Library to close Karl Road Branch to prepare for opening of new building later this year

Customers can sign panel to be used in construction

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is building a new Karl Road Branch at 5590 Karl Rd., slated to open to the public later this year. Before the new branch opens, however, CML is closing the current branch, which is located just a few feet away on the same property. Its last day of operation is Saturday, May 29. At 6 p.m., the building will close permanently, and customers are encouraged to visit nearby locations for library services, including CML’s Northern Lights and Whetstone branches, until the new Karl Road Branch opens.

Additionally, before the branch closes, CML is offering Karl Road customers the chance to be a part of the library’s – and community’s – history. Customers can sign their names to a commemorative panel that will be installed in the new branch. This panel will be on display at the current Karl Road Branch beginning today, Monday, May 17. Customers are encouraged to act quickly. Once it is filled with signatures, the panel will be taken away for installation. The Karl Road Branch is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.

The current Karl Road Branch, built in 1988, is one of the most heavily used branches in CML’s 23-location system. The new Karl Road Branch will double 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 is expected to open in 2021
  • The transformed Hilltop Branch is expected to open in 2021
  • Planning for a new Gahanna Branch is underway
  • 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 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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We’re making updates to our catalog and website. The catalog, CML App, My Account, phone renewal, online library card applications, research tools and meeting room scheduling will be intermittently unavailable from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. Thank you for your patience.