The East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s River Center Branch closed Wednesday in preparation for the library’s move to temporary quarters during the construction of a new downtown library.

The closure of the River Center Branch, at 120 St. Louis St., is needed to allow books, computers and other materials to be moved to a temporary facility at 447 3rd St., across from Matherne’s, a news release said.

The interim library will offer public computers, Wi-Fi, printing and a popular browsing book collection. The bulk of the branch’s collection will remain in storage for the duration of the River Center Branch construction project.

The temporary branch will reopen later in July at the interim site, commonly known as the Kress Building.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Library system is replacing the River Center Branch with a new library, budgeted for $15.1 million. Factoring in expenses such as designs, furnishings and demolition of the old building, the project will cost $19 million total, library officials have said.

The new building features a modern design and a cantilever hanging over the North Boulevard Town Square. It will be able to accommodate nearly 1,000 visitors on four levels.

Library authorities said they needed to replace the old, technologically out-of-date building at the site.

Visit the library’s website at for information about the opening date for the interim branch.