Library to open new Karl Road Branch on Sept. 9, transformed Hilltop Branch on Sept. 30

Media hardhat tours available beforehand

COLUMBUS—On Thursday, Sept. 9, Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) will open its new Karl Road Branch to the public with a brief dedication ceremony followed by a grand opening celebration.

Three weeks later, on Thursday, Sept. 30, CML will open its transformed Hilltop Branch with similar festivities. Both events are free and open to all.

  • New Karl Road Branch Dedication and Grand Opening Celebration
    5590 Karl Rd.
    Thursday, Sept. 9 | 3:30-6 p.m.
  • Transformed Hilltop Branch Dedication and Grand Opening Celebration
    511 S. Hague Ave.
    Thursday, Sept. 30 | 3:30-6 p.m.

Following brief remarks and a ribbon-cutting by library and city officials, both afternoons will be filled with refreshments, music and entertainment. Plus, all are welcome to explore the new branches, whether on their own or as part of staff-guided tours. Visitors can also sign up for a commemorative library card and register for a chance to win an eReader.

Members of the media are invited for hardhat tours of either new library before it opens. Email Ben Zenitsky at to schedule a day and time.

About the Karl Road Branch
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, which broke ground in early 2020, will double its size from roughly 20,000 square feet to approximately 40,000 square feet. CML closed the former branch, which was located just a few feet away on the same property, in late May. The building was demolished in late June to make way for the new branch’s parking lot. Turner is the construction manager at risk and Moody Nolan is the architect. Click here for a time-lapse video of construction.

About the Hilltop Branch
The Hilltop Branch was built in 1996 with 20,000 square feet. After a significant renovation and expansion that kicked off in early 2020, the transformed branch will have approximately 32,000 square feet. A temporary Hilltop location, which opened in summer 2020, remains open at 3658 Soldano Blvd. Turner is the construction manager at risk and Gresham Smith is the architect. Click here for a time-lapse video of construction.

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 and Hilltop branch projects are both part of Phase II, which will renovate or rebuild an additional four locations:

  • The new Karl Road Branch will open Sept. 9, 2021
  • The transformed Hilltop Branch will open Sept. 30, 2021
  • A new Gahanna Branch is under construction
  • 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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Media Contact

Ben Zenitsky
(614) 849-1045

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