Don’t be surprised to see people wheeling carts of books across 14th Street throughout June.
The Columbus Public Library is technically currently closed, but staff members are hard at work as they prepare to relocate into the entity’s new home in the voter-approved Columbus Community Building.
“Even though the library building will be closed as we pack up all of the books, supplies and furniture, we will still be providing library service to the community. If you call to request materials (and they haven’t been packed yet) we will put them on hold and you will be able to pick them up,” CPL Director Jeri Hopkins said. “We are also continuing with all of our wonderful programming.”
The transition into the new building is already well underway, with plenty more to come fast and furiously. The week of June 12-16 will include the installation of all furniture and bookcases in the two-level space. The weeks that follow will include IT equipment and desk setup; the shifting of books and other items, among other things.
That will all culminate with a grand opening celebration for the Columbus Community Building from 9 a.m.-noon that will be open to the public. More details on that will be announced in the near future.
“We are excited about moving into the new location,” CPL Young Adults Services Librarian Jessica Wilkinson said. “As a staff, we are looking forward to having more books available to the public …”
Hopkins shared a similar sentiment.
“I am truly thrilled to be a part of the move to the new building,” she said. “I am most excited by the endless possibilities for serving the community with the collaboration between all of the organizations within the building.”
The building will house the library, City Hall, City Council Chambers, the Columbus Arts Council, the Columbus Area Children’s Museum and a coffee shop. The latter two won’t open until after the July 8th celebration, but there will be plenty happening at the event that will make it fun for the community no matter their age.
The Library will have several family-friendly activities planned that day which will be announced soon. The team reiterated its appreciation of the community for supporting CPL while it worked out of its temporary location that once housed the Columbus Police Department. But, they’re eager for the community to come to enjoy the new library and building as a whole.
“Having the support of the community is what has made all of these transitions worthwhile. I am glad that we are able to support the community, even if we are working out of a smaller location. Seeing the excitement when our patrons talk about the new library has boosted the morale of everyone,” Wilkinson said.
“It has been fun working in a maze-like building, but I am excited to get into a larger space that is meant to be a library. I feel like the staff has bonded by working in such tight quarters, and I see that bond continuing in the new library.”
Residents are encouraged to follow the library’s online calendar to follow its programming as some of it will take place in different locations. The City’s website is also a great place to keep up-to-date on City happenings as the grand opening celebration draws close.
“The library is just beautiful,” Hopkins said. “The City and library staff have thoughtfully created a modern library space for the community.”
(ABOUT THE PHOTO: Columbus Public Library Director Jeri Hopkins, left, and CPL Young Adults Services Librarian Jessica Wilkinson show off a portion of the second level of the Columbus Community Building. The library will be located on levels one and two.)