September 24, 2016

Library opens new Northern Lights Branch

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

Ribbon cutters, from left to right:

  • Fred Brock, 2020 Vision Project Manager, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Paula Miller, Chief Financial Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Shaunessy Everett, Public Services Director, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Marihelen Hatcher, Public Services Director, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Wendy Tressler, 2020 Vision Program Manager, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Michael Bongiorno, Director and Design Principal, DesignGroup
  • Alison Circle, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Carlo Burns, Project Manager, Pizzuti Companies
  • Doug Kridler, President and CEO, The Columbus Foundation
  • Tim Frommeyer, Secretary, Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees
  • Lauren Bonfield, Vice President, Friends of the Columbus Metropolitan Library Board
  • Cindy Hilsheimer, Member, Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees
  • Patrick Losinski, Chief Executive Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Stephen Smith, Vice President, Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation Board
  • Rick Catrone, Northern Lights Branch Manager, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • The Honorable David Leland, State Representative
  • Jennifer Adair, Chair, North Linden Area Commission
  • Emmanuel Remy, President, Northland Community Council
  • Roger Sugarman, President, Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees
  • The Honorable Charleta Tavares, State Senator
  • The Honorable Michael Stinziano, Member, Columbus City Council
  • Brian Mooney, General Manager, Turner Construction Company
  • Carl Powell, Chief Information Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library

The Northern Lights 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 on June 25, 2016
  • The new Shepard Branch broke ground on Oct. 20, 2015 and is scheduled to open Thursday, Oct. 13
  • The new Northside Branch broke ground on March 1, 2016 and is expected to be completed in 2017
  • Planning is underway for a new Martin Luther King Branch
  • CML is continuing to work with the city of Hilliard on a new Hilliard Branch
  • CML is continuing to work with the city of Dublin on a new Dublin Branch

CML hopes to have all 10 projects completed by 2020.

The former Northern Lights Branch was originally built in 1993 and had 11,881 square feet. The renovated and expanded building is CML’s largest branch at 26,100 square feet. The building architect is DesignGroup.

The new Northern Lights Branch has:

  • 26,072 square feet of space with 107 parking spaces
  • An interactive children’s area with more space for programs and areas for children to read, study and use computers
  • A Teen area with computers, study space and comfortable seating
  • A Homework Help Center where students can get free after-school help
  • A Ready for Kindergarten area where preschoolers and their families can prepare for kindergarten
  • A Learning Lab with laptops where customers can create resumes and apply for jobs
  • Three meeting rooms with movable walls and audio visual projection for the community to gather and meet
  • A spacious Quiet Room with a fish tank
  • Five study rooms for individual or small group use
  • A convenient drive-up window for customers to pick up reserves and return items
  • Environmentally friendly design that includes lighting that automatically adjusts with natural light

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 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 Club 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 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. Columbus Metropolitan Library has been rated a 5-Star Library by Library Journal for seven of the eight years the magazine has published its industry ratings.