Library reaching out in imaginative ways
At the May 2 meeting of the City Council, Sandra Soloman, program coordinator for the St. Martin Parish Library, proposed three interesting new library programs.
A system of “neighborhood libraries” are to be installed in under-served neighborhoods. Consisting of a small, glass-fronted cabinet containing donated books, the kiosk structures will be placed on private and public property in the care of volunteers.
Such neighborhood libraries are becoming popular in many parts of the country. Their aim is to provide books to both adults and children who, for transportation or other reasons, have trouble accessing the main libraries. One of the honor-system facilities is already in operation in St. Martinville, and the council approved the installation of more.
Soloman also introduced an imaginative “story walk” to be set up in Magnolia Park during July. Reading stations will be arranged out of the way along the walking trail. The program combines exercise and an appreciation of the outdoors with a way to instill the value of reading in children and families. The idea came from the Vermont Department of Health and is gaining popularity around the country.
The library will also sponsor an adult walking club at Magnolia Park in June and July. The club will meet at 7 a.m. and participants can elect to participate in the nationwide “Million Step Challenge” to walk one million steps in 90 days. Walkers who take the challenge will be issued a pedometer to count their steps and incentives are offered for those who succeed.
In other business, the council approved the adoption of proposed tax millage rates for the year. The general alimony millage will drop from 4.12 to 4.08 mills. The reduction maintains the same revenues due to an increase in assessed property values. The Public Improvement Bond millage will return to 4.57 as the 2014 reduction sunsets.
Also, District 1 Councilman Mike Fuselier discussed the May 21 and 22 Amateur Regional Disc Golf Championship at Magnolia Park. Fuselier said that organizers are expecting as many as 175 contestants in the event. The popular Magnolia Park course and two Lafayette courses will be included in the championship.
Finally, Mayor Thomas Nelson announced that the four-year ordeal of securing a state historic grant for sidewalk improvements has ended successfully. The St. Martinville historic district will get a $1 million grant for which the city will be responsible for a very favorable 5 percent matching funds.