Glendale Central Library prepares to turn a new page as $15-million renovation project nears completion


After more than a year of renovations and a complete closure starting in September, the Glendale Central Library is closing in on its final construction phase and is on schedule to open this spring.

A $15-million renovation project started in July 2015, with different portions of the library open to the public until a complete closure on Sept. 1. The effort will overhaul the library into a modern, state-of-the-art facility, according to library officials.

Construction is expected to be completed in January and, after some organizing, the facility is slated to hold a grand reopening in March.

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“We are on target and on time,” said Cindy Cleary, the city’s director of library, arts and culture. “We are excited to be reopening. It’s going to be a fabulous facility when it’s finished.”

Renovations were done in phases, with the first being a remodel of the large book stacks area in the back of the library. Along with earthquake retrofitting, the change will open space for additional seating and furniture.

The following five phases are smaller in scope, but accommodate for the dramatic upgrades in technology that were needed because the library opened in the 1970s. These include faster broadband, a digital lab, and a MakerSpace, which will be an instructor-led workshop for arts and crafts.

“We are pulling ideas from other libraries and needs in the area,” Cleary said. “We actually had a futurist come in during the design phase of the project and envision what libraries would look like 20 to 30 years from now. So, it’s a combination of things — really, the outcome of community involvement.”

Among other changes are the installation of an elevator and the relocation of the library’s entrances to two locations — one on the south side of the building and the other on the north, facing Harvard Street. A remembrance room called “Man’s Inhumanity to Man” will also be open to the community.

An array of programing is planned for the reopening week, including a gala event, a hack-a-thon to go along with the MakerSpace as well as a number of appearances by guest authors.


Jeff Landa,

Twitter: @JeffLanda