Library Wants Your Ideas For Its Downtown Buildings

Aug 13, 2019

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is asking for community feedback on what should be done with its north and south buildings Downtown. A community listening session is set for Tuesday evening.

"We're interested in engaging the community for their creative ideas about what they want to see for our library, specifically the Main Library," says Paula Brehm-Heeger, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe director. "Not just in the next year, but the next five, 10, 20 years. It's a high-level discussion to generate some high-level ideas. At this point, it's kind of sky's the limit because we want to hear from everybody about what their priorities are for what they need to do with our public library."

The re-envisioning is part of the library's overall facilities master plan project. Other sessions have previously been held throughout the community at branch libraries.

"Of course, we have two large buildings here so we have a lot of opportunity to be creative and think about the best arrangement for service, convenience."

The meeting begins with an open house where people can participate in brainstorming activities. The second half of the program is a presentation from the consultancy organization hired to help craft the new master plan.

Brehm-Heeger says the engagement portion of crafting the master plan is nearing the end with just a few more community sessions. She expects to have a "high-level roadmap" by February or March of 2020.

Voters approved a new library levy in May 2018. It's expected to generate an extra $19 million over 10 years for branch and facilities updates.

The library scrapped plans to sell the north building in 2017. Though 3CDC has expressed a desire to redevelop that parcel, Brehm-Heeger says the library remains committed to the board's 2017 decision.

The community listening session is from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Main Library.