For years, residents and library board members agreed that a new library branch was needed to serve the Des Allemands, Paradis and Bayou Gauche area.
They were right.
From May 16 through July 6, 3,700 people visited the Paradis Library, according to statistics kept by personnel. That equates to more than 70 people a day.
“Of course, we are very pleased with the usage at the Paradis Branch,” Head Librarian Mary desBordes said. “We knew there was both a need and a community desire for the location in the area, but it is always gratifying to see people make use of what we offer.”
DesBordes added that out of the library system’s three newest buildings, the Paradis branch had the most active community input in its location.
After some debate on the exact location, the library was constructed on 1.18 acres of land that formerly housed the old Paradis Elementary School. The building cost about $1.2 million to complete and is located on the corner of Audubon and Fonda streets.
The library contains a children’s activity room, a small study room and a large meeting room.
The library stands about 1,000 square feet bigger than the Hahnville branch and nearly 3,000 square feet smaller than the St. Rose branch.
But people aren’t just going to the library to check out how the new building looks. They are also making use of the inventory since more than 3,800 items have already been checked out. That means that almost everyone that visited the library from its opening until July 7 left with a book, magazine, CD or DVD.
“The library’s selectors worked very hard along with the Technical Services staff to determine what materials would suit the community best,” desBordes said. “Obviously they did their jobs well.”
DesBordes credits the current rush of patrons to summer reading program activities that are taking place now.
“We hope that as more people find out what we have to offer them, they will continue to use the branch for books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, online resources, programs for all ages and more,” she said.