When we created our Facility Master Plan to help guide our Building the Next Generation Library initiative, one thing we didn’t see coming was a global pandemic (who did?).
The Library is no stranger to adjusting to new challenges. We take our job as stewards of your hard-earned tax dollars very seriously. So even though some of our plans have been paused or delayed, we still remain committed to bringing you and your community the best possible Library services we can provide.
Having to temporarily close our doors to the public due to the pandemic gave us the opportunity to advance certain facilities projects when there would be the least disruption to serving customers on-site. Here’s what we’ve been up to recently. You can stay informed on all the latest updates by visiting our Building the Next Generation Library web page.
Price Hill renovation and expansion is in full swing
The Price Hill Branch renovation and expansion began in March 2020. While the original goal was to make the branch fully accessible to those with mobility challenges, the branch is getting more extensive work and upgrades. This project is one of 14 major Design Projects identified in the Library’s Facility Master Plan. To date, the project is on time and on budget, and it is anticipated the branch can reopen by early 2021. You can follow the progress on the Building the Next Generation Library web page.
Walnut Hills renovation and expansion begins later in 2020
Another major Design Project is the upcoming renovation and expansion of the Walnut Hills Branch. Schematic design is nearly complete and was informed by the three listening sessions and one focus group we held in the neighborhood in 2019. We expect to break ground in the fall of this year. We anticipate holding a virtual or in-person community forum to share the design sometime in the coming months.
College Hill, Elmwood Place, and Madeira get some TLC
The Facility Master Plan provided recommendations for improving all 41 library locations. Some of these improvements fall into the category of Strategic Investments that provide limited funds which can yield a big impact for the community. The College Hill, Elmwood Place and Madeira branches received new carpet, furnishings, and a fresh coat of paint. A sound-proof study pod was added in Madeira and a glass wall was installed in the adult area to reduce the noise coming from the children’s area.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Bhati family, our Madeira Branch was also able to upgrade and expand its children’s space.
The hard word of our Facilities staff and the staff of these branches allowed these transformations to take place at warp speed!
Energy-efficiency at the Downtown Main Library
In late 2019, the Downtown Main Library began a series of updates to make the large building more energy efficient and safe. These updates included new or improved fire suppression systems, improved electrical, replacement of the original boilers, replacement of air handlers, replacing the roof more. This project is ongoing.
Restart of in-person service
We know you’ve missed being in your Library branch. Thirty-seven of our 41 locations are open for limited in-person service beginning July 27. Due to their small size and the associated challenges with achieving physical distancing, the Mt. Healthy and Elmwood Place branches remain closed for in-person service for now, but both locations begin curbside service Monday, Aug. 3.
We know things change rapidly these days, so you can stay up-to-date with all of our COVID-19 related policies and restart plans by visiting our Library Restart page. And of course, we’ll continue to provide you with plenty of live online events, opens a new window and digital Library materials. Our eBranch is open 24/7 and we are here to help by phone, email or chat , opens a new windowseven days a week.
While we’re all wearing masks, underneath we’re smiling and looking forward to seeing you!