Work is under way at the Salem Main Library to complete final construction details and move equipment, books and staff back to the renovated building. Over the past year and a half, renovations to the 1972 building have made it safer in an earthquake, more accessible inside and around the exterior of the building, and completed other critical improvements including:
- Systems updates (heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, roof)
- Solar panels
- More windows
- Upgrades to the parkade
The renovated building is set to reopen to the public on Wednesday, September 1.
Tuesday-Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday 1-6 p.m.
In preparation for the Main Library reopening, all Library locations will be closed to the public from Wednesday, August 18 to Tuesday, August 31. Library book drops will also be closed during this time. Salem Public Library at Broadway will permanently close August 18.
This will allow staff to focus their full time and attention on reopening tasks.
Online Library Services: Access to the library catalog, downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, and other virtual resources will remain available 24/7 throughout the closure. Direct staff contact will not be available.
Our library is committed to welcoming, open, and inclusive service to everyone in our community.
About the project
In November 2017, Salem voters passed General Obligation Bond Measure 24-432 for $18.6 million to address seismic, safety, accessibility and system improvements to the Salem Public Library.
The original, 1972 building was built before scientists discovered that a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake could impact the Salem region. A 2014 City-commissioned engineering study by the Portland firm BergerABAM, found that the library and parking structure don't meet life safety standards and library users, staff, and volunteers would be at risk in a major earthquake.
A seismic retrofit was chosen to increase life safety during an earthquake. Improved accessibility and cost-saving upgrades to the building's systems were also part of the project.
Residents helped shape project
Several opportunities were provided through the planning process for residents to get involved and share their opinions, including:
- February 19, 2019: Community Open House kicked off the design process and residents shared ideas about what we treasure about the Library building and what we hope could be improved. An online and paper survey was made available before and after the Open House to gather input from those unable to join the community conversation.
- April 30, 2019: Community Open House at the Library to share what we've learned and gather input on some of the initial design ideas. See what was presented.
- October 26, 2019: Community Open House to share how your ideas influenced the preliminary design for the Salem Public Library Renovation.
- Project schedule
The project is being completed in three distinct phases: