La Vergne Public Library conducts community survey for patrons

La Vergne Public Library conducts community survey for patrons

By G. Robert Frazier

LA VERGNE, TN — La Vergne Public Library wants to know what you think.

Donna Bebout

Library Director Donna Bebout is conducting a community survey to help determine how citizens are using the library and what they might want to see more of from the library.

Questions on the survey include:

  • How often do you use the La Vergne Library?
  • Reasons for using the La Vergne Library.
  • Do you have a library card?
  • Preferred formats of library materials, such as print books, downloadable audio books, DVDs, online databases, etc.
  • Areas in which the library may need more material.
  • Feedback on staff.
  • Where you go to find out about La Vergne Library services and events.
  • How you describe/rate the library’s atmosphere.

LV Library Survey“More than 80 surveys were filled out at the library’s booth at this month’s Old Timer’s Day” celebration at Veterans Memorial Park, Bebout said. But with more than 10,000 active cardholders, the library hopes to hear from many more patrons.

“The purpose of the survey is to help us gain insight into our patrons’ usage and satisfaction with our services,” Bebout said.

The survey – the first in more than five years – is available online and at the library and will run through November. More specific surveys will follow throughout 2019.

“Results will help us determine the library’s five-year plan and long-term needs,” Bebout said.

The La Vergne Public Library opened in its current location at 5063 Murfreesboro Road in 2002. The 20,000-square-foot library currently has more than 70,000 items available for checkout, including books, audio books, DVDs and music CDs. Books include fiction, non-fiction and juvenile reading materials. Newspaper subscriptions include two local papers, the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. More than 70 weekly and monthly magazines are also available.

The library has 29 computer work stations, as well as a self-service copier, laminating machine, fax for sending and receiving. The children’s library hosts interactive story times for babies, toddlers and preschool children. The library also boasts a teen center and a community room for other functions and offers an array of programs for all ages.

The library received a facelift in 2016, including new carpeting and paint, as well as an upgraded HVAC system, after a plumbing incident flooded the facility. No books or other materials were damaged in the flood.

Earlier this year, city officials approved the purchase of a new digital sign to be erected in front of the library to advertise upcoming events and activities. A new storage shed was also purchased.

Citizens can go online to fill out the survey, use the QR code on their cell phone at the library or ask for a paper survey.

Library card offers limitless reading entertainment, education — and it’s free!

Library card offers limitless reading entertainment, education — and it’s free!

by G. Robert Frazier

What if you could get access to thousands of books, hundreds of magazines, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks throughout the year? For free.

You can. All you have to do is get a library card.

Chances are no matter what your age you’ll be able to find something to inspire, entertain, or inform you at your local library, says Donna Bebout, library director for the La Vergne (TN) Public Library.

La Vergne’s library currently includes:

  • 71,507 books, from adult fiction and nonfiction to children’s fiction and nonfiction
  • 336 periodicals, from magazines like Time and Sports Illustrated to your local newspaper
  • 2,198 DVDs
  • 2,124 music CDs and audiobooks
  • 6,889 eAudios and eBooks
  • Access to databases.

There’s power in this little card.

“A library card gives you the ability to come in, choose an adventure to go on or a place to visit,” Bebout says.

Bebout got her library card at age 5 in Murfreesboro. She most recently checked out and read Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.

The La Vergne library currently boasts 39,115 library card holders, but there’s always room for more. Patrons, whether they be children, adults or seniors, educators or students, checked out 57,597 items in the past year.

Registration for a library card only takes a few minutes and patrons can check out books immediately. All you need is proof of your current mailing address and a photo ID, such as your driver’s license, a utility bill, or checkbook. You’ll also need your phone number.

Parents or legal guardians who have a library card can also get library cards for their children ages 5 and up.

In addition to the vast selection of books and other items to choose from, library cards can also teach children important skills such as time management and responsibility for property. It’s a gift that keeps giving all year and will help foster a love for reading for a lifetime to come.


The La Vergne Public Library is located at 5063 Murfreesboro Road in La Vergne. For more information, call 615-793-7303.



McClendon joins La Vergne Library team

McClendon joins La Vergne Library team

By G. Robert Frazier

LA VERGNE, TN — The new assistant librarian at La Vergne Library isn’t really a newcomer at all. Debbie McClendon has had a working relationship with Library Director Donna Bebout for more than a decade, making her a natural fit for the job.

The duo met at Smyrna Library in 2003 as the Children’s Department library team.  From that point on, the pair have worked side by side or crossed paths numerous times, leading up to McClendon’s hiring last month. In addition to a four-year stint at Smyrna Public Library as youth services specialist, McClendon previously worked as a bookmobile clerk for the Highland Rim Regional/Stones River Regional Library and was library education assistant at Brown’s Chapel Elementary in Murfreesboro from 2009 to 2016.

McClendon completed her master’s in library science from MTSU just as longtime La Vergne Assistant Librarian Paula Donahue retired, making her a natural choice to fill the role.

“(Paula) was just wonderful and very dedicated to the library,” Bebout says. “The patrons loved her here and we were sad to see her go. But we’re happy to have Debbie step into that role. We’ve worked together for several years and she’s going to bring a lot of energy and a fresh way of thinking to the library.”

McClendon is equally excited about the opportunity.

“I finished my degree over 18 months and now here I am, back with this wonderful woman,” McClendon said of Bebout. “The timing couldn’t have been better. I graduated May 5th and started work June 20th. It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been absolutely awesome.”

So, what does an assistant librarian do?

As McClendon explains it, she serves as a liaison of sorts between the rest of the staff and the director. She orders new books and materials. She keeps things going smoothly so that Bebout can concentrate on the many things she needs to do.

“I’m still learning how things go,” she said after just a week on the job. “I’m an out of box thinker. There are 10 ways to do whatever.”

By having served in numerous roles within the library, McClendon feels she understands the needs of both staff and management. “If you have an understanding of who you’re helping, you’re a better leader. Having a cohesive relationship, that’s what it’s all about.”

One of her goals is to “improve overall efficiency and serving this community. That’s our job.” She’s already helped to streamline the book ordering process for patrons looking for a specific book the library may not have in stock.

Community is something McClendon has in her blood. She was born and raised here.

“My husband and I are the fifth generation to own the land in La Vergne. We are rooted in La Vergne,” she says.

She also has a natural affinity to books and a love of literacy.

“I started in the ‘library biz’ while in high school and that is where my love for this line of work cultivated. I love books,” she says. “When I was with the bookmobile, we went from the border of Kentucky to the border of Alabama. We covered a wide expanse and brought books to so many people that didn’t have access to books. We taught them how to read. I loved that job.”

We had to ask: What do you like to read?

“I still love reading children’s books and biographies. I like to learn from other people’s experiences,” she says.