Cleveland Public Library (CPL) launched its Downtown Destination Campaign today, which will reposition the Main Library as a center of activity and learning in the 21st century, connect it to surrounding downtown development projects, and attract residents, downtown workers, tourists, and visitors to its newly reorganized interior and more welcoming exterior. The CPL board gave unanimous support to the first phase, consolidating public access computers into Tech Central, which will total nearly $1.2 million of the total $12 million redevelopment.
“The main objective in re-purposing the Main Library is to better accommodate library users, while maintaining the critical collections on which northeast Ohioans depend. Currently the public access computers are disbursed throughout the library. The idea of being able to concentrate the public access computers into Tech Central will better serve the needs of the patrons,” said Thomas Corrigan, President of the Board of Trustees for CPL.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to re-imagine and reposition our Main Library as a major downtown attraction surrounded by many existing and new attractions,” said Felton Thomas, CPL Director. “After engaging the community about our services and creating a strong fiscal foundation, we’re setting out to transform the library for the 21st century and create a premier downtown attraction.”
CPL’s revitalization includes several phases of development, including:
• The lower level of the Louis Stokes Wing of the Main Library will become “Tech Central,” where patrons and visitors will find all of the library’s computers and latest technologies in one central space, with expert staff on hand to help patrons make the most of technology.
• All of the popular collections, CDs, and foreign literature will relocate to the first floor. Brett Hall will become the heart of the transformation with new displays that highlight the rare and special collections that have made the library a popular destination for people throughout the world. It will also become active space for community events.
• A new indoor garden, like the popular Eastman Garden outside, becomes a new addition on the first floor flanked by the gift shop and space for tech instruction.
While the first phase, Tech Central, gets under way, CPL will continue to raise support for the other dramatic improvements to the library. The Downtown Destination Campaign will also focus on creating “Centers” for family and children’s discovery, sports research, and career connections.
CPL’s Downtown Destination Campaign will give downtown visitors a place to explore, relax, read, connect to the world, see a new exhibit, attend a special event, and so much more. It will connect an admired historic building to the exciting work of the Group Plan Commission, which is actively engaged in uniting $1.5 billion of downtown development into a seamless, interconnected array of attractions.