Baton Rouge Library Designed by LSU Alumni Honored with National 2015 Landmark Library Award

east baton rouge parish library

east baton rouge parish library

East Baton Rouge Library staff was delighted to learn the Main Library at Goodwood was honored with the 2015 New Landmark Library award, which they read about it in the Library Journal’s fall 2015 issue of Library by Design magazine. (Left to right: Barbara Roos, Teen Library Services coordinator; Andrew Tadman, Reference and Computer Services coordinator; Library Director Spencer Watts; Lori Juge, Branch Service coordinator; and Assistant Library Director Mary Stein)

The Main Library at Goodwood, which is part of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System, has been recognized with four prestigious national design awards. The three-story, 126,000-square-foot building was designed by the Library Design Collaborative, a joint venture of Dewberry, Cockfield Jackson Architects (Stephen Jackson, BArch 1978), and Tipton Associates (Ken Tipton, BArch 1981). The four awards honoring the Main Library at Goodwood all recognize projects that demonstrate creativity, design excellence and innovation in problem-solving. 

The first of the awards is the notable 2015 New Landmark Library award given by the Library Journal. The Main Library at Goodwood is now among the few prestigious libraries nationwide honored with a New Landmark Library award for its innovative and outstanding design and for helping inform and inspire those renovating or building a library. The accolade is given to libraries that are flexible and sustainable and also indispensable community living rooms in today’s world.

“Being selected as a 2015 New Landmark Library winner by Library Journal is a significant mark of distinction, especially since this Library also was selected as one of the few library projects to be featured in the American Libraries 2015 Library Design Showcase,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Library Director Spencer Watts. “The Landmark Library designation is a relatively new award with a very rigorous and highly competitive application process; only 11 libraries were awarded this honor. The most important thing to note is that the award is not for how the building looks but how it functions . . . providing wonderful spaces for engagement, access and discovery,” Watts said.

“This is a wonderful news—more reasons for citizens to be proud of the great services the library offers and the time and care that has been taken to construct and maintain excellent buildings,” said Kizzy Payton, president of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Board of Control.  “It is a true investment in our future!”

To receive the Landmark Library accolade, libraries must be leaders in trends and standards, be the center of their community, have established productive partnerships, be creative culture catalysts, have transparent and light-filled reading spaces, be connected to the environment, and embrace a building aesthetic that allows for programs, people, artwork, collections and furniture to shine. According to Library by Design magazine, a supplement to Library Journal, many of the 2015 Landmark Libraries are designed in a people-centric, place-making perspective that reflect the neighborhood and the community’s “new social heart.” It’s “a space that feels almost sacred and allows small group meetings, lectures, or quiet research and contemplation.”

Secondly, the Main Library at Goodwood recently received the American Institute of Architects (AIABR) Rose Award for outstanding design and function, which recognizes and celebrates design excellence by local architects in the categories of architecture, interior architecture, renovation/addition, master planning/urban design, residential, and exquisite detail.

The Main Library’s architect, The Design Collaborative, achieved excellence in Architecture as a joint venture with Cockfield Jackson, Dewberry, and Tipton Associates. The design was recognized with the Member’s Choice Rose Award. The design team for the Main Library worked with the city’s library and park systems to develop a new Main Library located in one of the city’s premier community parks, Independence Park.

And thirdly, the Main Library at Goodwood building was selected as Engineering News-Record (ENR) magazine’s Best Government/Public Buildings Project, as well as Best Overall Project of the Year, for the five-state region encompassing Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.

“It is truly gratifying to be selected as the Best Government/Public Project for this five-state region,” Watts said about the ENR award. “I believe this high-profile award reflects positively on Baton Rouge as a community.” Published in ENR, the Regional Best 2015 Projects accolade is dedicated to honoring the best construction projects and the companies that designed and built them in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Projects compete in 20 specialized categories, ranging from airports to sports/entertainment.

Today, the Main Library at Goodwood houses more than 500,000 books, movies, electronic resources and circulating artwork. The $35.8-million building, which opened in January 2014, was designed as a community destination that would appeal to all ages and support lifelong learning. A meeting room accommodates 300 people. In addition, the Career Center provides free services to assist clients in career transitions. The Main Library also offers a reading room, a Baton Rouge Archives Room and genealogy collection, a technology lab, children’s and teen rooms with LED light displays, 140 personal computers and 3D printing. It packs many advanced, creative services and design highlights into one compact building, which was built under budget.

The Board of Control’s pay-as-you-go plan kept the Main Library construction on tract, wisely using taxpayer funds. The building is completely paid for and owned by the board and community.

Highlights of the design include stained glass windows (designed by LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture Professor Emeritus Jon Emerson), a recycled paper waterfall spanning three floors, a drive-through/pickup window, and a landscaped roof terrace and gardens. Dewberry, one of the nation’s leading firms in library design, provided programming, interior architecture, interior design, and audio-visual engineering.

Since opening in January 2014, the Main Library at Goodwood has hosted about 780,246 visitors, had 967,431 items checked out, helped more than 183,025 with public computer usage and noted more than 250,000 free WiFi sessions in 2014.

For more information, call (225) 231-3710 or visit us online at For more information about the Main Library at Goodwood’s Landmark Library Award, read the article at Rose Awards information can be obtained at Information related to the 2015 Library Design Showcase may be found at The ENR recognition information can be found at