The coolest things you didn’t know you could borrow from local libraries in 2021

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and signing up for a card gets you access to some great libraries in Baton Rouge.

The long-awaited four-floor River Center branch opened downtown last summer. Across town, the state-of-the-art Main Library at Goodwood also has three floors of books, albums, movies and more to offer, and there are plenty of other locations to explore, too.

But there’s a lot more than books inside these buildings. Here are a few interesting finds we spotted in the Main Library’s collection. ebrpl.com

Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Blue Morning Glories”

Full-sized, framed artwork

Whether you’re sprucing up your home for a special guest, dressing a set or just like looking at different pieces of art each week, the library has an array of framed art prints to choose from on seven-day loan. This replica of an O’Keeffe classic is a great way to update your decor with bright colors.

Stock photo

Binge Boxes

The Main Library even has its own Netflix-style collections of movies and TV shows. Dig into its binge box collections, sets that have been curated with film buffs in mind. Movies and TV shows covering similar genres or directors have been grouped together and can be rented all at once. Sounds like the perfect activity for a rainy weekend.

Arduino kits

The Arduino kit comes with a microcontroller, a breadboard, LED lights and buttons, resistors, a potentiometer, a photoresistor, a buzzer and a transistor—in layman’s terms, everything you need to learn the basics of programming hardware. The library also offers two-hour classes at least once a month to learn how to use it.

Editor’s note: The library’s telescope is a different model than the one pictured. Stock image.

Orion SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

A one-hour training class is required before you can take home this telescope, but it’s an approachable and user-friendly tool for amateur skygazers. You get a week to use it at home for great views of the moon and bigger planets like Jupiter and Saturn. Classes take place the first Thursday of every month at 8 p.m. and borrowing is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Playaway pre-loaded devices

Playaway Views are all-in-one video players that streamline the task of keeping kids 8 and younger entertained and occupied on the go. With most of the videos adapted from children’s books, it’s basically a handheld storyteller. New to the library are Playaway Launchpads, pre-loaded learning tablets that contain interactive educational games on a variety of themes and topics. The library also now has Playaways for adults, preloaded with audiobooks.

Walter A. Hannula’s “Mother & Child”


Paintings aren’t the only art available on loan. The library also lends out small replicas of famous sculptures, like this midcentury creation by sculptor Walter Hannula. Other sculptures include artifact-like elephants and stone masks.

This article was originally published in the March 2017 issue of 225. It has been updated with new information for 2021.