Opelousas, LA Library funding increase sought

According to figures supplied by the state library association, Opelousas Public Library’s budget is in such dire straits that even if its per capita funding of $3.52 were doubled, the library would still be the worst funded in the state.

Opelousas Public Library Director Walter Stubbs said unless something is done before the new budget year begins Jan. 1, the mandated increase in the federal minimum wage means he is looking at a budget filled with red ink.

Library board President Estelle Perrault said last year, under Mayor Anna Simmons, plans were announced for a $135,000 budget increase, primarily to raise salaries from $5.15 an hour to the new city minimum of $7.50, to enroll library employees in the city health care system for the first time and to hire a second professional librarian.

Currently, Library Director Stubbs is the only person on staff with a Master of Library Sciences degree.