Showcasing storytelling in all its vibrant forms.
Omaha Public Library expertly partners with our entire community to provide places, resources and support in our individual and family learning journeys. Collaboration is central to its daily operations. The physical space it occupies can facilitate even deeper, more creative interactions and experiences. Libraries are knowledge centers and can advance digital equity, project-based learning, play-based learning and more, when we design conducive places where these stories can continue to unfold.
Meet our partners
These organizations are delving into how Omaha could benefit from a new central public library. They are analyzing how enhancements like growing and providing services beyond the current capacity and increasing access to tech and human-centered services would serve our community, while keeping books at the heart of the system. This ambitious project began in response to Omaha Public Library’s 2010 and 2017 Facilities Master Plans that called for a new central public library to be built along the Dodge Street corridor, between 72nd and 90th streets. Many cities around the world have shown the phenomenal impact a modern library can have on communities. Omaha, and Omaha Public Library, deserve the best that public libraries have to offer. The ultimate goal is to collectively provide a strong foundation for our community’s future.
A bold vision for the future.
Omaha Public Library (OPL) has served City of Omaha and Douglas County residents for 150 years and is one of the most visited institutions in Nebraska. OPL’s mission is to strengthen our community by connecting people with ideas, information and innovative services. OPL has a vision for Omaha to be a vital and vibrant city, with the public libraries being an essential catalyst, collaborator and connector. To help this vision come to life, Omaha Public Library, Omaha Public Library Foundation, City of Omaha, Do Space, Heritage Omaha and other community organizations are collaborating to explore the potential of a central public library project.
A source of support.
Since its beginning in 1985, the Omaha Public Library Foundation has served as Omaha Public Library’s largest private funder. Through generous support from foundations, individuals and corporations, the Omaha Public Library Foundation is responsive to Omaha Public Library’s needs and priorities each year. These dollars provide Omaha Public Library with the flexibility that public dollars alone often lack.
A community with endless potential.
Founded in 1854, the City of Omaha has grown by 19 percent in the past decade. Now 486,051 residents call Omaha home. The City of Omaha is principally responsible for the operational and capital funding, leadership and oversight of the Omaha Public Library system.
A place to innovate.
As the first technology library in the United States, Omaha’s Do Space has received national attention for its innovative model, having been featured in the New York Times, Forbes and NPR. Do Space is more than just a building — it’s a movement. At Do Space, Omahans have free access to powerful fiber Wi-Fi internet, high-end computer stations, 3D printers and technology-focused learning opportunities. Do Space has a little something for everyone, but it aims to make a significant impact on two key groups: underconnected, low-income individuals and entrepreneurs, inventors and creators.
A legacy of giving.
It’s the Heritage Omaha model to raise significant funding for large-scale, impactful projects. But there’s more. They manage these public projects to completion, ensuring they will get done according to plan, and then allow the recipient organizations to do what they do best: maximize the usage of these spaces to help achieve their mission. In this case, the potential new central public library will be owned by the City of Omaha, and operated by the Omaha Public Library system.
A firm that believes good design is for everyone.
Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture (APMA), an Omaha-based architectural firm that specializes in library design, will focus on library programming and interior space design. Their work puts people first, advances design and builds community. They design inclusive, sustainable spaces that are intended to last.
A company that opens doors.
HDR, an Omaha-based architecture and engineering practice, is serving as lead designer on the project. They specialize in high-performance buildings, smart infrastructure and unshakable foundations for progress. Their multi-disciplinary teams include scientists, economists, builders, analysts and artists.
An expert in our reading corner.
One of the collaborators on this project is a national expert on moving public libraries to a community-centered model. Margaret Sullivan Studio uses design to create experiences, foster cultural identity and facilitate community gathering within public libraries. Since the firm’s establishment in 2014, Margaret Sullivan Studio has worked with over forty public library systems to define their 21st century library, including New York Public Library, Richland (SC) Library, D.C. Public Library, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, New Haven Free Public Library, Salt Lake City Public Library and Memphis Public Library.
Let’s do this together.
Project partners are committed to laying the groundwork for a transparent and collaborative potential project. Right now, additional research and planning are needed before decisions can be made. Public and stakeholder input are essential to this project. To date, this project has been built on previously gathered input and the work of the 2017 Omaha Public Library Facilities Master Plan. Stakeholders — including library staff, library users, and the general public — will all have multiple opportunities for ongoing involvement.