October 18, 2018

Library opens new Martin Luther King Branch

Ninth new library to open since 2014

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has cut the ribbon on its new Martin Luther King Branch.

Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was on hand to provide a keynote address and help dedicate the new branch named for his father. CML’s former Martin Luther King Branch, dedicated in 1969 by Martin Luther King Sr., was the first public library in the country named in honor of the late Civil Rights leader.

The new Martin Luther King Branch has:

  • 18,000 square feet of space on one and a half floors (two times larger than the former branch)
  • Interactive Children’s area with more space for programs and areas for children to read, study and use computers
  • Ready for Kindergarten area where preschoolers and their families can prepare for kindergarten
  • Teen area with computers, study space and comfortable seating
  • Larger Homework Help Center where students can get free after-school help
  • Three large meeting rooms for the community to gather and meet
  • Four study rooms for individual or small group study
  • Multiple seating areas including a Reading Porch
  • A robust collection to meet the community’s needs
  • Art that celebrates the community

Ribbon cutters participating in today’s dedication include:

  • Kathleen Bailey, Chair, Near East Area Commission
  • Trudy Bartley, OSU and former Executive Director, PACT
  • The Honorable Joyce Beatty, U.S. Representative, Ohio’s 3rd District
  • The Honorable Otto Beatty Jr., Otto Beatty Jr. & Associates LPA
  • The Honorable Kristin Boggs, Ohio House of Representatives, District 18
  • Lauren Bonfield, Partner, LBB Law
  • The Honorable Kevin Boyce, President, Franklin County Board of Commissioners
  • Lela Boykin, Near East Area Commission
  • The Honorable Elizabeth Brown, Member, Columbus City Council
  • The Honorable Mitchell Brown, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Katie Chatas, Community Volunteer
  • Alison Circle, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Erika Clark Jones, Executive Director, Celebrate One
  • David Cofer, Executive Director, PACT
  • The Honorable Michael Coleman, Partner & Director of Business and Government Strategies, Ice Miller LLP
  • The Honorable Hearcel Craig, Ohio House of Representatives, District 26
  • Tom Dillard, Community Volunteer
  • Kathryn Dobbs, Vice President and Executive Director, Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation
  • Steven Fields, Vice President, Director of Community Engagement and President, The Huntington Foundation at Huntington Bancshares
  • Timothy Frommeyer, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Nationwide Financial
  • Keisha Gibbs, Martin Luther King Branch Manager, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • The Honorable Andrew Ginther, Mayor, City of Columbus
  • Ross Goldsmith, Office of Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown
  • Lauren Hagan, Chief Financial Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • The Honorable Shannon Hardin, President, Columbus City Council
  • Marihelen Hatcher, Public Services Director, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Stephanie Hightower, President & CEO, Columbus Urban League
  • Mary Howard, Executive Director, University Hospital East
  • Sandra Jamison, Community Volunteer
  • Tom Katzenmeyer, President & CEO, Greater Columbus Arts Council
  • The Honorable Bernadine Kennedy Kent, Ohio House of Representatives, District 25
  • Martin Luther King III
  • Doug Kridler, President & CEO, The Columbus Foundation
  • The Honorable David Leland, Ohio House of Representatives, District 22
  • Patrick Losinski, Chief Executive Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Jordan Miller, President and CEO, Fifth Third Bank of Central Ohio
  • The Honorable Ray Miller, Publisher, Columbus African American News Journal
  • Curt Moody, Principal, Moody•Nolan Architects
  • Jonathan Moody, Architect, Moody•Nolan Architects
  • Brian Mooney, Vice President & General Manager, Turner Construction
  • Shannon Morgan, Vice President, PNC Foundation
  • Demetries Neely, Executive Director, King Arts Complex
  • The Honorable Jaiza Page, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Avery Pierson, Office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman
  • Fred Ransier, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
  • The Honorable Emmanuel Remy, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Charles Richardson, Principal, East High School
  • Elizabeth Seely, Chief Administrative Officer, Hospital Division, OSU Wexner Medical Center
  • Ellen Short, Office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown
  • Alex Shumate, Managing Partner, Squire Patton Boggs
  • Renée Shumate, External Affairs Manager, American Electric Power
  • Reita Smith, Poindexter Foundation, Community Volunteer
  • Stephen Smith, President, Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation
  • Dr. John Stanford, Interim Superintendent, Columbus City Schools
  • Bettye Stull, Independent Curator, CRPD Commissioner
  • Roger Sugarman, Director, Kegler Brown Hill + Ritter
  • The Honorable Michael Stinziano, Member, Columbus City Council
  • The Honorable Charleta Tavares, Ohio Senate, District 15
  • Nancy Tidwell, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, NRT & Associates
  • Wendy Tressler Jasper, 2020 Vision Program Manager, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • The Honorable Priscilla Tyson, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Catherine Willis, Urban Strings, Community Volunteer
  • Scott Woods, Poet & Founder, Streetlight Guild

The Martin Luther King Branch project is part of CML’s 10-project aspirational building program:

  • 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
  • Construction is underway on a new Dublin Branch

The new Martin Luther King Branch is located at the corner of East Long Street and Taylor Avenue, just a few blocks west of the branch it replaced. At approximately 18,000 square feet, the new branch has more than doubled the size of the former Martin Luther Branch, which spanned nearly 9,000 square feet. Turner was the construction manager at risk and Moody Nolan was the architect.

The former Martin Luther King Branch located at 1600 E. Long St. has been placed for sale.

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’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.

Phase one of CML’s aspirational building program is transforming and significantly upgrading seven urban branches (Driving Park, Whitehall, Parsons, Martin Luther King, Northside, Northern Lights, Shepard) and two suburban branches (Hilliard and Dublin). In addition, changes to Main Library represent a major investment in downtown Columbus and the Discovery District. Visit columbuslibrary.org 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 Homework Help Centers, 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.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. CML was also named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal.