La Von Williams grew up in the area and has fond memories of her frequent visits to Algiers Regional Library.
“I came to this Library all the time as a child, ever since I was a baby. Growing up, this Library meant everything to me. I was an avid reader, and I never felt anything but love here,” Williams said.
As an adult, Williams’ career took an unexpected turn when a close friend’s mother suggested she consider becoming a librarian.
“I never planned to be a librarian; but, after she said it, I thought ‘Why not try, I love the Library, I always have,’” she said. “So I started at Nix Library as a part time Library page, and three months later, I got a promotion to be full time. I eventually got my MLIS and now I’m a Librarian III and helping to manage a regional branch. I started from the bottom and went up to the top.”
Williams’ career at the Library started 28 years ago and has taken her to practically every location and every department. About a year and a half ago, Williams was notified that she would be transferred to her very favorite location and was thrilled.
“They asked me if I wanted to be the assistant manager at Algiers Regional, and I was just so excited,” she said. “It felt like coming home. Like I said, this Library meant everything to me as a child, and I feel so blessed to be able to provide that same feeling down to this new generation.”
Algiers Regional was one of six Library locations completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. It was closed for seven years following the storm but returned to its Holiday Drive home in July of 2012, bigger and better.
“It was such a joyful occasion when we reopened out here. Hubbell Library in Algiers Point is wonderful, and I used to go there often as a child, too, but not everyone can get there easily, and it is a small branch. Having this big, shiny, new Library out here again means so much for our community,” Williams said.
She said since starting her new position at Algiers Regional, it has been a pleasure to serve her neighbors and she loves seeing familiar faces every day, like those of dedicated patrons Nina Red and Grace Pelton.
Red lives in a retirement community a few blocks away and on a nice day, there’s nothing she would rather do than take a nice walk to the Library.
“I come here so often that people think I work here. I say, ‘No, I just love it very much,’” Red said, laughing. “I’m here at least three or four times a week, and it used to be much more before the pandemic. They had so many wonderful classes, like sewing classes to yoga, and other types of events — like coffee and coloring — that just provided a wonderful way to get out of the house and into the community.”
Before the COVID-19 Pandemic, Algiers Regional Library was known to host frequent events including one of the New Orleans Public Library’s longest-running programs: the West Bank Book Club. The group is currently run by Shelby Goddard, who has been working at Algiers Regional for three years.