EBRP’s state-of-the-art new library opens to public

East Baton Rouge Parish’s new main library is now open for business.

After some weather delays in recent weeks, the $35 million state-of-the-art facility on Goodwood Boulevard opened at noon Wednesday and is set to resume normal business hours Thursday.

The, 126,000 square foot library is home to at least half a million books and more than 130 public computers. At nearly twice the size of the system’s old main library, it also serves as a new headquarters for the system’s administrative offices.

Library system director Spencer Watts said some work remains, but leaders wanted to get the library opened as soon as possible to minimize service disruptions.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we’ve gone through the ‘Big Move’ and we hope everyone will be happy and excited to come through our new doors,” he said. “This will be an on-going process as we continue to roll out additional features. We hope everyone will remain patient as we know there will still be some inconveniences, such as the temporary parking and walkways.”

The next phase of the project includes tearing down the former main library building to pave the way for parking and green space at the new one.

In the meantime, temporary library parking is available at the East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Park Commission’s nearby theatre, Garden Center and soccer fields off Independence Boulevard.

An official grand opening ceremony for the new library will be held in the spring upon final completion of an outdoor plaza area, the new parking lot and other amenities.

Mayor-President Kip Holden on Wednesday called the new library “absolutely fantastic.”

“We’re planning on things to put there to make sure it is a community-based library,” he said.