Capital City libraries adapt with the times

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POSTED: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 10:27pm

UPDATED: Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 9:20am

BATON ROUGE, La (WVLA) Long gone are the days when libraries were filled with only dusty old books and newspapers.  As Americans are inundated with sleek, new technology like Kindle and the Ipad (and the inescapable presence of the Internet), one may think libraries have become modern day ghost towns.  In many cities across the country that thought is reality, but in Baton Rouge, our library system is booming.

According to East Baton Rouge Parish Library System Executive Director David Farrar, so far over 300,000 people have visited the Goodwood Library this year alone.  That's a 6% jump from last year.  He says part of the reason libraries are so popular in the Capital City is because of their wide range of programs.  Farrar says our libraries have over 4500 programs including one that helps people find jobs and careers (Downtown Branch), and even a program for those of us who want to research our heritage and genealogy (Bluebonnet Branch).  There are also a wide array of items that can be checked out, from books, to DVD's, to paintings, to music.  Library patrons can even download their favorite books and music to their Ipod's or MP3 players with a program called Overdrive.  And there is no fee for any of it.  All you need is a library card.

Farrar says the library system gets about a $34 million per year budget.  He says right now, they have plans to build three new library branches in East Baton rouge Parish, as well as building an all new main branch on Goodwood Blvd.  The new main branch is expected to break ground in March of 2011.

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