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Caldwell Parish Library celebrates expansion

BATON ROUGE, La. – Officials with the Caldwell Parish Library and the State Library of Louisiana broke ground Tuesday, April 25, on a project that will greatly increase space for a facility that first opened almost 50 years ago.

When work on the addition to the Caldwell Parish Library building is done in about a year, there will be 11,822 square feet for the growing collection. Right now, the library has 7,410 square feet.

“We’re running out of space,” said Tammi Hartsfield, director of the Caldwell Parish Library. “I’ve been the librarian since November 2015 and our usage is way up, which is a good thing.”

In addition to the new construction, the existing building will be renovated. Hartsfield said only the roof and carpet have been replaced since the doors opened in 1974.

The children’s section will be expanded and the genealogy department will finally have dedicated space thanks to the project. There will also be more space for large and small meetings, which the community has asked for, Hartsfield said.

The Davis Memorial Reading Garden will also open at the library after completion of the work on the building. Named in honor of Marshall Davis who served on the library board from 1976-2016, the garden will include a StoryWalk, which displays a children’s book page by page along a walking path. The StoryWalk will feature a new book each month.

“Caldwell Parish Library has continued to work hard and provide its citizens with excellent library service,” interim State Librarian Meg Placke said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “At the State Library, we look forward to seeing the renovated library, which will continue to serve generations to come.”

“Libraries are such an important part of a community. It’s wonderful to see the public recognize their value,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “The citizens of Caldwell Parish will love what they see when this work is done.”

Hartsfield noted that work on the expansion began during National Library Week. “The theme this year is ‘There’s More to the Story.’ And, there is more to our story. This is our next chapter.”