Downtown Main Library’s South Building Closes to Transform into Next Generation Library

If you’re a regular visitor to the Downtown Main Library, you’ve already noticed that renovations to the South Building have started. Over the summer, work began on replacing the large skylight in the atrium along with the oldest elevators in that building. This is part of CHPL’s Facilities Master Plan.

As the Downtown Main Library's interior refresh and plaza redesign project continues, the Downtown Main Library’s South Building is now closed to the public until spring 2023.

Service to Continue in the North Building During Construction

Because the majority of the work will be taking place in and around the South Building, services for customers are being focused in the North Building. Customers should use the entrance on Ninth Street and expect to see spaces re-arranged.

As of Monday, Sept. 27, we continue to offer Library services and materials in the Downtown Main Library’s North Building:

  • Adult Education: On the right side of the first floor in the North Building.
  • Adult Materials: On the second floor next to MakerSpace. Nonfiction books, CDs, and DVDs are available here.
  • Book Drop: The book drop at the South Building drive-thru on Ninth Street will remain open for after-hours returns.
  • Drive-Thru on Ninth Street: This area in the South building will remain open during construction.
  • Genealogy & Local History: In the same location on the third floor. The Cincinnati Room also remains open.
  • Holds: On the right side of the first floor in the North Building.
  • MakerSpace: In the same location on the second floor.
  • Nonfiction: On the second-floor bridge between the two buildings. Also includes a reading area.
  • Reference Questions & Materials: Staff are happy to help you with any reference questions.
  • Study Rooms: On the second floor. Online reservations begin Monday, September 27.
  • Tech Center: On the left side of the first floor in the North Building. Printing, faxing, and copying services also are located here.
  • Teen and Children’s Materials: On the second floor next to MakerSpace.

Planned Improvements, Inside and Out

We greatly appreciate your patience as we work to make the Main Library a Next Generation Library to serve today’s customers. The oldest part of the South Building’s first floor, near Eighth Street, is getting a refresh, and the newer part of the first floor of South, by Ninth Street, is getting a renovation. The walls around the Children’s Garden are being removed to open up and activate the space. In 2022, the Vine Street entrance and plaza are getting a complete makeover.

During the Facilities Master Plan development process in 2019, the community and staff were encouraged to give feedback to inform the design work later done by Designed by Group 4 Architecture + Champlin Architecture. Thanks to this input, Group 4 injected local cultural and geographic landscapes to update the mid-century modern Main Library building.

The beloved book fountain is staying at Main but is moving to a new location on the revitalized Vine Street Plaza. Also, plans are to illuminate it instead of having water running through it, something that will allow its use even during the cold weather season. Inside, the donors’ wall and the veterans’ memorabilia display also are remaining at Main, and architects need to determine how best to integrate it with the renovation.

Watch the South Building Closing Ceremony

Library officials held a ceremony Friday, Sept. 24, to celebrate the refresh and redesign.

Visit the Main Library’s location page for hours of service.

To keep up-to-date on the construction progress, go to the Downtown Main Library’s Building the Next Generation Library project page.

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