Omaha Central Public Library

Omaha Central Public Library Exterior Renderings

Omaha Central Public Library

A Public Library Reflective of the Community

Designed as a cultural and technological landmark that honors the past, celebrates the moment and imagines the future, the Omaha Central Public Library will be an active, vibrant community hub offering equitable access, empowering resources and connective spaces. 

The Library as an Open Book

Located at 72nd and Dodge Streets, the facility will be highly accessible from multiple modes of transportation. Emphasizing the entry experience, lifted corners on the east and west sides mimic the opening of a book, creating a portal to a place of discovery behind a reflective and modular façade that invites patrons to explore experiences, new and familiar.

The building’s orientation around a semi-enclosed courtyard recalls the modularity of traditional bookshelves while offering an inviting, dynamic oasis from the cacophony of audible and visual clutter outside. Thought of as an assembly of pieces that together create a singular identity, the design communicates the power of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. 

Omaha Central Library Section Diagram

Designing a Vibrant, Active Community Hub

A series of hands-on workshops, interactive meetings and surveys engaged the community and revealed a desire for the library to function as more of a community space than a typical library. Conceived as a series of open platforms that can adapt to future use, the Omaha Central Public Library is designed to maximize open space. High ceilings and generous floor openings along the north and south showcase activities on all floors, including:

  • Browsable collections
  • Café, podcasting room and makerspace
  • Event spaces and classrooms
  • Gallery space
  • 16 meeting rooms 

Integrating an Automated Storage and Retrieval System

While books and typical library materials will be on display and browsable on every level, the bulk of the system collection will be housed in an automated storage and retrieval system — a first-of-its-kind for a public library in the United States. This technology enables the library to use its space more creatively and safely store, quickly access and thoughtfully curate collections for all libraries in the Omaha Public Library system. 

Omaha Central Library Automated Storage and Retrieval System

Inclusive and welcoming to all, the Omaha Central Public Library helps build community and sets a new standard for what a public library can be.

Omaha Central Public Library Exterior Renderings