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Columbus Metropolitan Library celebrates 150 years, new Gahanna-branch location

New CML Gahanna-branch opens March 4
Debbie Holmes
New CML Gahanna-branch opens March 4

The Columbus Metropolitan Library celebrates its 150th birthday this weekend as a grand opening for a new Gahanna library branch is held Saturday, March 4.

CML spokesman Ben Zenitsky said the Gahanna library was last re-built in 1991 and it was time for a new 21st century facility. This one is two-stories and has nearly twice the square footage.

"Lots of natural sunlight, lots of wide-open spaces, lots of seating and community gathering spaces,” said Zenitsky. “We have meeting rooms and small study rooms and tons of couches and tables."

Debbie Holmes

The new Gahanna library branch cost almost $22 million to build and resembles the Dublin library. It represents the 13th new or renovated library building in the last 10 years. It is part of CML’s aspirational building program to refresh and update the entire system.

"Really what we want are our customers to stay and be inspired and we want this to be really, a community gathering space for Gahanna,” said Zenitsky.

CML started in downtown Columbus on a very small scale.

“We opened as a single room in the Old City Hall space downtown,” said Zenitsky. “We've served Franklin County through two pandemics, through two world wars. And gosh, you know, we are just here. We've evolved from one single room to 23 locations serving Franklin County, and we're going to be celebrating all year long.”

Debbie Holmes

Zenitsky said the trend for library patrons is using more online reading sources. He said the coronavirus pandemic drew more people to the library for e-books.

"There was already a trend heading that way,” said Zenitsky. “I think people being stuck at home really helped bring that home. We have a growing collection of e-books and e-audio books all free to download with your library card."

Reynoldsburg is next in line for a new library, followed by the Linden and Barnett branches.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.