EBR Parish Library plans soft opening for River Center branch in downtown Baton Rouge

EBR Parish Library plans soft opening for River Center branch in downtown Baton Rouge
River Center Branch Library (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Library)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The River Center Branch Library in downtown Baton Rouge is finally opening to the public Friday, June 26. The East Baton Rouge Parish Library is holding a soft opening event at the library at 9:30 a.m.

The library is located at 250 North Blvd. Library officials say due to COVID-19, a celebratory dedication will take place at a later date.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome will be in attendance and invites the community to join her.

“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.

The four-story library is 48,490 square feet and has all the features you’d expect to find in a library, plus many more. The second floor is completely dedicated to young readers, with a space for projects, and a media lab for making podcasts and sound mixing.

On the first floor, a large map of the Mississippi River flows along the floor. There’s also space for a future café with a walk-up service window.

The third floor is geared towards adults and teens, with a 1963 map of the city extended across the walls. There are work/study rooms, a technology lab, a teen program room, space for projects, and a quiet reading room. The public will also be able to get help from staff in finding grants.

On the fourth floor, there are four rooms designed for public meetings with up-to-date technology and a video conferencing room.


Phone numbers for the new facility:

  • Circulation - 225-389-4967
  • Reference - 225-389-4964
  • Children - 225-389-4959
  • Teens - 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 system’s Stage 2 of phased reopening, which includes:

  • Abbreviated hours of operation:
  • 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday
  • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday
  • 2 to 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, call 225-231-3750 or click here.

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