Project Spotlight: Columbus Metropolitan Library, Hilliard Branch
The Columbus Metropolitan Library is nationally renowned as one of the best library systems in the country. With 22 branch locations and an impressive main library that began as a Carnegie Library in 1907, it now jointly operates the Northwest Library in cooperation with Worthington Libraries and is a member of the Central Library Consortium, which shares the catalog of 17 libraries across the state of Ohio. It serves an area of 872,000 residents with its collection of 1,483,433 volumes, circulating 17,262,267 items per year. That big of a catalog requires some serious space, especially at the branch locations.
The Hilliard Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library has the highest circulation of any branch in the system and the 20,000 square foot building that was in use was no longer serving the community adequately. The new $15 million, 63,000 square foot branch, built on the site of an abandoned senior living facility, triples the branch’s space, making it the largest branch in the CML family of libraries.
The new, refitted, and renovated space houses the many functions the Hilliard Branch must serve every day. It now has dedicated space for a café, a Ready for Kindergarten area, a Homework Help Center, private study rooms, large community meeting rooms, and a pavilion that’s flooded with natural light (that was originally going to be a pool).
Hilliard’s Branch is one of ten being rebuilt as part of the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s 2020 Building Program. The new library opened on June 21, 2018. SMBH also worked on three other projects for this program – the Main Branch, Whitehall Branch, and Northern Lights Branch.