Trosclair new library director in Vermilion

Charlotte Trosclair is the new director of the Vermilion Parish Library, who wishes to build upon the foundation built by former director, Jackie Choate, who retired last month after serving as director for 30 plus years.

“I’m proud to be here, proud to be part of such a prestigious facility,” Trosclair said. “Vermilion Parish owes it all to Ms. Jackie. She built an outstanding facility and system - she worked very hard.”

Originally from Cameron Parish, Trosclair took over for Choate who announced her retirement at a convention last March.

“When Ike hit, and there was much more uncertainty (in the Parish), I decided that might be something I might seriously need to take a look at, so I did,” Trosclair said about deciding to take the position in Vermilion Parish.

A former elementary school teacher for 25 years, Trosclair decided to make the switch to become a librarian, drawing influence from her former teacher, who also became a librarian.

“I had a high school teacher once (who) retired from teaching and became a public library director and I just always thought that was so neat because I just love books - that’s the love of my life.” Trosclair said when an opportunity arose for a director in Cameron Parish, she applied. Although there were a number of applicants, and because she didn’t possess every qualification for the position, she did not think she would get the job, but she did.

“I love it,” she said about her job. Working as a library director for Cameron Parish for eight years, Trosclair said she intends to incorporate some of the programs and devices that she worked with in Cameron to Vermilion Parish, including mp3 audio books called “Playaways,” and a new video conferencing program that is used to conduct virtual tours and provide distance learning at the library.

Trosclair officially started as library director Jan. 1 and is working to get the library organized, and is familiarizing herself with the people of Vermilion Parish, in order to meet their needs.

“I just feel like the library is the heart of a community,” she said.

“This was my philosophy, that being a teacher, our schools provided a basic education pre-K through 12, but people need more so they go to the library for that, so we need to be there to reach out to our communities.”

In order to take stock of what is needed, Trosclair said she has added a survey for the people of Vermilion Parish to let her know what they’d like to see at the library. The survey is available on the library’s new Web site at www.Vermilion.Lib.La.Us. Also available online is the schedule of events that are taking place at the library, as well as links to each branch of the Vermilion Parish Library.

In addition, Trosclair said the library has started several tutoring and literacy initiatives including TumbleBooks, Internet-based e-books used for teaching children how to read, TumbleReadables, geared for middle school children, and Tutor.com, an online training guide that helps kids with their homework. These initiatives were started by Choate and Trosclair said they are going to be big improvements in the library.

Another goal Trosclair set is to establish a Friends of the Library group in Vermilion Parish, and said anyone interested in starting or participating in the group should contact the Vermilion Parish Library.

The Vermilion Parish Library also has a mobile library that was donated by the Gates Foundation and is available to visit schools and communities and Trosclair said she is looking forward to providing the service to those who are interested.

Coping with a hectic schedule and a new position, Trosclair said once things settle down she is “looking forward to attending meetings (in the Parish) and meeting everyone in the community.”

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