Main Library: Renovation

Rising to the 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 begins 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:

Wednesday, May 2
Presentation with floor plans
Summary of audience discussion

Wednesday, May 30
Participant worksheet
Summary of audience discussion 

Thursday, June 28
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 will begin September 2, 2018 with an estimated reopening date of early September 2019.

Will there be extended hours at other nearby library locations?
Yes! The following expanded hours have been approved for the duration of the renovation:
Locke and South locations will be open Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Kent and West Toledo locations will be open Sundays, noon - 5 p.m.

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 beginning Sept. 4 and at our newly expanded Sylvania Branch beginning Sept. 10. 

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 our Local History digital collections and exhibits online.

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 are requesting proposals from operators interested in leasing space to operate a café within the newly renovated Main Library.

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
Ebeid Institute

Children's Library

After School Programs | Storytimes

Our physical space may be closed for renovation, but our librarians are still available for learning and support! The Children's Library will be hosting the following programs at the Ebeid Institute, located in downtown Toledo at 1806 Madison Avenue:

After School Program: with a focus on STEAM activities
Mondays | 3 - 5 p.m.

1st Friday | 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Ebeid Institute
Main Ext North Lawn