The Columbus Metropolitan Library Whitehall Branch inspires, shares and connects with an entire community.
Opening in April 2015, Whitehall was the second of 10 library locations to be renovated or rebuilt as part of the system’s Vision 2020 plan. Recognized by the American Institute of Architects, the library gives greater access to customers while providing flexible and adaptable spaces. Particularly striking is the transparency throughout the library paired with its beacon-like quality at night–emphasizing the library as a change agent.
The library is nearly triple the size of the old Whitehall branch–providing more community and collaborative spaces than ever before. Five meeting rooms with retractable walls and ceiling mounted projectors host nonprofits, after school programs, partnerships with COSI, and more. Four study rooms can be reserved for smaller groups. The library’s Learning Lab supports job help workshops among many other programs. Teens can create music, videos, digital art and photographs with special computers and software through the branch’s YouMedia program. Readers can enjoy the solitude and ambiance of a quiet room with comfortable seating and a modern fireplace. And then there’s the Carol Snowden Children’s Room…
Late children’s librarian, Carol Snowden, ensured an exemplary space for children and early literacy learning. The area is anchored by curved shelving with built-in seating that creates an open space for story times. Regularly refreshed book bins make finding great books easy while book bundles make it a cinch to quickly pick up themed lit. Encouraging exploration and play, touch-based technology with educational games is woven throughout the space. And special touches, like the height wall display that includes measurements in several languages, create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere.
How cool is this!? Whitehall is the only branch with its own dedicated recording studio. Located next to the teen space, it’s the perfect spot to create music, a podcast, or your next big audio production. [Ed. note: we couldn’t wait to turn on the “On-Air” sign!]
I am focused on people of all ages – Kacy Cox
Kacy Cox has been with CML for 18 years and moved into the role of Whitehall Branch Manager in 2017. She loves that Columbus Metropolitan Library connects with the community on so many levels, including job assistance, homework help centers and helping parents enhance their teaching skills. She’s excited for the branch’s resume workshop in January, and she looks forward to expanding partnerships with teachers and the Latino community.
Art can be found throughout the library. One of Kacy’s favorite pieces is “Ornithology” by Juan Fontanive. Every hour, pictures of hummingbirds from 19th century illustrated encyclopedias come to life.
The Columbus Metropolitan Library Whitehall Branch is a stunning example of how CML fosters a thriving community where wisdom prevails. There’s so much more that we couldn’t fit into this feature. We highly recommend visiting and can’t wait to go back.