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Columbus Metropolitan Library Celebrates Opening Of New Hilltop Branch

The Columbus Metropolitan Library and local residents welcomed the opening of a transformed Hilltop branch on Thursday.

Walking into the new building, local residents will find a polished, modern and expanded space.

Around the many rows of books, patrons will be able to access meeting and study rooms, computer labs and a teen collection and computer area. A learning lab will allow adults to receive help with resume writing and interview prep, unemployment filing, as well as access to classes in technology and English for speakers of other languages.

On Thursday afternoon, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, library representatives, and city officials held an opening celebration with music and entertainment at the new building.

Columbus Metropolitan Library spokesperson Ben Zenitsky said the new branch was rebuilt as more than just a library.

“It’s not just a space for books. This is a space for the community,” Zenitsky said. “The first thing you’ll notice is it is wide open, filled with natural sunlight. This is a place where you’re going to want to do more than just come in for your reserves. You’re going to want to stick around.”

There is also a large children’s area that Zenitsky predicted area families will be very impressed with.

“You’re going to want to discover all the new spaces,” he said. “You’re going to want to bring your family to this children’s area because, wow, it is going to blow you away.”

Local resident Derrick Bogay lives close to the Hilltop and said the new branch will provide him and his wife easier access to a library than the next nearest location.

“You know, we were talking about this the other day,” Bogay said. “She’s pretty excited. On her way home from work, if she wants to stop, she can come here, instead of fighting the traffic over there by West Broad [Street].”

Bogay said he’s looking forward to accessing study areas and copy machines and that his wife is especially excited for the new branch.

“My wife, she loves reading books,” he said. “She gets them to read, and then she also gets them to listen to. She orders them through her phone, as well, and she listens to them and go gets the books and reads them.”

Zenitsky added that the revitalized library will have a quiet space for people who want it but that patrons should not expect the rest of the building to sound like silent libraries of the past.

“No longer are public libraries a space where you’re told, ‘Shh!’ This is going to be a bustling community center with lots of activity, and that’s what we want, that’s what we expect, and that’s how we designed this library,” he said.

The branch's opening comes after Columbus Metropolitan Library recently rebuilt or renovated 11 other locations. Another two are in the works.

The Hilltop branch is located at 511 S. Hague Ave., Columbus, at the corner of Hague and Sullivant Avenues.