River Branch Library in downtown Baton Rouge finally opening to the public

Downtown Baton Rouge library finally ready to open its doors after months of delays

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The River Branch Library in downtown Baton Rouge will officially open Friday, June 26.

The four story building is equipped with state of the art technology and gives visitors beautiful views overlooking the levee and downtown area landscape. However, the library hit several snags from almost day one, when construction had to be put on hold due to structural issues, adding an additional $3.1 million to a budget many felt was already high.

”This library was budgeted at $19 million, and of course remediation brought it little bit higher. We expect and plan to recover the cost of the remediation through litigation,” said Mary Stein, assistant library director. 

The library’s location also became a hot topic due to limited parking nearby.

“Parking at a downtown library is always a problem all over America because downtown parking is always an issue, so if you’re already downtown for one thing, we kind of think you’re just going to make this a part of your trip,” said Stein.

Stein says she believes public perception of the library will improve once doors are opened.

”To me, it’s about what a building allows us to do. So this building will allow you to be, to do, to create, so much, all those things, and I think it will have met its mission,” said Stein.

Library doors will open at 9:30 a.m. Friday. Guests are required to wear mask. 

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