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 early September 2018. Closing Main Library during renovation will:

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


We want your input on this exciting project! Our goal is to use these months before construction begins to engage customers, community leaders and organizations and work together to make this project as seamless and customer-conscious as possible.

To that end, we've planned the following community forums. Each forum will be an opportunity for members of the community to share their input and insight about Main Library's services, collection and space moving forward. All forums will be held in Main Library's Huntington Room.

Wednesday, May 2 | 6 - 8 p.m.
Presentation with floor plans
Summary of audience discussion

Wednesday, May 30 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Thursday, June 28 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Each forum will build on community discussions from preceding forum/s, so attending all three forums will provide you with the broadest understanding of the renovation. However, if you are only able to attend one or two forums, your input will still make a difference! Areas of discussion will include:

  • Overview of project and key decision points
  • Serving community needs during Main Library’s temporary closure   
  • How to use the new spaces following renovation 

Discussions will be interactive, including the Library sharing information and seeking information from participants. The information shared and feedback provided will be shared on this site following each forum.

We realize that these dates and times won’t be convenient for everyone, and invite you to share your ideas or concerns with us electronically and we’ll share your insights within the discussions and posted synopsis. A discussion guide from the evening can be found here.


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 just after Labor Day 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 during the renovation. 

What about Passport Services?
Passport Services will be available at our newly expanded Sylvania Branch and at one of our central city locations (to be determined). 

Will Local History materials be available?
Yes. Right now we are exploring options for appointment-based access with an emphasis on maximizing access for our local historians. Details are being formulated and we will continue to update you. Additionally, we continue to digitize many of our Local History materials. Visit our Local History digital collections and exhibits online.

How will you provide service to people who rely on Main Library?
We are working with many community partners to identify alternatives to Library services.

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.

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

Main Ext North Lawn