs, e-books, music CDs, paperbacks, video games, laptop computers for check out and so much more.  Databases on our website allow for incredible research possibilities.  Last year a total of 11, 527 items were checked out.   Denice Sonnier is an incredible manager providing so many new ideas for sharing with patrons.  Patrick Guillory is a creative Children’s facilitator and assistant manager.   We thank them both for the excellent services they provide for the people of Jefferson Davis Parish.

As I researched the information on the progress of your library system I have to tell you how very honored I was when I read that Mrs. Culver and Mr. Modisette aided our citizens in Welsh in their efforts to establish the first public library in Welsh.  Why?  Both of these prominent people who are now deceased have awards in their name that are presented by the Louisiana Library Association.

Jefferson Davis Parish Library received the Modisette Award in 2008 for the most improved library system in the state over a two year period.  It was a grand evening in Shreveport when I stood at the podium accepting that award on behalf of all the work accomplished in our library system. 

Today reminds me that our work makes a difference in the lives of our patrons.  It was so kind and so very wise to take time to celebrate such victory for Welsh and its library.  Thank you so very much.







August’s Librarian Lines

Librarian’s Lines                                                  Dr. Linda LeBert-Corbello August 2012


“Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark… in any library in the world I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.”                                                                                                 (Germaine Greer)

What a profound statement!   I believe that my employees and I share this sentiment when it comes to our workplace.  Not only do we provide reservoirs of strength, grace and wit as mentioned above, but we continue to build our repositories of books, materials and services for the patrons of Jefferson Davis Parish.

In recent years, I have enlisted the assistance of all library personnel in obtaining new materials for our collection.  I firmly believe that the individual branch managers know their patrons within their local communities.  This has greatly increased the progress in the book collections at all library branches including our Mobile Branch.

While assisting with processing of books, I just was so pleased at the choices that each branch manager selected.   I could not possibly detail the many hundreds of books added to the collection this summer.  However, I thought that I could highlight a few titles that would be of interest at this time of year.  With the approach of a new school year, adults and children alike embark on the journey of returning to school or universities  to increase their knowledge base.   Here are a few titles to maybe tempt you to step inside our doors.  We would love to be at your service.  These are just a taste …so many other delicious titles await you!




For the student (adult or child):

Writing the AP English Essay

SAT Subject Test Literature (practice tests)

5 TEAS Practice Tests (Nursing)

Multiplication & Division

ACT DeMystified

Accounting DeMystified


For the Job Seeker:

Resumes for Dummies

Computer for Seniors

Managing and Troubleshooting Networks

Letterhead & Logo Design 11

The Big Book of Jobs


For the Hunter:

Standard catalog of Handguns

Shotgunning for Deer


For those who have time for fun:


Busy Girl’s Guide to Cake Decorating

Digital Painting Tricks and Techniques

Complete Colored Pencil Book

Scrapbook Workshop

Hot Rod Wiring

Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists


All of our titles are available to all patrons.  If you come to Jennings and the book is housed at another library, know that we can have that book to you as soon as possible.  This is true at all library branches.  All anyone has to do is request a title from the librarian.  We aim to please.  Come visit us and allow yourself to be still and absorbed in our collection.  We are having such fun, are you?