The public library branch located at 411 Pujo Street in Lake Charles Louisiana was on my list of places to see while I was in this part of the state. A friend, and fellow genealogist, spoke highly of the staff and the collection. Before I ever left California, I knew I'd be stopping in.
While research wasn't my goal during my visit, I was able to take some items off of my To Do list. For anyone conducting genealogical research in southern Louisiana, the Genealogy Room at this library branch is sure to please. The staff is friendly and even knowledgeable. If I lived in southern Louisiana, this would be one of my haunts.
Here is an outline of my notes:
Parking (free) across the street to the west of the building. No problem finding a spot in the morning.
This is a public library. The Genealogy Room is in the back.
Obituary Card Catalog from early times to 1999.
The Southwest Louisiana Genealogical Society's Book of Charts, five generations, are in bound books. Beyond that the genealogies extend into nearby cabinets.
The Family History stacks wrap around the walls. Blue dots on the book's spines represents Bios.
Impressive collection of maps. Local cemetery maps. (Good place to start before heading out to a cemetery.)
Map Books: Map Guide by William Thorndale; Louisiana Post Offices by John Gremann; Township Atlas of the United States by Andriot.
Reference guides at desk.
Complete sets of Father Hebert's indexes, the Baton Rouge Catholic Diocese's indexes, the New Orleans Diocese's indexes.
Family Map Books by parish; these are green bound books filed by parish.
Scanner that will email or export to thumb drive.
* Online card catalog.
Wifi as "CPPL". Power strips on each table.
* I found the card catalog system confusing. There was a need to log-in and to
keep 'adding time' to use it. Somehow there is a library card (barcode) that was also required. I never did fully under understand it, or whether I would be able to use it from home.
My takeaways were: This library would be very useful to a serious researcher visiting from out of town, as well as to family historians who just needed some help or direction.