Main Library: Renovation

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Main Library Grand Opening

(Sa) Sept. 28 | noon to 5 p.m.

The wait is over for the renovated Main Library!

Join our grand opening to explore all our new spaces have to offer. From the latest technology for learning and making, to bright open spaces for gathering and connecting, and new options for shopping, dining and accessing books, music, movies and more - you are sure to enjoy the treasure that is Toledo's Main Library.

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Say Hello to More at Main Library

More Books

With access to titles throughout all of our locations and Ohio, we don't need the entire collection on display to get you the titles you want.

More Making

If you can dream it, you can create it at Main Library with our recording and editing suites, Cricut machines, 3D and large format printers, and more.

More Computers

Our computer workstations and classes were always full, so we''re adding more of them to meet your needs.

More Meeting Spaces

Connect, gather and collaborate in the free Community Room, Work Space or 13 meeting rooms, plus quiet study spaces.

More Children's Library

We're bringing back favorites from our Children's Library including the Rainbow Fish Tank, Creativity Lab and Cadillac - while adding a new Nancy Drew Room, Mystery Wall and Seuss Wall.

More Experiences

Have lunch at Sarnies at the Library, shop at Art & Soul at the Library, and enjoy the new gallery - all steps away from our fabulous Fact & Fiction area.

More Environmentally Friendly

Our Earth is our home, and we've taken measures to be more protective of it with our Main Library renovation.

Lighting: We converted old fluorescent and metal halide lighting to LED.

Recycled Materials: We used carpet which is 66% post-industrial and 11% pre-consumer recycled content, installed acoustic ceiling tiles which are up to 87% recycled content, and regionally sources acoustic panels which are 73% pre-consumer recycled content. Finally, our new window shades are 100% recyclable and Living Building Challenge certified.

Green Roof: Our 26,000 square foot green roof improves storm water management, conserves energy, mitigates the urban heat island, reduces noise and air pollution and provides space for urban agriculture (and includes a 1/4 mile walking path).

Water Conservation: Our electrical water coolers inform users of the number of plastic water bottles saved from the landfill.

HVAC: Our two new HVAC units vary the system's capacity to match the loads for both cooling and heating.

Rising to Challenges of the Future:

With the Library’s historic commitment to the community’s well-being and the challenges facing the community for sustained growth and prosperity, it is time to update Main Library. The renovation will maintain the integrity of the original building and key features like the Vitrolite will remain intact. Heavy construction in more than half of the public footprint will open the space to provide a welcoming environment that provides many books and movies, collaboration, lifelong learning, circulation of materials and community engagement. Highlights include:

  • Updating and increasing technology resources for customers
  • Expanding multi-function and meeting room spaces
  • Relocating café, gallery and gift shop for a better customer experience
  • Creating innovative spaces that drive cultural, educational and economic development


Main Library will be closed to the public for approximately one year during the renovation process, which began September 2, 2018. Closing Main Library during renovation will:

  • Reduce costs significantly
  • Reduce project duration
  • Eliminate potential public safety concerns


Thanks to all who participated in our three community forums where you shared your ideas about making this project as seamless as possible and ways to best use this important public facility in the future.

If you couldn’t attend, you can read summaries of each forum:

(W) May 2, 2018
Presentation with floor plans
Summary of audience discussion

(W) May 30, 2018
Participant worksheet
Summary of audience discussion

(Th) June 28, 2018
Draft plan for accommodating customers
Draft plan for animating spaces
Summary of audience discussion


As the Library engages with the community about this initiative and we move from design and development to construction, we will continue to update this FAQ information. There is also a link at the bottom of the page if you would like to submit a question that we haven't addressed.

When will Main Library be closed?
The renovation began September 2, 2018 with an estimated reopening date of September 28, 2019.

Will there be a gift shop in the newly renovated Main Library?

What will happen to the collection of materials at Main Library?
The Library's general collection will stay in circulation throughout all of our locations. Materials will be requested online for customer pick up at requested location/s.

Can I pick up or return materials to Main Library during the renovation?
Customers will not be able to pick up materials, but may return materials to Main Library during the renovation.

What about Passport Services?
Passport Services will be available at Heatherdowns and Sylvania Branch.

Will Local History materials be available?
Yes. Customers who need Local History access and assistance can make an appointment by calling 419.259.5233. Visit Local History online for more information and resources.

How will you provide service to people who rely on Main Library?
Please visit our Main Library location page to learn more about access to Main Library services and departments during its renovation.

How much will it cost?
The cost of construction will total approximately $8.6 million. Additional soft costs for technology and furnishings are an estimated 20 percent for an estimated grand total of $10.4 million.

How does the Library select which locations are renovated?
Our 10 Year Master Facilities Plan is used to inform decisions around facilities that need renovations and updates. The plan prioritizes areas by condition, functionality and scale/scope of work needed.

Will I still be able to access materials through Search Ohio and Ohio Link?
While there are still some logistical details to define, we intend to maintain that service during the renovation.

Will the Vitrolite Murals stay intact?

Are there plans to open a temporary location during the renovation?
Instead of a temporary location, we are finding ways to deliver services at our branch locations and working with community partners.

Will there be a cafe` in the renovated Main Library?
Yes! We look forward to sharing more details as we finalize plans.

Have more questions?
If you have additional questions or would like more information, please email

Browse Local History

Local History and Genealogy

Access During Main Renovation

Find resources and services offered through our Local History and Genealogy Department including digital collections and exhibits, obituaries, digitization services and our new community photo album.

During Main Library’s renovation, we're also offering the following ways for you to keep in touch with our Local History and Genealogy Department. To schedule an appointment, call 419.259.5233 in advance.

In-Person Research by Appointment
Monday, 11 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Browse Local History