Library Board of Control

The Library Board of Control serves all of Lafayette Parish, including all of the municipalities and the unincorporated area.

I. Power

The Library Board of Control was co-created before the consolidation of Lafayette City-Parish Government by the City of Lafayette and the Parish of Lafayette, under the code of ordinances and state statutes.

The board shall have authority to establish rules and regulations for its own government and that of the library and/or its branches not inconsistent with law and to elect and employ assistant librarians and other employees and to fix their salaries and compensation; but no contract of employment shall be made for a longer period than four years. The board shall not elect any person as head librarian who has not been certificated by the state board of library examiners as provided in R.S. 25:222. The head librarian may be appointed or elected secretary-treasurer of the board of control.

 In Lafayette Parish, the Library Board appoints a Director (aka Head Librarian).  Other Library employees are Civil Service employees under Lafayette Consolidated Government, and the Library Director is the appointing authority.  

 7 Board members are appointed by the City/Parish Council; 1 member is appointed by the City/Parish President as an ex-officio member (ex-officio has full voting privileges on the Library Board). 

The 7 City/Parish appointees serve a term of 5 years.  The ex-officio serves at the pleasure of the City/Parish President.  A board member may serve up to 2 consecutive 5-year terms.  After this, the Board members are eligible for appointment to another term after they sit out at least one full term.  The term limits are established by the City/Parish Council. 

Applicants for the City/Parish Council appointments must be registered voters and residents of Lafayette Parish.  In addition, all Library Board members, per Act 472 of the 2008 Louisiana Legislative session (now codified as La.R.S. 1124.2.1) must annually file a Tier 2.1 financial disclosure (

The Board is obligated to follow relevant federal, state, and local laws.  This includes rules and procedures established by the Lafayette City/Parish Government (including budget related items) and State of Louisiana (such as Ethics laws).

The Library Board of Control sets rules for its meetings.  The Board has by-laws that govern its meetings.  

II. Services

The Library Board of Control oversees the Lafayette Public Library.

The Library Board approves policies for the Library.  Generally policies are proposed by the Library Director for Board consideration.  Policies include items such as who is eligible for a library card, the use of library meeting rooms, and Patron behavior policies.  Some policies, such as the “LPL Sex Offender Policy” are the result of State Legislation requiring such a policy.

In Lafayette Parish, the Library Board approves a budget for submitting to the City/Parish Administration.  The Administration reviews this budget and includes the Library Budget in the City/Parish Proposed Budget.  The Library Budget is officially adopted by the City/Parish Council as part of the LCG budget. 

The Library Board of Control serves as the body of appeal for library policies or decisions by the Library Director.   Library policies or decisions by the Library Director may be appealed in writing to the Library Board.  This is specified in the various policies (also available on the Library website).  Anyone wishing to appeal a decision of the Library Board would likely need to contact the City/Parish Council office.

III.  Money

1.  Funding of the Board

The Library Board of Control is a volunteer public board. 
The Board members receive no compensation and there is no budget for the Board.  They are reimbursed for library-related conference travel if they attend a state or national annual conference.  Funds for this are included in the Library’s annual budget that is approved by the City/Parish Council. 

2.  Funding of the Library

The Library’s major source of funding are three dedicated ad valorem millages, totaling 6.52 mills.  These millages provide for the operations and maintenance of all public library facilities and services in the parish that operate under the Lafayette Public Library.
  These monies are dedicated to the Library and constitute 95% of its funding.  Generally the percentages are within 1% of these values annually. 

2014-2015 Budget

    Sales tax                                                0%
    Ad valorem tax                                 96%
    State revenue sharing                        2%
    Fines, photocopy, printing, mis.      1%
    Donations (Friends, Foundation) <1%                                    

    Personnel                                              46%
    Operations & Maintenance                32%
     Books/materials Budget                      8%
     Donations                                              <1%
     Capital (furniture, ongoing larger     14%
          maintenance & improvements)
Total Expenditures in FY 2014        roughly $13.14 million

In the 2014-2015 budget is an additional $16.4 million from fund balance for extraordinary projects--including two unfinished major construction projects (Main Library renovations and East Regional Library), one unfinished automation upgrade project, and the West Regional Library to be built and equipped after land acquisition.    

The May Board meeting is traditionally the 'budget' meeting to consider the Director's proposed budget.   The budget as approved by the Board is submitted to Lafayette Consolidated Government for consideration and included as part of the City-Parish President' proposed budget.    The Library has a public budget hearing before the City-Parish Council each year during the Council's budget process.

The Library follows City/Parish policies and procedures regarding personnel, budgeting, purchasing.  Library purchase requests are overseen by the Library Director and follow City-Parish procedures and public bid law.  The Library is included in the City-Parish Financial Report (annual audit).


Two non-governmental, 501(c)3 non-profit organizations provide support for the Library--the Friends of the Lafayette Public Library and the Lafayette Public Library Foundation.    While they are volunteer groups, they are not 'advisory' groups.  These non-profits exist to support the Library and its programs.  They do not set policy, procedures, or otherwise oversee the Library, and their boards are independent of the Library Board.  The Library Board appoints one member to serve as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Library Foundation Board.  The Library Director also serves as a non-voting ex-officio to the Library Foundation Board.


The Library Board of Control  is considered a public body and its meetings follow the Louisiana Open Meetings Law.  Committees of the Board also follow the Open Meetings Law.   Agendas and minutes for each year since 2005 are available from the Library Board's page,

Meeting agendas are posted at least 24 hours in advance, excluding weekends and holidays at the Main Library, South Regional Library, and on the website.  On each agenda there is a section for "Comments from the Public." 

Long-Term Planning:  The Library's long-range building strategic plan is on its website,  Its Technology Plan through 2015 is at

The Library participated in Lafayette Consolidated Government's PlanLafayette, the comprehensive plan through 2035.  The Library's current 'plan' is its long-range building program.  As of Summer 2015, the Library has opened three Regional Libraries and re-opened the remodeled Main Library.  A fourth Regional library for the western part of Lafayette Parish is being planned.



Louisiana Constitution

 Louisiana Revised Statutes R.S. 25:211-235, and 214, R.S. 42:11-28

 Lafayette Public Library and Lafayette Library Board of Control website,

State Library of Louisiana website:

 Jean Kraemer, member and 2010 President, Lafayette Parish Public Library Board of Control, interview, February 14, 2011

Information from Sona J. Dombourian, Director, Lafayette Public Library, August, 2015

 Financial Report, 2009-2010, Lafayette Parish Public Board of Control

LCG Proposed 2015-2016 budget document

LCG Financial Statement

Library financial records

Updated August, 2015