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New $3.3 million library opens in Madisonville

CINCINNATI — A $3.3 million investment in Madisonville is finally complete with the opening of the Cincinnati Hamilton County Public Library's newest branch.

Nestled in the heart of Madisonville, the library sits directly next door to the old location. It’s on the lower level of the new mixed-use development at Madison Road and Whetsel Avenue.

Visitors will notice the difference the moment they walk in the doors. It has a light and bright feel. It’s certainly not a traditional library with shelves and shelves of books, it’s more of a community space where you can explore and learn.

“Madisonville here has so many elements of a forward looking, new kind of library,” Executive Director Paula Brehm-Heeger said. “It’s nestled right in here in a development. There are apartments above us. It’s 8,600 square foot on one floor, fully accessible, all important elements.”

Brehm-Heeger said this next-generation library is what the community asked for.

“When we talked with folks in Madisonville several times, we heard again and again technology is important, support for small businesses, support for young people who need after school time where they can access these newer kind of cutting edge technology,” Brehm-Heeger said.

That technology includes a “library of things” where kids and adults can tinker.

“We have the embroidery section where people can come in, there’s a creative section, we know it’s a community that loves crafting, very creative community,” Brehm-Heeger said.

One section of the library has a virtual reality setup and a Nintendo Switch. There’s a focus on gaming and collaborative electronic play.

But most in demand is the vinyl printer.

“We have a vinyl printer which has been something that so many people ask for to help start up their small business,” Brehm-Heeger said.

“We have a lot of folks who maybe don’t have a lot of capital, women-owned business, minority-owned business those kind of folks who trying to start that business, don’t know exactly what to do, this kind of a resource can really help them get that off the ground.”

The main branch in Downtown Cincinnati is the only other location with a vinyl printer and spaces can be reserved up to 6 weeks in advance.

The Madisonville branch also has a “one touch” recording studio where visitors can record themselves on camera with just the click of a button. The new location has 4 study pods for a more quiet experience and 2 community meetings rooms that will eventually be able to be rented out for outside events. More laptops and desktop computers are available as well as iPads for in-library use. And you’ll notice the murals high above the books, they are part of a collaboration with ArtWorks and were created by student interns.

The library is now open to the public, but the party really kicks off on Saturday, March 18 at 10:00 a.m. Guests can stop in for food, activities, special guests, face painting and more. Brehm-Heeger said people are interested in the old location which is still going to be used for internal services. The library is not selling the building.

Click here to learn more about the renovation at the Madisonville library.

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