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Innovative Spaces Await: Linden Branch Remodel is Underway


This article was originally written by Kevin Kemper and published on nationwide.com


COLUMBUS, OH (April 23, 2024) -- For Ralph Carter, empowering the Linden neighborhood on Columbus, Ohio’s, near northeast side is his personal mission. So, when he was invited to break through a wall at the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s (CML) Linden Branch, he didn’t hesitate to pick up a sledgehammer. 


On April 17, 2024, Carter and members of the Linden community, along with city leaders and library supporters, took part in a ceremonial “wall breaking” to mark the start of a construction project that will bring new services and amenities to the community while more than doubling the size of the historic neighborhood’s current 12,700-square-foot library branch. 


“It’s going to be a great thing,” said Carter, who is the founder of We Are Linden, a non-profit, community advocacy organization focused on helping residents and youth in the Linden community thrive. “We need places like this as a safe haven. That’s one of the biggest things our children need – someplace to go, someplace to be heard and a place where individuals care about them.” 


Born and raised in Linden, Carter said he created We Are Linden to both instill a sense of pride in the neighborhood’s young people about their community and themselves. As projects like the remodeled Linden Branch take shape, Carter said it helps the neighborhood’s children realize they are “opportunity youth, not at-risk youth.”  


When completed, the modernized Linden Branch will offer updated amenities and technology spread across 27,000 square feet on two floors. The spaces within the branch are designed to be flexible with the ability to evolve and accommodate the community’s changing needs. While it will continue to serve as a hub for learning, it will also be a space for community engagement and cultural enrichment.  


In support of the project, the Nationwide Foundation announced a $1 million gift and recognized the pivotal role libraries play in the community. 


“Libraries are an important community anchor that encourage growth, development and lifelong learning,” said Chad Jester, President of the Nationwide Foundation. “Libraries need to have the resources and technology to support the changing needs of the community.” 


Library officials expect the branch will reopen in 2025. Visit the CML newsroom for more information about the ceremony, temporary Linden Branch location and construction details

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