In 2006, Rapdies 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 2009.
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.
The J. W. McDonald Memorial Branch of the Rapides Parish Library system was for many years named the "Glenmora Branch". It was the fifth library branch to open in Rapides Parish. At its opening on January 20, 1942, a record 63 customers registered. Since that time, the branch has faithfully served the residents of Glenmora, Forest Hill, Long Leaf, Melder, Pitkin, Plainview, Turkey Creek and Union Hill. Today the branch carries on the mission of Lucy Mae Britt, its first librarian, by providing its customers with local access to a variety of books and other educational materials.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch of the Rapides Parish Library system is located in the old Rapides Bank Building at 3311 Third Street in Alexandria. The branch serves residents from all over with most of their patronage coming from the Acadian Village, Willow Glen, Jones Street, Woodside, Samtown, and downtown areas of Alexandria.
Established during World War II, the library has a rich history. The branch first opened in the Masonic Building in Tioga. Then in February 1952, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) built a new building in Tioga with special quarters for the library. In May 1982, the library, which was then called the Ward Ten Branch, moved to its present location on Tioga High School Road. The property for the new building was donated by the Rapides Parish School Board. Later in June 1996, the Rapides Parish Police Jury voted to rename the branch the J. L. "Lefty" Robertson Library Branch.
For residents in the rural areas of Rapides Parish, the bookmobile is a real blessing, offering nearly all of the services provided by area branches. Upon request, the bookmobile librarian can even do special storytimes for children. The bookmobile's customers especially enjoy the personalized service the program provides. Each month the librarian puts aside special books for each regular customer. For many, it's like having your own personal librarian.
Preschool Outreach Plus is the newest outreach service offered by Rapides Parish Library. Bags of preschool storytime items, each based on one central theme, are delivered to child development centers. A bag may include a dozen picture books, a video, an audiocassette, flannel board stories, song sheets, fingerplays, teacher resource books, and a puppet or other toy. Teachers use the items in presenting storytimes and other learning experiences for the youngsters in their care!
For residents of Rapides Parish, the Rapides Parish Public Library rolls out the red carpet, that is the Red Carpet Service. The Red Carpet Service is an outreach service of the public library which serves homebound residents, nursing home residents, senior citizens' centers, adult day care centers, rehabilitation centers, and retirement centers. To better serve its customers, the program specializes in offering large print books, books on tape, and recreational reading materials like magazines.