GALVEZ — When libraries grow, books and shelves don't move by themselves.
In January, the Ascension Parish public library branch in the community of Galvez will close for two weeks while the original portion of the building — closed to the public for more than six months while it got a new roof and ceiling and a redesign — gets restocked with books, magazines and computers.
When it re-opens, residents will finally see the full effect of a $3.34 million expansion of the library on La. 42 that has doubled its space from 10,000 square feet to 23,000 square feet.
Library officials expect the library to temporarily close for two weeks on Jan. 15 and reopen on Jan. 29.
"I think it's going to be a wonderful asset for the community," Angelle Deshautelles, library director for the Ascension Parish library system, said of the finished project. "I think the public is really going to enjoy it."
While renovation of the original library, built in 1992, was underway over the last several months, library services were offered in a 6,000-square-foot addition on the east side of the building that was completed in May.
People entered the addition through a temporary entrance for awhile, but about a month ago were able to go through the main entrance again and get a preview of the original, renovated space that's waiting for its books.
GALVEZ — Galvez residents going to the library on Monday will walk into a part of the building they've never seen before.
When the library reopens after the two-week temporary closure at the end of January, a 4,000-square-foot addition on the west side of the original library will also open for the first time to the public.
That addition will feature a large new meeting room for library programs, as well as a room that community groups can use for their events.
With the expansion completed, the library, which is used by 2,500 to 3,000 people weekly, will have 20 computers, up from eight; three study rooms, up from two; a magazine-reading room; a large activity room for children; and a library section for young adults for the first time.
The number of parking spaces at the library is more than doubling, too, going from 45 to 104.
Like all of the Ascension Parish Library construction projects, the Galvez library project was funded by property taxes.
The Ascension Parish library system receives 95 percent of its funding from two property taxes, one a 2.6 millage and the other a 4.2 millage.
Other funding comes from the state and fees and fines.
Galvez Branch Librarian Stephanie Mayeux said the staff is "really, really excited to begin resuming programming again."
The library had to hold off on programs and wasn't able to provide space for community groups like it does regularly, while the construction projects were underway.
"In the old building, it was just books stacked on books," Mayeux said. "Now there are more spaces available, more resources available. I'm so excited."