by Jennifer Hughes, Public Relations Office, Rapides Parish Library
The Director of Rapides Parish Library, Laura-Ellen Ayres, recently announced her retirement set for December 31, 2019.
She has been a great mentor to me and all of the RPL staff, fostering growth and development in all departments. When I asked her how she felt about her service to the library she said, “I have loved the library since my mother would bring my brother and me to Martin Library as children. It has been my honor and privilege to serve this library system and community over the past 30+ years. I have watched with pride as we have emerged into the modern digital age with feet firmly planted in the bedrock of books and reading.”
I have spent hours with her learning about the things she did for and with the library and these things are both inspirational and abundant. She claims that her achievements are not hers alone, but based on the hard work of a great team that just happened to be under her direction. I still call them her achievements. She is responsible for the addition of Main Library and the Huie-Delmon House being placed on the National Register for Historic Places, the renovation of Main Library and Robertson Branch, overseeing the building project for the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch and Libuse Branch, creating the Public Relations department, developing the Library Ambassador Program and so much more.
It is true that the RPL staff is a team that works together to provide our community with the informational, educational, cultural and recreational resources it needs to thrive, but I am positive that Laura-Ellen Ayres led us to do so in a phenomenal way.