Downtown Omaha Library to get interim location before new building opens

A closer look at when the Omaha public library will open a temporary location downtown.
Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 4:17 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - City residents will get to use a temporary downtown library location as construction on the new one moves forward.

Officials have released a timeline for the opening of the new downtown library at 1401 Jones Street. The new library is scheduled to open on March 1, 2023.

The W. Dale Clark Library will close at the end of August 2022 to begin moving the library’s materials. The W. Dale Clark Library’s demolition will then begin on October 1.

A temporary downtown library will open at 1410 Howard Street on September 1.

The temporary location will keep several services, including checkout and return, computer access, scanning, copying, printing and faxing. Meeting rooms and programs will not be available, however.

The temporary location will be open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The mayor's office just announced major details about how we will transition to the new but temporary downtown library.

Mayor Jean Stothert says the new location will keep service from being interrupted while the project moves forward.

“The Howard Street location is convenient and accessible and allows us to continue service throughout this transition,” Stothert said.

Current Metro routes provide service to 14th and Howard via routes 13 and 95. Five other routes can drop riders off at 14th and Harney and 16th and Howard. Paid parking is also available throughout the area.

The new downtown library originally had hopes of opening earlier than March of next year. According to officials, the extra time is needed for structural improvements to the two-story building.

“The City and the library’s Board of Trustees anticipated that the construction of the new downtown library branch at 1401 Jones St. may not be complete simultaneously with the closure of W. Dale Clark Main Library,” said Omaha Public Library Executive Director Laura Marlane. “They planned for an interim space to ensure that library service to downtown residents and patrons would not be interrupted.”

The interim location at 1410 Howard Street is on a six-month lease and costs the city $4,500 monthly. The City says the lease will be paid using the City’s General Fund and will not impact the library’s budget.

A vote to approve the lease will take place July 26 by the City Council.

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