August 28, 2018

Library welcomes Martin Luther King III to dedicate new Martin Luther King Branch

Oldest son of late Civil Rights icon to help cut the ribbon on Oct. 18

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) welcomes Martin Luther King III as its special guest to the Oct. 18 dedication and grand opening of its new Martin Luther King Branch at 1467 E. Long St. King, the oldest son of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will provide a keynote address before helping to cut the ribbon on the new branch, named in honor of his father.

King will dedicate the new branch nearly 50 years after his grandfather, Martin Luther King Sr., dedicated the current Martin Luther King Branch in 1969. The current Martin Luther King Branch was the first public library named in honor of the late Civil Rights icon.

The grand opening of the new branch will be marked with two public events:


Dedication and Grand Opening

Thursday, Oct. 18 | 3:30-6 p.m.

Customers are invited to join CML rain or shine for an outdoor ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring dedication remarks by Mr. Martin Luther King III. Then they can get their first glimpse inside the new library when the doors open to the public at 4 p.m.


Community Open House

Saturday, Oct. 20 | Noon-3 p.m.

Customers can experience their new branch with fun activities, refreshments and entertainment, as well as enter for chance to win an eReader and sign up for a commemorative library card.


The current Martin Luther King Branch located at 1600 E. Long St. will close at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10 to prepare for the move to the new branch. Items can be dropped off at the new branch’s outdoor book return beginning Thursday, Oct. 11.

The new Martin Luther King Branch will be located at the corner of East Long Street and Taylor Avenue, just a few blocks west of the branch it will replace. At approximately 18,000 square feet, the new branch will more than double the size of the current Martin Luther Branch, which spans nearly 9,000 square feet.

The new Martin Luther King Branch will feature:

  • An interactive children’s area with more space for programs and areas for children to read, study and use computers
  • A Ready for Kindergarten area where preschoolers and their families can prepare for kindergarten
  • A Teen area with computers, study space and comfortable seating
  • A larger Homework Help Center where students can get free after-school help
  • Three large meeting rooms and four individual/small group study rooms for the community to gather and meet
  • An elevated reading loft filled with natural light and comfortable seating
  • A robust collection to meet the community’s needs

Turner is the construction manager at risk and Moody Nolan is the architect.

The new Martin Luther King Branch is part of CML’s 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 Northern Lights Branch opened on Sept. 24, 2016
  • The new Shepard Branch opened on Oct. 13, 2016
  • The new Northside Branch opened on June 22, 2017
  • The new Hilliard Branch opened on June 21, 2018
  • Construction is underway on a new Dublin Branch, scheduled to open in 2019

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 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.