WayBack Wednesday - Anger, Arson, A New Beginning
The Library is intended as a place of sharing and education, where everyone can come and enjoy new things. However, sometimes, people develop a certain resentment or other reason to dislike the Library.
On September 21, 1991, someone chose to register their discontent in a very destructive manner. Arson.
In 1973, the citizens of Beauregard Parish elected to build a new Library building to replace the one that had served up to that point, and in December of 1975, the new building was opened to the public (click above pic for a larger version). The new building was a source of pride for the community, with the Beauregard Parish Library system becoming recognized as one of the best in the state.
However, in the early morning of Saturday, September 21, 1991, someone entered the building and started a fire. The fire resulted in the complete destruction of two of the office rooms, along with all furniture and other contents of those rooms, as well as extensive smoke and water damage to the rest of the building. A significant portion of the Library's collection could not be saved, while the rest required extensive cleaning and deoderizing by a professional salvage company.
Temporarily, the Library moved its headquarters location to space donated by Brookshire Brothers next to their store on the west side of town. Four years later, and a lot of work, the Library had recovered its title as the second-most used Library in the state, and a new building, at the site of the previous, was ready to open.
The old headquarters lasted 16 years, until someone senselessly decided to destroy it. The new headquarters has been open since 1995, and has served well in the intervening 21 years - and we hope that it will continue to do so for many more years to come.