Renovated Main Salem Library to Reopen September 1

Posted on August 16, 2021
Salem Public Library is on the move – again. As we enter the final stages of moving back to the renovated Main Library, here are key dates you need to know:

  • Tuesday, August 17 – Final day of service at the temporary location, Salem Public Library at Broadway, 1400 Broadway St. NE
  • Wednesday, August 18-Tuesday, August 31 – All Salem library locations closed to complete move back to the Main Library. Only downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks and other virtual library services will be available.
  • Wednesday, September 1 – Doors open at the Main Library, 585 Liberty St. SE; service resumes at the West Salem Branch, 395 Glen Creek Rd NW.
  • Saturday, September 25 – Grand opening celebration at the Main Library

Library staff is excited to welcome the community back to the Main Library following an 18-month seismic and safety upgrade approved by Salem’s voters in 2017. The renovation has given the library a whole new look, with:

  • Five sections of shear wall to increase the seismic stability of the building
  • Infrastructure updates, including the heating and cooling system, plumbing, electrical, and a new roof
  • Solar panels on the library roof
  • More windows and light throughout the building
  • Many safety and accessibility improvements building-wide
  • Replacement of all library shelves for seismic stability and accessibility
  • Location changes for the Teen Scene, Discovery Room, adult library items, and the main public computer lab
  • The addition of 6 study rooms and a collaboration space
  • A new central staircase leading from Floor 1 to the Teen Scene area on Floor 2
  • The library’s first Automated Materials Handling system
  • A renovated entryway plaza with seating and a white oak tree
  • Upgrades to the parking garage, including a new one-way traffic pattern with entry only from Liberty Street and exit only onto Leslie Street

“The community investment in our Main Library building has created a strong, well-planned library ready to serve Salem readers for many years to come,” said Sarah Strahl, City Librarian.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will all services resume on Wednesday, September 1?

Due to the combined impact of the move and COVID-19, some library services will continue to be suspended for now, including: meeting room and auditorium scheduling and use; most in-person events and programming including children’s storytimes; the Discovery Room; and Interlibrary Loan.

What if I have holds available, but don’t pick them up by August 17?

Holds pickup will not be available during the two-week closure from August 18-31. Any holds still at SPL at Broadway will be moved to the renovated Main Library and available for pickup there beginning Wednesday, September 1.

When can I start picking up my holds at the West Salem Branch, if that is my preferred location?

Only holds pulled and filled after September 1 will be available to pick up at the West Salem Branch.

Will the book drops be open so I can return books during library closure from August 18-31?

Book drops will be closed and returns will not be accepted at Salem Public Library locations from August 18-31.

What if I have books that are due while the Salem libraries are closed for move-back?

Books checked out at Salem Public Library will typically not have due dates between August 18-31. If books were checked out at other libraries in the Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library System, due dates may fall within those dates. Items can be returned directly to those libraries or held and returned to Salem Public Library beginning September 1. All items returned to Salem Public Library locations are being checked in fine-free and will continue to be checked in fine-free until further notice.

Can I download eBooks and eAudiobooks, use online databases, and stream movies with Kanopy while the libraries are closed for move-back?

Yes! All virtual library services will continue to be available 24/7 through the library’s website,

Will I be able to reach staff by phone, email, and chat?

Phone, email, and chat will all be closed as part of the move-back closure from August 18-31 while staff focuses all energy and time on preparing the Main Library and the West Salem Branch for service beginning September 1. Messages left by phone and email will be returned beginning September 1.

Will the Salem Public Library at Broadway be permanently closed?

SPL at Broadway was a temporary location only during the renovation. It will be closed permanently beginning Wednesday, August 18.

Is there free parking at the new Main Library?

Visitors now have three hours of free parking each day in the library lot. Additional time is .75 cents/hour from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; free after 6 p.m. and Sundays. Traffic is one-way through the renovated parking garage – with entry only from Liberty Street and exit only onto Leslie Street.

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