After more than a year of renovations, Nix Library is back open to the public. The construction included the addition of an accessible bathroom, a wheelchair lift, and automatic doors, bringing the 92-year-old building up to ADA standards. The Library and the City of New Orleans celebrated the occasion with a ribbon cutting on September 8.
New Orleans Public Library Executive Director and City Librarian Emily Painton said the renovations directly align with the open doors pillar of the Library’s 10-year strategic plan.
“To us, having open doors means being accessible and easily used by all people. The renovations and resulting prolonged closure of this Library were an inconvenient, but necessary step in the Nix doors being truly open to all patrons,” Painton said.
Unexpected setbacks and a variety of challenges resulted in a longer than expected closure, but Carrollton neighbors can now enjoy a fully accessible public library.
“This building is a part of the Carrollton neighborhood’s history, and now it can continue on to be part of its future, for all community members, regardless of age or ability,” Painton said.
Almost a century ago, James, Ralph, and John Nix donated their family’s lot at the corner of Willow Street and Carrollton Avenue to the City of New Orleans in order to build a library in memory of their parents. On December 1, 1930, Nix Library opened its doors for use by the public.
Over the course of the next nine decades, the small, one-room Library would close for improvements on several occasions. The building suffered only minor flooding during Hurricane Katrina and was one of the first Library locations to reopen, just two months after the storm. Nix was closed for repairs in 2007 after a tornado, and the building was closed for more extensive renovations in 2016.
Now, Painton hopes Nix Library’s newest renovations will ensure the building’s integrity for many years to come.
Shannan Cvitanovic, the executive director of the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library, said it’s always a wonderful thing when a neighborhood gets a new library.
“Nix Library has been a beloved member of the Carrollton community since 1930 and it’s with open arms that we welcome it back to the neighborhood,” Cvitanovic said. “Nix Library may be small, but its impact is not. I have heard firsthand from the public how much they have missed the pleasure of browsing the shelves and chatting with the staff.”
Damian Lambert is the longtime manager of Nix Library, and he is excited to be back in the neighborhood and serving the community once again.
“The Nix community is truly wonderful. We’re a small Library, which really lets us get to know our users and connect with them in a way you wouldn’t be able to in a bigger, more modern space,” Lambert said. “Many of our users have been coming here since they were children, have brought their children here, and then even their grandchildren, too. It’s wonderful to know there are places that exist that can be used and enjoyed for decades on end, and we’re hopeful the renovations and improvements will extend our place in this community well into the future.”
Nix Library is located at 1401 S. Carrollton Ave. and is open Monday-Thursday from 10am – 6pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 10am – 5pm.