With a little more than a month until the June 6 grand opening for the new Dublin branch at 75 N. High St., the Columbus Metropolitan Library system has reached $1.9 million for its $2.8 million funding campaign for the new building, according to spokesman Ben Zenitsky.

"We are always welcoming community support," he said.

The new branch is a $21.1 million project, he said.

Strides have been made within the building -- carpeting has been laid and walls are being painted. Furniture needs to be brought in, Zenitsky said, and then books and other materials will be moved from the temporary Dublin branch in the Dublin Village Center, 6765 Dublin Center Drive.

That facility is scheduled to close at 7 p.m. May 30, Zenitsky said. The library materials will be transported to the new facility that week.

The new branch will have about 55,000 items available, including books, magazines and audio-visual materials. Those numbers are similar to the collection housed in the previous library, he said.

Library hours will remain the same: 9 a.m. through 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays, Zenitsky said.

At 41,000 square feet, the new library is more than double the size of the previous library, which was 20,000 square feet, Zenitsky said.

The first floor will be dedicated to young minds, with a children's area and a space to help children prepare for kindergarten, he said.

A teen area will be on the second floor, as well as the adult fiction and nonfiction collection. Five small study rooms also will be housed on that floor.

The lowest level of the building will have three large meeting rooms and a cafe.

As technology has evolved, the way library systems officials have approached building design has adjusted.

Libraries were previously built to protect materials inside, however, glass technology has given way to windows that are able to repel damaging ultraviolet light, Zenitsky said.

"We are now able to open these libraries up," he said.

Michael Suriano, a principal with the NBBJ Design architectural firm and lead designer for the Dublin library, also worked on the library system's Driving Park (1422 E. Livingston Ave.) and Northside (1423 N. High St.) branches in Columbus.

Historically, libraries are becoming less and less about a space to hold books and more about people, he said.

When designing the Dublin library, Suriano said, NBBJ wanted to build a place for people, a space for them to come together.

Some of the materials they used for the building also pay homage to architectural features found in and around Dublin, Suriano said.

"We're very excited for the branch to open," he said.

The library's grand opening is scheduled to take place from 3:30 to 6 p.m. June 6 and will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony with library and city officials, refreshments, music and entertainment.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah