Letter to the editor: Libraries have improved since 2011 report, but funding needs remain

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By Susan Larson

The New Orleans Public Library is so grateful for Jewel Bush’s warm and thoughtful article about the New Orleans Public Library; we appreciate her support and her advocacy — and her patronage!

I am writing this as the secretary of the New Orleans Public Library Board, of which I have been a member since 2011. Much has transpired since the drafting of the consultant’s report cited in the article.

To clarify: After years of revolving door leadership of acting, interim, consulting or poorly prepared library directors after Hurricane Katrina, the Board appointed Charles Brown, a nationally recognized library leader, as City Librarian/Executive Director of NOPL. This was in late 2011, after the report was drafted. As we opened five new branches in various parts of the city in 2012, our “clarity of purpose” was being addressed with thoughtfulness and diligence across the system.

However, our greatest challenge remains funding, and as we continue our discussions with the Mayor and city administration and elected officials, I hope we can count on citizen support as we strive for a better library system or our city in the years to come.

All best and thanks so much,

Susan Larson

Susan Larson is secretary of the New Orleans Public Library Board of Trustees.

3 thoughts on “Letter to the editor: Libraries have improved since 2011 report, but funding needs remain

  1. Susan, aside from the carriage house book sales @ Latter, are there other opportunities to provide “incentives” for donations?

    I’m thinking about the events like Odyssey Ball @ NOMA or the numerous fundraising parties hosted by Friends of City Park.

    I feel like citizen support is there, it just needs to be well-directed or will be forever lost in the morass of other funding needs that compete for attention and funding…

  2. More than donations, I think what’s needed is a solid funding source, for someone in power to say that literacy is more important to the city than throwing money at Tom Benson.

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