CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Public Library (CPL) is ushering in a new era for its Madisonville Branch. The library is moving from its original historic building to a new mixed-use property still under construction.
Residents will not have to change their commute since the new library will only be steps away on Whetsel Avenue. Instead, the big changes will be in the new, more technologically advanced amenities officials are installing in the space.
“Our new library is going to focus on emerging technology. That means computer access, interactive play areas, as well as a focus maker space for the community,” said Terry Barnum, branch manager of the Madisonville Library.
Barnum said CPL is also rebuilding its Madisonville branch so it can become more accessible.
“So the community can really expect to connect, create and collaborate together in what is going to be an incredible facility here in the Madisonville community,” Barnum said.
The rebuild is part of CPL's larger facility master plan in which more than 40 locations in the library system are receiving improvements. CPL says the new space in Madisonville is a $3.3 million investment for the community. The library will occupy the first floor while apartments managed by the Ackermann Group will be located above. But CPL says it will not be abandoning its original location that has been there since 1925.
“Our intention is to actually keep the old Madisonville branch building, maybe use it internally for some uses because we do know that it holds a special place in the heart of the community,” said Justyn Rampa, CPL's customer experience manager.
But at the heart of the project is the fact that an even larger collection of books and materials will be held at the library. CPL said patrons can expect the new space to be twice as big as the current location’s ground floor. There will also be dedicated parking, as well as study areas and meeting spots. Barring any construction delays, the public library says the new Madisonville branch is scheduled to open later this year.
Monique John covers gentrification for WCPO 9. She is part of our Report For America donor-supported journalism program. Read more about RFA here.
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