COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The community’s living room: that’s what Columbus Metropolitan Library sees at the brand-new branch on Karl Road, opened on Thursday.
At twice the size of the previous library, and thoroughly updated with study rooms, computers, a children’s learning area, conference rooms and reading tables, the new Karl Road library offers broadband and literacy skills to the neighborhood.
“What you’re seeing is this incredible, civic, iconic structure that’s really meant to be a community gathering place,” said Gregg Dodd, spokesperson for Columbus Metropolitan Library. “We’ve got lots of natural light. We are now building buildings for connections, as opposed to 50 years ago when we were building buildings for collections.”
For children, the library is a dream come true: a big fish tank, a school bus to play in, activities and homework help.
“We have an incredible children’s area that will focus on kindergarten readiness and third-grade reading, a school help center which provides after-school homework help with dedicated staff members and volunteers,” said Dodd. “What we’re really trying to do is promote this idea of this being the community’s living room.”
It’s also a safe space, so you won’t see people sleeping, eating, or being rowdy. Those activities are against the library’s code of conduct.
“We want the community to use this space — whether it’s for interacting with meetings or simply getting away to read a book. Or coming out and utilizing the programs and services. And that’s really the business that we’re in,” said Dodd.
Amenities include copying, faxing, scanning, checking out books, and reserving the public computer area upstairs for broadband access. With much more space than the old library the new library at 5590 Karl Road is a significant investment in the Northland community, Dodd said.