Multnomah County’s biggest library, the central branch in downtown Portland, will close for renovations on March 11. Then it will likely remain closed through the rest of 2023.
Multnomah County Library spokesperson Shawn Cunningham said during the closure, the 110-year-old building will get new paint and carpets, renovated restrooms and much-needed technology upgrades.
The library system is the state’s largest provider of free high-speed internet. And many people who live near the Central Library rely heavily on that service, as well as other resources the building offers. But Cunningham said those services will be available in a new spot less than half a mile away throughout the closure.
“The library will be opening a pop-up space, focused on technology, at 501 SW Washington St.,” Cunningham said. “The idea there is to provide the most essential internet access and technology needs for the community that would typically use Central Library for those services.”
“For instance, we know people use Central Library a lot to charge devices,” Cunningham said. “So when Central reopens it will have more comfortable furniture, more flexible arrangement and about three times as many places to charge your device.”
The whole Multnomah County Library system is getting a major upgrade, thanks to a bond approved by voters in 2020.