Multnomah County Library breaks ground on new operations facility
MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - The Multnomah County Library broke ground on a new operations facility Wednesday. The expansion is all thanks to a Library Capital Projects bond that was approved by voters in Nov. 2020.
The Operations Center will be located at Northeast 122nd and Northeast Glisan, which used to be a Safeway, but will look very different come end of 2023.
“This will be a centralized sorting and distribution center for all of the materials the community uses,” said Vailey Oehlke, director of libraries.
Officials said it has been decades since changes have been made to the library and its systems, but thanks to Multnomah County voters, the Library Capitol Projects bond passed in Nov. 2020 and it’s worth over $300 million. $62.5 million of that will go toward the new Operations Center.
“It’s going to be a pretty amazing space, and we are excited that this project is launching the bond,” Oehlke said.
The center will house the library’s outreach staff and include retail space for the nonprofit group, Friends of the Library, which raises money for library programs and services.
But predominantly, the sorting and distributing of books will happen at the center. Officials said those logistics are an important part of making materials more broadly accessible to the community.
“That process - with this new building where all of that is centralized - will be even faster and efficient so people will get their things even quicker,” Oehlke said.
Officials said the groundbreaking of the Operations Center marks only the beginning of many more exciting projects at the library.
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