Community input from all 41 Branches will help create Plan for improvements

Written by Angela Hursh

Over the next 10 years, the library will embark on an ambitious plan called Building the Next Generation Library, opens a new window. The first step is to put into place a Facility Master Plan, opens a new window that will serve as a guiding document to inform decision making regarding how the funds from the 1 mill levy that was passed in May 2018 will be used. 

In February of this year, the Library officially kicked off the Facility Master Plan project with the first meeting of our newly formed Community Advisory Council. The group of over 50 community members will meet five times over the course of 2019 to help guide the development of the plan. Once complete, the Facility Master Plan will act as a road map for how to best use levy funds to improve all 41 Library locations and better meet the evolving needs of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Residents. 

In addition to the Community Advisory Council, the Library is seeking to connect with individual residents in even deeper ways. From June 17 to August 26 we’ll be traveling from Branch to Branch for community listening sessions where you’ll be able to voice your opinion as to how we can better serve all of our communities for generations to come. All listening sessions are open to the public and will be posted in the event calendar here, opens a new window

If you can’t make a listening session, please send us your comment, idea, or question about the Next Generation Library initiative using this form, opens a new window. The community outreach doesn’t stop there. We’re also engaging residents through focus groups, surveys and more to inform the Facility Master Plan. 

Back in December 2018, the Library’s Board of Trustees selected six key principles to guide this project: maximize access, transparency, customer focus, operational sustainability, industry-leading excellence, and diversity and inclusion. To help ensure we keep these principals at the forefront of our work, we’ve teamed up with local partners including Brown Engineering & Construction, Champlin Architecture, Design Impact, elevar, and FTC&H. Group 4 Architecture, Research + Planning is coordinating the work of these groups and overseeing the development of the Plan. 

The Library recognizes that facilities which are not accessible to those with mobility challenges need immediate attention. We have contracted with FTC&H to begin discussing needed improvements on the Madisonville, Price Hill, and Walnut Hills Branches in 2019. Price Hill was deemed the highest priority, due to partial ceiling collapse in 2018. The Library expects to break ground on a renovation and expansion project for the Branch in November. 

We’ve already held multiple listening sessions in Madisonville, Price Hill, and Walnut Hills. FTC&H has used community feedback to come up with a design concept for Price Hill. We’re looking forward to listening and learning from communities throughout 2019. The success of re-envisioning Library facilities and services for the next generation of Hamilton County residents depends on having a strong understanding of the needs and wants of every segment of the community. 

For questions about the Facilities Master Plan, contact Justyn Rampa, Customer Experience Manager at, opens a new window or learn more by visiting the Building the Next Generation Library homepage, opens a new window