Wagner Library :: A Hidden Gem

Wagner Library :: A Hidden Gem

Library lovers, where y’all at?! I think libraries have an immeasurably huge impact on communities and are vital to their wellbeing. When I walked into the East Bank Regional Library for the first time, it was like walking into Belle’s library in the Beast’s castle in the classic Disney movie—shelves upon shelves of books, literature, and information as far as the eye can see. Their spacious children’s section was a delight to read through when I was a kid.

My husband asked me recently why I drive out to that library with the kids instead of visiting Wagner Library, which is significantly closer to our house. I go to EBRL for a few reasons—I’m very comfortable there; I’m familiar with both the children’s section and the library as a whole, and I have my own book on the shelves there that I like to check on. (Sorry, shameless plug.) And I’ll confess… I may be a bit of a library snob. The East Bank Regional Library is big and beautiful!

But it’s true that the Wagner Library, located at 6646 Riverside Drive in Metairie, would save me some time. So when I saw how our summer schedule would play out with two of my kids getting out of different camps with an hour to kill in between, I started bringing my three-year old to Wagner Library to pass the time.

And he loves it!

While it’s true that the East Bank Regional Library is bigger, the more intimate size of Wagner has really helped my son grasp the concept of staying in place, using his library voice, and being respectful of the space. (At EBRL, he’s more prone to running free and galloping around the reading rug.) We usually start our visit doing a quick walk around the library to stretch our legs, then sitting at a table in the kids’ section.

Because it’s small, he’s allowed to walk around and pick books on his own to bring back to me at the table, and I don’t fear losing track of him among the shelves. We read books together, and he dutifully carries them to the red return cart when he’s done. But his favorite part is the game shelf they have. He can pick from puzzles, matching games, and other board games, and we play a few together before picking one last book to read before going to pick up his brother.

I’ve also been impressed with their kids’ “Grab and Go” table, where they offer different coloring pages, worksheets, and a larger craft to take home. For the Fourth of July, we went home with construction paper and bags of colorfully-dyed noodles to glue into the shape of fireworks. Most recently, we learned how to fold an origami paper crane from beautifully patterned paper they provided.

Even though the library is smaller than what I’m used to, we’ve found a lot of joy there! Don’t overlook this little gem of a library. We’ve gone on days when it’s empty and quiet and on days when it’s packed and noisier than any other library I’ve been in, and all experiences have been great! It’s been the perfect little place to pass some time in air conditioning and surrounded by books and games. I highly recommend making some time to visit Wagner Library (or even do a tour of libraries in the area!) and see what they offer!


Erica Tran
Erica lives in Kenner with her husband Michael and her three sons, Benjamin, Joshua, and Elijah. After graduating from UL Lafayette with a degree in advertising and landing her dream job, she left her chosen field and now works part time as an administrative assistant for a Catholic retreat movement. She spends the rest of her time at home with her boys, finding lost toys and actively ignoring various messes. In 2019, she self-published her first book, The Sister. There's not a lot of free time between working, reading and writing, and chasing her kids, but in those moments she's usually sprawled on the sofa in casual denial about just how messy her house is.


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