A rousing poem from local artist Sierra Leone, a block-long ribbon cutting and blasts of color from a confetti cannons opened Dayton Metro Library’s much-anticipated main branch.
>> PHOTOS: Downtown Dayton Metro Library grand opening
It was indeed a showy start, complete with acrobats and hoop dancers from Femme Fatale Fitness. But as the estimated 7,500 local residents who ventured into the $64 million taxpayer-supported library overlooking Cooper Park learned, the true show was state-of-the-art library itself.
Dayton’s main library has been at the location since 1888. The new version has amenities and innovation that go way beyond the Dewey Decimal System.
And it wasn’t only about seeing the building.
Chuck Duritsch, the library’s external relations manager, said about 250 families or individuals signed up for new library card Saturday. On a typical Saturday, there are only a handful of new cards issued.
“We got praises all over the place, no disgruntled people,” Duritsch said. “We were so excited for the turnout for Saturday. It looked like people were having a good time celebrating the new library.”
Duritsch said 3,799 books and other materials were checked out Saturday. Another 1,358 items were checked out Sunday.
Below, you’ll find 10 things we loave about the new library.
1💓 THE SHEER BEAUTY OF THE PLACE
Fractal Rain, the show-stopping prism piece by local artist Terry Welker, owner of Welker Studio in Kettering, is just one of the elements that make the library a visual delight.
Attention was clearly played to shapes and lines throughout the design.
2💓 THE KID’S AREA
The library’s bright and cheerful children’s area is going to make you wish you were just out of trainers.
There is an epic castle, an outdoor area and plenty of places for kids to read and use their imaginations.
3💓 PLACES TO LOUNGE, LEARN AND MEET
The library has the 6,000 square-foot Eichelberger Forum and the technologically-equipped Bassani Theater for community events, two fireplace spaces, a great reading room and is packed with conference spaces and nooks for reading, collaboration and work. Some spaces have USB ports and power outlets.
Conference rooms and studies can hold 4 to 18 people.
The library’s two community rooms can be combined to hold up to 162 people and are equipped with whiteboards, speakers, projectors and other technology.
The library’s board room can hold 20. Most spaces can be reserved.
Table 33 Cafe plans to open a coffee shop on the first floor of the library soon.
Chuck Duritsch, the library’s external relations manager, said the coffee shop could open as early as the end of the month.
“That’s just a wish,” Duritsch said, noting that there are often unforeseen hiccups with construction.
Duritsch said there will be a delivery feature.
Beside self-touchscreen catalog monitors, the library has a laptop lending machine and a 24-hour system in its lobby where patrons can pick up reserved materials.
And speaking of convenience, there is an underground parking garage.
6💓 THE RECORDING ROOM
One of the big draws during the grand opening was the green screen room. The young and young at heart ran from zombies and had other adventures.
The room can do far more than that.
Patrons will be able to make their own videos in the room equipped with cameras, mics and other recording gear.
7💓 SSSH ROOMS
This library is definitely not about silence, but there is a room for just that. The large Berry Quiet Reading Room on the second floor gives patrons who really don’t want to hear it space away from all the activity. As Elmer Fudd would say, “be very, very quiet.”
8💓A DAYTON VIEW
The new library’s third floor has a fantastic balcony overlooking downtown. Giant windows on the building’s backside show off the beautiful Cooper Park.
9💓 SPACE FOR INNOVATION
The new library has two large “Opportunity” areas that will be used for library programs, innovators and makers.
One has access to a delivery dock and has a kitchenette.
10💓 LOCAL HISTORY
The Dayton Room and the library’s journals and genealogy materials have cool spaces on the library’s second floor. (Records are climate-controlled.)
Much of those historic documents were in the old library’s basement, Duritsch said.