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The Cleveland Public Library was founded in 1869 and is located in Cleveland, Ohio. It operates the Main Library on Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland, 27 branches throughout the city, a mobile library, a Public Administration Library in City Hall, and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled.

Cleveland Public Library
Cleveland Public Library 2.jpg
Front entrance to the Cleveland Public Library's central location on Superior Avenue
Country USA
Established 1869; 149 years ago (1869)
Location 325 & 525 Superior Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Branches 27
Size 10,557,336 (2016)[1]
Access and use
Circulation 5,500,000 (2016)[1]
Other information
Director Felton Thomas, Jr. (2009)

Librarian William Howard Brett opened the library's first stand-alone children's room on February 22, 1898.[2] Effie Louise Power was appointed Cleveland's first children's librarian.

In 1915, the Cleveland architectural firm of Walker and Weeks won a competition to design a new library building. Construction of their classical Renaissance design, delayed by the First World War, began in 1923 under Linda Anne Eastman. Eastman (1867–1963) was the first woman to head a major U.S. city library system and a pioneer in the modern library system. She opened bookshelves to patrons, replacing the New York Public Library system in which a librarian fetched the books.

The Main Library consists of two buildings. The older wing, completed on May 6, 1925 and renovated between 1997 and 1999, has five stories, each as high as two stories in most buildings. The renovations included the restoration of a large mural painted by Ora Coltman in 1934 for the Federal Arts Project. The work was done by the Intermuseum Conservation Association.[3] The second building, named after former U.S. Congressman Louis Stokes, was dedicated in 1997. The two buildings are connected by underground corridor below the Eastman Reading Garden, which was designed by landscape architecture firm OLIN, and includes sculptures by Maya Lin and Tom Otterness.

The Main Library's special collections include the Mears and Murdock baseball collections, the Cleveland Theater collection, the John G. White chess and checkers collection, a 130,000-volume children's collection, a 74,000-volume rare book collection, and collection of 1.3 million photographs.[4]

In 2002, the Cleveland Public Library had annual attendance of 804,692 and an annual circulation of 1,698,928 items. In 2016, the library's collection totaled 10,557,336 items.[1] The Cleveland Public Library is a member of CLEVNET, a consortium of 44 public libraries throughout northern Ohio. In 1947, it became a depository library for the United Nations Library network, holding documents for the state of Ohio. There are only 400 UN depository libraries worldwide.

In 2012, the Library released a strategic plan focusing on communities of learning and preparing for its 150th anniversary in 2019[5].



Carnegie-West Branch
Lorain Branch
South Branch

The Cleveland Public Library has 27 neighborhood branches located throughout the city in addition to the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled:[6]

  1. Addison Branch
  2. Brooklyn Branch
  3. Carnegie-West Branch - the biggest neighborhood branch at 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2)
  4. Collinwood Branch
  5. East 131st Street Branch
  6. Eastman Branch
  7. Fleet Branch
  8. Fulton Branch
  9. Garden Valley Branch
  10. Glenville Branch
  11. Harvard-Lee Branch
  12. Hough Branch
  13. Jefferson Branch
  14. Langston Hughes Branch
  15. Lorain Branch
  16. Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch
  17. Memorial-Nottingham Branch - also the location of the Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled
  18. Mount Pleasant Branch
  19. Public Administration Library
  20. Rice Branch
  21. Rockport Branch
  22. South Branch
  23. South Brooklyn Branch
  24. Sterling Branch
  25. Union Branch
  26. Walz Branch
  27. West Park Branch
  28. Woodland Branch

Notable former Cleveland Public Library staff membersEdit

  • Marilla Waite Freeman - Head Librarian of the Cleveland Public Library's Main Library, 1922-1940; nationally-known librarian, author, and library school instructor
  • Lawrence Quincy Mumford - Cleveland Public Library Director went on to become Librarian of Congress[7]
  • Andre Norton - Cleveland Public Library librarian, science fiction and fantasy author[8]
  • John Griswold White - Cleveland Public Library board member and president, noted chess historian

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "2016 CPL Annual Report" (PDF). Cleveland Public Library. Retrieved 2 June 2017. 
  2. ^ Cleveland Public Library Image Collections (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2009 from
  3. ^ Cleveland Public Library, Dominance of the City Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed 2007-07-25.
  4. ^ Cleveland Public Library, Special Collections. Accessed 2017-04-26.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Locations". Cleveland Public Library. Retrieved April 26, 2017. 
  7. ^
  8. ^

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit