Letter From Our Director: Improvements Coming to the Downtown Main Library

I’m excited to share that the downtown Main Library is beginning a major building improvement project expected to last about 18 months. We began talking with the community through a series of engagement sessions in 2019 about this work. It is all happening as part of CHPL’s Facility Master Plan.

Service to Continue During Construction

And speaking of excellent customer service, continuing to provide the highest level of service even during this construction period is a priority for us. The majority of the work is taking place in and around the South Building. However, since we are fortunate to have two buildings at the Downtown Main Library, we can continue to offer service from our North Building.

  • All services at the Downtown Main Library are still available, but spaces are being re-arranged and customers should use the North Building’s entrance on Ninth Street.
  • We are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and plan to restore evening hours in July and add Sunday hours to our drive-thru. Please watch for updates on the timing for the restoration of these hours.
  • In the second stage of the project, which moves beyond the maintenance discussed above into renovation and redesign, CHPL is making improvements to the Vine Street plazas in front of the North and South buildings. These plaza improvements are an effort to make that space more active, inviting, and a part of the growing focus on pedestrian spaces in downtown’s Central Business District. This involves lowering the plaza in front of the south building.

As a part of the second stage, the Vine Street entrance also is undergoing a transformation. We expect this renovation work to begin in late 2021 and for its completion in the spring of 2023. To prepare for lowering the plaza, work starts this fall to fill in the interior space under the south Vine Street Plaza. (Yes, there is a building under that plaza!) This presents a significant disruption so we expect to close the South Building beginning as soon as September and to offer all services through the North Building as explained above, while the major construction is taking place through spring 2023.

Your Input Is Appreciated

We greatly appreciate the community’s patience as we work to bring you improved spaces. The feedback the community provided throughout the Facility Master Plan development process in 2019 is informing this work. We connected with the community back in March to restart discussions about a new vision for the Main Library. That session's presentation is available on our Building the Next Generation Library section of our website. We also intend to hold an event for the community in July, to share updates and gather reactions to the design concepts. We’re grateful to voters who passed a 1 mil levy in 2018 that is helping to fund these improvements.

View photos and read updates on our Building the Next Generation Library section of our website.