Staff moving into renovated Franklin branch library site
Franklin’s main branch of the St. Mary Parish Library has been operating for the past 18 months out of the South Louisiana Community College building on Perret Street.
As of Tuesday, that facility was closed as staff begins moving back into the newly renovated library building on Iberia Street, Library Director Julie Vidos said.
The library has been modernized and will be state-of-the-art, with numerous computer stations as well as tables lining the front windows where patrons can set up with laptops, Vidos said.
All the typical book categories will be moved in over the next three weeks, including a genealogy section and the popular DVD library area.
The front desk provides a long view from the front of the building to the rear on the side facing Perret Street. Another staff station is centrally located to also provide a clear view of the other side of the facility and to the Perret Street entrance as well. The front entrance has been moved to the opposite corner of the building.
Much of the furniture has not been brought in yet, but Vidos said there’ll be study and reading areas situated throughout various areas in the library.
Restrooms have been moved and rehabilitated, with shelves for book sacks, purses, etc. for patrons’ convenience.
The former meeting room has been moved to the first floor.
Video surveillance cameras will be installed throughout the building while protecting privacy concerns, Vidos said.
On the second floor the library will feature a “teen room” for young adults to gather and utilize library facilities for study, research and more. There is a staff area there as well.
The original, sunken-style area for younger kids has been renovated and updated as well.
While the move is ongoing, patrons can still use the book drop for returns as well as visit either the Baldwin or Centerville branches for continued services.
The $2.2 million project is funded with proceeds from a bond package approved by voters in October 2008 that is secured by the system’s 1.25-mill maintenance and capital improvement property tax.
Cheramie and Bruce Architects of Houma designed the plans and Bonneval Construction Co. Inc. of Patterson is the contractor. (More photos on Page 10.)