History of the West Carroll Parish Library

The West Carroll Parish Library was legally established by the Police Jury, in 1967 as a demonstration library of the Louisiana State Library. The first librarian was Mrs. Mary Alice Jackson. She received her Master’s Degree in Library Science from Louisiana State University. The library opened on November 16, 1967 and was located at 110 East Main Street in Oak Grove, LA.

Several Directors have served since 1978.  Some were:  Mrs. Ernestine Covington (Acting Librarian), Miss Kay Dillard, Miss Melissa Crampton, Miss Claudia C. Doughty, Miss Mary Ann Brennan, Miss Norene Sellers, Mr. Clay Robertson, Mrs. Jan Franklin and Mrs. Gloria Broadway (Co-Acting Librarians), and Mrs. Marian Taylor Phillips.

The first Library Board of Control was appointed by the West Carroll Police Jury.  Mr. C.L. Miller of Epps was elected Chairman of the West Carroll Demonstration Board. Mr. Winford B. Hammett of Forest was elected Vice- Chairman.  Mrs. James H. Pichoff of Oak Grove served as Treasurer. Mrs. Mary Alice Jackson, Librarian, served as Secretary. Other Library Board of Control members included: Mrs. Charlie S. Carroll of Pioneer and Mrs. Josie C. Brumley of Kilbourne.  Mr. Eugene Dawson of Kilbourne served as ex-officio member and was President of the West Carroll Parish Police Jury. 

A 3-mill property tax proposal was passed by the voters on June 22, 1968 to locally support the parish library system. The West Carroll Parish Library now operates on a 4.62-mill property tax.

Two bookmobiles began operating on December 4, 1967 as part of the library demonstration.  “We are going to cover the parish like the sunshine, making certain that library service is available to everyone” said Librarian Mary Alice Jackson. The bookmobiles carried books into the farthermost rural sections, stopping near homes, stores, schools, churches, and crossroads. Beginning in July of 1973, it was decided that the library would have one bookmobile run the routes. This tradition continues today.

The West Carroll Parish Library joined 15 other Northeast Louisiana libraries as a part of the Trail Blazer Library System in June of 1970.  Among the many services offered by today’s library are: Summer Reading Program/Story Hour, Interlibrary loans, Internet access, LOUIS, and Homework Louisiana. Our library offers collections of Genealogy books and papers, CD and DVD collections, references materials, and a variety of books and periodicals for all ages.

The current Library Board of Control members are: Mrs. Sybil J. Brumley, President; Mrs. Sandra Costello, Vice President; Mrs. Fran Shopher, Mrs. Diann McPherson and Mrs. Betty Ward.  Mr. Bill Ellerbe serves as ex-officio member and is a member of the West Carroll Parish Police Jury.