No longer will visitors to the Main Library at Goodwood Boulevard have to trudge all the way around the building to or from the only parking lot available — at BREC’s Independence Park Theatre and Cultural Center — with pounds of books weighing them down.

The long-awaited parking lot in front of the new library is now ready for vehicles, nearly a year after the opening of the new building. Plagued by weather and construction delays, the slate gray lot now stretches across where the original Main Library sat.

Library officials will soon open a book drop-off and pickup window for library patrons to zip through. Given the additions, Library Director Spencer Watts said he expects attendance to climb.

“The opening of the parking lot brings us closer to completing this innovative Main Library at Goodwood project, which is a jewel in the crown of our 14-branch Library System,” Watts said in a news release.

The 318-space lot was in use for the first time this weekend, when library and BREC leaders held a ribbon cutting for the plaza in front of the library and Independence Park Cyber Cafe.

Parking has been a source of consternation for some library board watchers, who have complained that plans for the new River Center Branch Library do not include parking. Watts has said repeatedly that the library system cannot afford to add parking to the downtown branch.