The Salem Main Library will be undergoing a major renovation project for seismic upgrades, ADA accessibility and other critical needs during a two-year construction period. The Main Library will be closed during construction. All 90,000 square feet of Library services and resources won't fit into the approximately 15,000-square-foot Broadway interim site. Library staff are comparing the temporary library site during construction to "glamping" (glamourous camping). The Broadway Site and West Salem Branch Library will be much cozier and only able to offer very streamlined services and resources. However, the experience of a new restricted space will lead to fun discovery and exploration with expanded outreach services.
On July 22, 2019, the Salem City Council and Mayor voted to lease the former Capital Press building in the 1400 block of Broadway Street Northeast. The lease was the culmination of an exhaustive search that considered dozens of buildings over the course of several months. The building was the only one that met the City's need. Other locations were eliminated for a variety of reasons with the biggest factor being cost:
- They would cost too much to renovate
- Their lease rate was unaffordable
- They were unavailable or leased by another party
- Size (too big and unwilling to subdivide) or too small
The Broadway building was available and met City criteria established by the Seismic Council Subcommittee:
- The space is centrally located, with great access and on-site parking, large enough to allow for some streamlined Library services, move-in ready, and affordable.
- Our Library, no matter where it is located, is open to everyone in our community. We will continue to be welcoming, open and inclusive at the temporary location. Members of the City Council's Human Rights Commission will be working with Library personnel to help assure that the site is as welcoming as possible to all of Salem's library visitors.
Preparing for the Move
- Visitors to the Library are already seeing preparations for the move to the temporary location.
- The computer lab has moved up to the main floor of the Library.
- The former computer lab space on the Peace Plaza level is being used for storing and staging as we pack and prepare for the move.
- We'll start the move in late 2019 and hope to open in the temporary location in February 2020.
- Preparations for the move will become more visible as library staff start storing materials and moving shelving, computers and other items to the interim site.
- Use your account to reserve books on-line and receive a notice when your materials are ready for your pick up.
- In early 2020, when we re-open the Library at its temporary location, services may be limited in the temporary space, which will be smaller than the existing Library. Library staff will be working in coming weeks on how to best serve community needs from this smaller space.
- Need a meeting space while the Library is closed? Here are some other Community Meeting Spaces. We'll start taking room reservations again in March 2021 for planned re-opening in Summer 2021. The West Salem Branch will remain open during move and throughout construction at the main library location.
An open house to get community input for Salem Main Library renovation is being planned to coincide with the Halloween Dress Rehearsal at City Hall on Saturday, October 26, 2019. The Broadway site is scheduled to open in February.
Construction on the Salem Main Library is projected to start March 1.
Find more information online on our Library upgrade website.