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—   News Advisory —

Ralph Ellison Library to Close in Preparation of Grand Re-Opening

The Ralph Ellison Library’s temporary location at 1918 NE 23rd will close on Monday, November 30 and the library will reopen in the newly renovated Ralph Ellison Library, 2000 NE 23rd, on the afternoon of Monday, December 14 after the Grand Opening Ceremony.  The public is invited to attend the 2:00 p.m. ceremony and ribbon cutting.

Representing the City of Oklahoma City at the ceremony will be Ward 7 Councilman Skip Kelly with Metropolitan Library Commission chair Hugh Rice, MLS Executive Director Donna Morris and Ralph Ellison Manager of Library Operations Michael Eric Owens representing the Library.

The renovation of the existing building, which cost a little over $2 million, was paid for primarily with funds from the 2000 OKC bond election.

“We are really pleased,” said Donna Morris, “that the citizens voted to support library service.  I know they won’t be disappointed when they see what this renewed library has to offer.”

The meeting room in the old library was completely demolished and the new version has twice as much floor space for the meeting room. The room can be used as two smaller rooms or one large room to accommodate a significant audience.  The number of public access computers with Internet connections has also been doubled in the new building.

“The building is now a 16,500 square foot neighborhood facility,” Morris added.  “More functional space has been added for children and teens, and of course we kept our special Black History Collection.”

Several libraries in the system have Self Checkout stands so library customers can check out material without having to stand in line at the Checkout  Desk.  The new Ralph Ellison Library will implement a “Self Reserve Pickup” system, allowing customers to pick up their own reserve material and check them out.

“It truly is a beautiful facility,” Morris concluded, “with a more open floor plan.  The extra space gives us room to expand services and the collection.  The number of items checked out at Ralph Ellison increased in 2009 by 46 percent over 2008.”

The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries.  Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres.  Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City.  You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org.