Carmel Clay Public Library on track for fall reopening after major renovations • Current Edition
It’s hard for anyone passing by the Carmel Clay Public Library to miss the major exterior renovations underway, but what’s less obvious from Main Street are the massive changes happening inside as well.
The library remains on track to reopen its main campus at Main Street and Richland Avenue this fall after completing $40 million renovations that include new parking, expanded program space, the move of the Digital Media Lab to the building and many other improvements.
CCPL Director Bob Swanay provided an update on the project to Carmel City Council on Feb. 7.
“We touch every aspect of the library,” Swanay said. “We make every area of the library a better version than it was, and that’s the goal of a project like this.”
When the library reopens, visitors will notice the interior changes as soon as they enter. A large staircase was added near the main entrance, facilitating quick access for users to the collections on the first or second floor. It will also provide a quick connection between the first floor and a new second level entrance that connects to the parking garage.
The lobby and atrium will be expanded to provide a “more open feel” and natural lighting, Swanay said.
“They opened it up in a way that will make it feel like a completely different building,” he said.
On the first floor near Main Street will be a Java House cafe and the Digital Media Lab, which will move from its current space at 23 E. Main Street.
The first floor will also house the Youth Services area, which will remain at its previous location but will feature updated signage, a mural by artist Bryan Ballinger and new play stations. The teen zone will be five to six times larger than its previous space, Swanay said, and will have dedicated study rooms and gathering places and a mural designed by a local teenager.
The second floor will house much of the library’s book and audiobook collections. It will include a reading area at the northwest corner with stunning views of the surroundings, as well as a roof garden.
Other additions will be a drive-in book return and pick-up lockers accessible outside of normal library hours. New outdoor signage is also planned.
The library has been operating from a temporary location since September 2020 at 2140 E 116th St. in the former Marsh supermarket space.
Learn more about carmelclaylibrary.org/main-library-project.
The pandemic closes the branch to in-person visits
While the Carmel Clay Public Library‘s main campus remains open for in-person visits at its temporary location in Merchants Square, the Joyce Winner West branch has been closed for in-person visits since early January amid the coronavirus surge. omicron COVID-19.
CCPR Director of Communications Christy Walker said the West Branch’s smaller footprint makes social distancing more difficult than at the Main Branch, which is why the West Branch closes when the county’s COVID-19 advisory level is at its highest.
With the rapid decline in COVID-19 cases, Walker said she was confident the West Branch would soon reopen for in-person visits.
During the closure, curbside wedge pickup remains available at the West Branch from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.