John Stelly promoted to director of Ascension Parish Library

Staff Report

The Ascension Parish Library Board of Control has named John Stelly as the new library director.

John Stelly has taken the helm of Ascension Parish Library.

He has served as interim director since October. Stelly was assistant library director since 2001. Prior to that, he served as the reference librarian at the Gonzales branch, beginning in 1997.

Stelly earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of New Orleans. He began his library career at the Jefferson Parish Library while pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at LSU.

The position of library director was held by the late Angelle Deshautelles, a co-worker of Stelly’s for more than 22 years.

“It’s an honor to serve in this position, and I take it on with humility and an acknowledgement of the accomplishments of the other directors who came before me, especially Angelle. I am very aware of the shoes that I am trying to fill,” he said.

Upcoming plans include a renovation for the 40-year-old Donaldsonville branch. The library will be combining resources with other government agencies in an effort to maximize use of taxes.

The library plans to expand its work with Sheriff Bobby Webre by planning a service point at the Hickley M. Waguespack Center in Donaldsonville, which may include other agencies and non-profit organizations.

In St. Amant, the library is working with parish government to create a combined library and community center, which could offer recreation amenities like a walking path and nature trail.

The library and parish government also plans to join together for a splash park and nature trail behind the Dutchtown branch.