Library Renovation Update: April 30, 2019

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In 2017, Salem voters approved a bond to make the main Library safer in an earthquake and improve accessibility. First and foremost, the Library Renovation will accomplish critical seismic and safety objectives to ensure the Library is a Salem community resource for decades to come.

We heard you

Through surveys and open house events, we've gathered input from the community on hopes for additional improvements that could be part of the Library Renovation. We've heard from young families and long-time patrons who value the book collections, diverse multi-media resources, meeting spaces, art collection, and other services and programs. From this feedback, we understand the need for flexible space that can serve multiple functions. We've also learned that library services for children are of high value to the community and to creating a sustained patronage.

We're exploring the best ways to integrate community feedback into design strategies. We also want to ensure the Library serves the diverse needs of the entire Salem community.

Our areas of focus include:

  • Moving Teen Scene to the 3rd floor to better connect spaces for children and teens.
  • Revising the layout of 2nd floor seating, stacks, service point, and computers to improve use.
  • Bring in more natural light and showcase library from outside. 
  • Reworking the spaces on the 1st floor to have more connection to the Plaza.

A vision for the future

Our vision is to create a space that is welcoming, safe, flexible, and collaborative while enriching the connection between residents and our community. The Library Renovation is a foundational project, and the feedback you've offered will not only inform design decisions for this project but also set the stage for future improvements so the Library continues to serve the changing needs of our community.

What happens next

The final Library Renovation design will be revealed in Fall 2019, with construction taking place from January 2020 to summer 2021. Throughout construction, interim library services will be provided.

Contact us

Aaron KimseyProgram ManagerPublic Works Department
Mailing address:
555 Liberty Street SE RM 325
Salem OR 97301-3513
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