By Rick Palsgrove
The Columbus Metropolitan Library announced plans to build a new library branch in Canal Winchester.
“We hope to have the new branch built within the next few years,” said Columbus Metropolitan Library Marketing and Communications Specialist Ben Zenitsky, who added site selection is in progress.
Currently the Columbus Metropolitan Library is operating a Canal Winchester branch at 115 Franklin St., which is located in the rear portion of the former school at 100 Washington St.
“With current plans, the new branch will be approximately 30,000 square feet,” said Zenitsky. “The current branch is approximately 5,400 square feet. We do not yet have a preliminary budget estimate for the new branch. Our aspirational building program is being funded through a combination of operational savings, philanthropy and the sale of Public Library Fund Notes.”
When asked why the Columbus Metropolitan Library decided to build a new Canal Winchester library branch instead of keeping its existing branch in the old school, Zenitsky said, “We had not previously offered service in Canal Winchester when we opened there in 2016. We’ve been keeping a very close eye on the branch since then in order to gauge community usage and demand. It’s clear that this community loves its library and we want to make sure we’re meeting that demand and reinvesting in its residents with a 21st century library.”
Zenitsky said he is unsure of how the space currently being used by the library in the old school will be used in the future.
“This might be a question for the Canal Winchester school district, as it’s their building,” said Zenitsky.
Zenitsky said the new Canal Winchester library branch will play an important role in the community.
“Public libraries of the 21st century are more than just homes for books,” said Zenitsky. “They are community gathering spaces. As Canal Winchester evolves, residents need their library to evolve with it. That’s why a new, larger branch will include meeting rooms, small study rooms, and more spaces to collaborate.”
Once the new Canal Winchester library branch is constructed it will be the second Columbus Metropolitan Library branch in the Canal Winchester – Groveport – Madison Township area. The other is the Southeast Branch located at 3980 S. Hamilton Road, Groveport.
“Our Southeast Branch remains one of our busiest branches,” said Zenitsky. “I’m unsure how a larger Canal Winchester branch would impact it, if at all.”
Visit www.columbuslibrary.org for information about the Columbus Metropolitan Library.