Main Library closed for renovations, but new downtown library is set to open

Published: Sep. 4, 2018 at 5:32 PM EDT
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The Main Library in downtown Toledo is now closed. It will stay that way for about a year for a $10.4 Million renovation project.

A lot of people use the branch on a regular basis, including those who are homeless. After months of behind-the-scenes work, there's a new library opening in downtown to help fill that gap.

Cherry Street Mission Ministries is opening a library at the Life Revitalization Center. The goal is to have it ready early this fall. While it will help fill a gap during the closure of the main library, it will be a permanent part of the mission's work.

Many of the shelves are now empty at the Main Library All the public spaces are being renovated. Meg Delaney is the Manager of the Main Library,"We have so many exciting things happening here. As you come up to the first floor, you'll walk down what we are calling Main Street. That's where we'll have prime services and activities right in front of everybody."

The changes to the historic space will allow this treasure from the past to move into the future, "We're doing some big infrastructure changes now that will allow us to continue to pivot as things move forward. We are well-positioned for the future."

Those changes include technology upgrades, expanded meeting rooms, and even an area called a maker space, "It will be near our new teen area. It will be focused on things like students, technology, learning, business, job skills and job re-training. We have some really exciting things coming down the pike. "

The closure is for several reasons including time, money and safety, "There's a lot of big work happening. We do not want to put our staff, our customers or contractors in danger. That's why closing just made sense to us."

There are 19 other branches you can visit. During the downtown closure there will be extended hours some of the other branches, "Some libraries near downtown will have hours added on Saturdays and others will have extra hours on Sundays."

The staff members from downtown have all been moved to those other branches, "We were able to do all this without layoffs. We have been able to re-position our staff into vacancies at some of the branches, and add staff at the branches we expect to see some extra traffic."

While the Main Library is closed, another library is about to open downtown. This space at the Cherry Street Mission's Life Revitalization Center will be open to the public. Max Lambdin is the Senior Vice President of Mission Advancement, "This has been a joint effort. The library system is providing us with books, furniture, computer systems, technology and infrastructure. We''ll be looking for volunteers to help run that library space, so anyone interested in helping can contact us to get involved."

Now back to the main library project One space there will stay open during the renovation work is the Local History and Rare Books area.

It will be open by appointment.

We've posted a link with all the information you'll need about the entire project