The newly renovated main branch of the St. Joseph County Public Library will have its grand opening Nov. 14. Located in downtown South Bend, the branch has been closed since November 2019 for a long-planned renovation.
Now, all three upper floors of the 85,000 square foot Main Library have been completely redone and include a new children’s space on the third floor and a new teen space on the first floor.
Library communications manager Marissa Gebhard said they are very excited to open the new facility.
“We’ve been imagining this for 15 years, and so we are just thrilled to open the doors on November 14,” Gebhard said. “We just couldn’t be more excited to show the community what we’ve built for them.”
And the updated facility, dubbed Library Square, does more than just books — a new, three-story, 38,000 square foot Community Learning Center was also constructed.
It houses a 250 square foot auditorium, 12 study rooms, public meeting spaces that local nonprofits and businesses can use and a space for video game tournaments.
There’s also Studio 34, which is a workspace for artists complete with studios for recording and mixing music, facilities for printing art — including 3-D printers — and free access to the Adobe Creative Suite and other software programs.
Gebhard said the library has also connected with hundreds of nonprofit agencies, and librarians can assist county residents with all sorts of things including job applications and writing a resume or cover letter.
“The library is kind of the one-stop place and a connective hub for all different resources to the community,” Gebhard said.
Opening day will feature tours for the public, story time for kids and a performance by the Thalea String Quartet in the new auditorium. More details will be available on the library’s website.
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