It would be hard to overstate exactly how excited I was to be invited to take a hard hat tour of the new Main Library (or #newmain as all the cool kids are calling it – seriously, though, search the hashtag and you’ll get a great look at its progress over time!). But let’s just say I semi-purposely scheduled the tour on my birthday because I thought it would be an awesome thing to do! Since the two libraries closest to me are under renovation (or completely demolished) I am currently without library. Main Library was my go-to, so I am counting down the days until June 25th! Here are 10 things we have to look forward to at Main Library:
1. These Fun Doors
The children’s area is in the same location as it was before, only when you enter, there will be a big door for the adults and a small door for the kids. (That’s the reddish, metal structures you see in the picture). How fun is that?
2. Open Area for Story Times
Gone is the room with the sea creatures on the walls where many of us have attended story time and special events. Now story times will be done in the open, in the middle of the children’s area so no one misses out!
3. A Mother’s Room
New Main has a Mother’s Room! Three cheers for this one! Though I don’t plan on nursing any new babies (sorry, Mom), this is a total win for moms! I know from my experience, just knowing a Mother’s Room is available relieves a lot of stress when planning outings with babies. This isn’t a picture of the Mother’s Room, but it is facing the children’s area and is a great view of the 3 floors of Main Library.
4. Access to the Historic Carnegie Building From Upstairs
Previously, it was not possible to access the Carnegie portion of the library from the upper floors of the newer building. If you wanted to access the galleries on the second floor of the Carnegie building, you had to go downstairs, over to the historic Carnegie building and back up again on the other side. When the library reopens, there will be walkways connecting the Carnegie building to the second floor of the newer portion of the library.
5. Carnegie Cafe
The cafe has been given a new name and moved further inside the first floor of the library. Carnegie Cafe will sell snacks, coffee and other drinks. There will be a nice open seating area and opposite will be the new Friends of the Library store.
6. Teen Space
Older kids will have their own space that is no longer attached to the Children’s area – in fact it’s on a separate floor! This special teen space will be on the 2nd floor. I think this distinction is a great thing for both the teens and the younger kids!
7. Open Reading Room
Part of the 3rd floor was taken down to open up this area and make it into a large space for comfortable seating and reading, as well as for special events and speakers.
8. Awesome View of Downtown
The facade of the building was taken down and replaced by windows and now you have an amazing view of downtown! I think I could sit here all day!
9. Outdoor Reading Room
Okay, this might be my favorite one on the list! I’m super excited about the outdoor reading room with free Wi-fi and and opening to Topiary Park.
10. Access to Topiary Park from the Library
I remember nervously walking my kids past the entrance and exit of the library parking garage to get from the library to Topiary park. Now all you need to do is just walk through the outdoor reading room! Another huge win for parents!
Mark your calendars for the upcoming Grand Opening Celebration on June 25th! The ribbon cutting ceremony happens at 12:00 PM! Following that, there will be tours, entertainment and time to explore the library. There will be a special PBJ & Jazz concert at 2:00 in Topiary Park and the movie, The Lorax, will be shown outdoors at dusk. On Sunday, June 26th, author David Baldacci will speak. These events are free, but the Sunday event will require registration. See this link for information on the Grand Opening Celebration. I’m really looking forward to this downtown institution being reopened with all the new things it has to offer! See you there!
If you’re looking for a library to visit in the meantime, check out my posts about 4 great branches of Columbus Metropolitan Library: North, South, East and West: Great Libraries for Reading AND Playing, Part 1 and North, South, East and West: Great Libraries for Reading AND Playing, Part 2.