EBRP Library to host soft opening of Downtown Library


BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC 33/Fox 44) The East Baton Rouge Parish Library will host a Soft Opening of the River Center Branch Library, 250 North Blvd., at 9:30 a.m. this Friday, June 26. In keeping with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, a celebratory dedication ceremony will take place at a later date to be determined.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome will be in attendance to welcome community members into the building.

“We are pleased to open this exciting, dynamic new library. It is an engaging, multi-faceted facility that will offer our citizens new opportunities for discovery, collaboration, and creativity. The features and the basic design of the building are the result of extensive community input developed over the years”, said Library Director Spencer Watts.

Spread throughout 48,490 square feet over four levels, this beautiful, state of the art building boasts all the features you have come to expect in East Baton Rouge Parish Libraries, plus a host of new elements.

This innovative space includes a second floor entirely dedicated to our youngest patrons, a Maker Space for high-, low-, and no-tech projects, and Media Lab for podcasting and sound mixing. A Meander map of the Mississippi River flows across the first floor, with adjacent displays of popular reading, magazines, newspapers and audio/visual material. It also will accommodate a future first floor café with a walk-up service window for the purchase of coffee and pastries on the go.   

The third floor is intended for adults and teens, and is literally wrapped in Baton Rouge, as a 1963 city map mural extends across the room’s walls. It houses collaborative work/study rooms accessible by both adults and teens, the Electronic Arts Teen Technology Lab, the Teen Program Room, the Maker Space and Media Lab, a quiet reading room, plus access to grant-finding assistance with the Grants Librarian. The fourth floor contains four rooms designed for public programs and meetings, including a large meeting room with up-to-date technology and a video conferencing room. The views are spectacular from the fourth floor rooftop terrace which features a deck that spans three-fourths of the building.  

Phone numbers for the new facility:

  • Circulation                                        (225) 389-4967    
  • Reference                                          (225) 389-4964 
  • Children’s                                         (225) 389-4959    
  • Teen’s                                               (225) 389-4960    
  • Allison Cooper, Branch Manager    (225) 389-8751

For more information about the River Center Branch, please visit the Infoguide at https://ebrpl.libguides.com/rivercenter.  

At this time, the River Center Branch like all other Library locations will adhere to the Library Systems’ Step 2 level of phased re-opening which includes:

  • Abbreviated hours of operation:
  • 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday
  • 2 – 6 p.m. Sunday
  • Temporarily closed stacks (Library staff are available as “personal shoppers” to retrieve items for patrons)
  • Furniture and computer work stations are temporarily reduced and spaced out in accordance with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines
  • Interactive and high-touch features on the Children’s Floor are temporarily not in use due to COVID-19 precautions
  • Library programming, collaborative study spaces and meeting room use are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 precautions

For more information about the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, please call (225) 231-3750 or visit us online at www.ebrpl.com.

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