YOUNGSVILLE — Eight-year-old Brooklynn Martin pauses from coloring to pull out a few of her favorite books of the moment from her tote bag.
She opens the book “Freaky Facts About Natural Disasters.”
“It’s really cool,” she says as she points to a page on tornadoes.
Her family makes frequent visits to the new East Regional Library, which opened in late May next to Fabacher Field on La Neuville Road in Youngsville, said mom Tara Martin.
Her son, Grant, 6, colored at a nearby table amid the stacks of books in the colorful children’s section.
“We’re here on Mondays and after their swim lessons,” Tara Martin said.
“We didn’t visit the (old) library, though it was close to our house. This is a nice outing for them. They love it. We’re here and if they want to go to the park next door — it’s very convenient.”
The new library replaces smaller branches in Broussard and Youngsville and is part of a $40 million bond measure that financed four regional libraries and funded the major renovations of the downtown library, which will reopen with a celebration on Monday. The new East Regional Library is the third of four planned regional libraries now open in the parish. The fourth and final regional library will be in the Scott area.
The East Regional Library has been quite busy since it opened before the Memorial Day weekend, said Lisa Cotton, the branch manager.
“We’re on track for 23,000 (check-outs) this month,” Cotton said.
The library is filled with natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows in the children’s section and in the main library area where its book stacks are, giving a view of grazing cattle in the pasture across the road.
The library also offers study rooms and meeting rooms for the public to reserve, including a large meeting room that seats 202 people and can be divided in half for smaller group meetings.
The branch also boasts a separate teen section with computers and a large children’s section with a “Be a Star!” theme. Brightly colored stars line the carpet, and the storytime area is painted to give the appearance of a stadium. The library’s proximity to the baseball park — Fabacher Field — made the sports theme a likely choice for the decor, Cotton said.
The new library received Brooklynn’s approval. As the youngster finished coloring, she said she enjoys visiting the new library for the same reason many others do: “I like to read.”
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.