Library opens new Karl Road Branch

Eleventh new library to open since 2014

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has cut the ribbon on its new Karl Road Branch.

The new Karl Road Branch has:

  • 40,000 square feet of space on two levels
  • A robust collection to meet the community’s needs
  • Interactive Children’s area with more space for programs and areas for children to read, study and use computers
  • Ready for Kindergarten area to help preschoolers be prepared for school
  • Tween and Teen areas with computers, study space and comfortable seating
  • School Help Center where students can get free after-school help
  • Three Meeting Rooms, 10 Study Rooms and two Conference Rooms 
  • Spacious Quiet Room
  • Public computers for customers to reserve
  • Commissioned works of public art

Ribbon cutters participating in today’s dedication include:
Dr. Seleshi Ayakew Asfaw, President & CEO, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services
Teri Baker Umbarger, Associate Principal, Moody Nolan
Laura Berger Abbas, Chief Operating Officer, Our Helpers
Dave Brown, Project Manager, Turner Construction
Katie Chatas, President, Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees
Janelle Coleman, President, AEP Foundation & VP, Corporate Philanthropy and Community Engagement, AEP
Dr. Talisa Dixon, Superintendent, Columbus City Schools
The Honorable Shayla Favor, Columbus City Council Member
Alice Foeller, President, Northland Area Business Association
Charles Fraas**, Vice President, Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation
Timothy Frommeyer*, Executive Vice President & CFO, Nationwide Mutual Insurance
Eileen Goodman, Executive Vice President, Director of Interior Design, Moody Nolan
Lauren Hagan, Chief Financial Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library
Charlie Hansen, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library
Keith Hanson, Manager, Karl Road Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library
Marci Hasty, District Executive Director, North YMCA
Katie Hegarty, Office of Lt. Governor Jon Husted
Patti Jackson, Senior Vice President, PNC
Monica Jones, Chief Equity Officer, COTA
Nadia Kasvin, Co-Founder and Director, US Together
Tom Katzenmeyer*, President & CEO, Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Honorable Stephanie Kunze, Ohio Senate, District 16
Jenny (Lin) Leal, Co-Founder, Elevate Northland
The Honorable David Leland, Ohio House of Representatives, District 22
Patrick Losinski, Chief Executive Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library
Katie Matney, Executive Director, Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation
Tariq Mohamed, Director Refugee Social Services, Jewish Family Services
Jonathan Moody, CEO, Moody Nolan
Lisa Patt-McDaniel, CEO, Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio
David Paul, Development Committee Chair, Northland Community Council
Sudarshan Pyakurel, Executive Director, Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio
The Honorable Emmanuel Remy, Columbus City Council Member
Kristen Rost, Sr. Director, Office of Corporate Citizenship, Nationwide & VP, Nationwide Foundation
Ibrahima Sow, Co-Founder & Facilitator, Baobab Cultural Consulting
The Honorable Michael Stinziano, Franklin County Auditor
Catherine Strauss*, Managing Partner, Ice Miller
Wendy Tressler, Director of Capital Planning and Project Management, Columbus Metropolitan Library
Deba Uwadiae, Publisher, New Americans Magazine
Guadalupe Velasquez, Managing Director, City of Columbus, Department of Neighborhoods
Alicia Ward, President, Northland Community Council
David White*, VP, Chief Information Officer, Battelle
Carla Williams-Scott*, Director, City of Columbus, Department of Neighborhoods
Donna Zuiderweg, Chief Community Engagement Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library

*Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees Member
**Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation Board Member

The former Karl Road Branch, built in 1988, was one of the most heavily used branches in CML’s 23-location system. The new Karl Road Branch has doubled its size from roughly 20,000 square feet to approximately 40,000 square feet. Turner is the construction manager at risk and Moody Nolan is the architect.

In 2019, CML completed Phase I of its aspirational building program, which renovated or rebuilt 10 of its 23 locations:

  • The new Driving Park Branch opened July 12, 2014
  • The new Whitehall Branch opened April 11, 2015
  • The new Parsons Branch opened June 4, 2016
  • The transformed Main Library opened June 25, 2016
  • The new Northern Lights Branch opened Sept. 24, 2016
  • The new Shepard Branch opened Oct. 13, 2016
  • The new Northside Branch opened June 22, 2017
  • The new Hilliard Branch opened June 21, 2018
  • The new Martin Luther King Branch opened Oct. 18, 2018
  • The new Dublin Branch opened June 6, 2019

The Karl Road Branch project is part of Phase II, which will renovate or rebuild an additional four locations:

  • The new Karl Road Branch opened earlier today
  • The transformed Hilltop Branch will open Sept. 30, 2021
  • The new Gahanna Branch is expected to open in 2023
  • Planning for a new Reynoldsburg Branch is underway

CML hopes to have all four Phase II projects completed by 2024.

CML understands that great libraries create stronger communities, and each branch is an essential hub that reflects the unique needs of the neighborhood it serves. Some of CML’s 23 locations are 40 to 50 years old and inadequate to meet the demands of a growing 21st century community. Demands and expectations will continue to grow, along with the population of Franklin County.

CML understands that great libraries create stronger communities, and each branch is an essential hub that reflects the unique needs of the neighborhood it serves. Some of CML’s 23 locations are 30 to 40 years old and inadequate to meet the demands of a growing 21st century community. Demands and expectations will continue to grow, along with the population of Franklin County.

CML’s aspirational building program is the result of a community-wide process that will continue to serve the needs of Franklin County well into the future. The plan is a multi-phased comprehensive blueprint that reinvents and revitalizes the entire 600,000 square feet maintained by the library.

In addition to being a vital community asset, Columbus Metropolitan Library strives to minimize its environmental footprint. With each new building or renovation project, CML plans to use sustainable building materials, incorporate glass for natural light to reduce energy costs and introduce other design and building elements friendly to the natural environment.
Visit for more information and to track progress of CML’s ambitious building program.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like School Help, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Challenge and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources.


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