The new Glendale Library Branch is officially open

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Residents and community members wait patiently outside the new Glendale Branch for its grand opening on March 30, 2024. (Photo/Curtis Guynn)
Residents and community members wait patiently outside the new Glendale Branch for its grand opening on March 30, 2024. (Photo/Curtis Guynn)

After almost a month of being closed, the Glendale Library Branch officially has a new home.

The Indianapolis Public Library Glendale Branch reopened its doors to the community in its new stand-alone location March 30. The 24,800-square-foot branch, located at the site of the former John Strange Elementary School, is home to the second largest collection of physical materials after Central Library — including titles in Spanish, French, Korean and braille, said branch manager Jena Mattix.

“I think it’ll just be a really nice hub for the community, and we look forward to partnering with different organizations in the area, just to really have this space reflect their interests and needs,” Mattix said.

The previous Glendale Branch, located on North Keystone Avenue, was constructed in 2000 and made history as the country’s first full-service library in a major shopping mall before closing Feb. 25, 2024. 

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Gregory Hill, CEO of IndyPL, said the library hosted community engagement groups where patrons could give input on what they would like to see in the library. This included incorporating the history of the previous Glendale Branch as well as honoring the John Strange Elementary School with items from its time capsule — which was opened during the library branch’s groundbreaking.

“We want all of our branch locations to meet the unique needs of each community we are privileged to be a part of,” Hill said in a statement. “The move into this new space signals the next chapter of service to the vibrant Glendale community. We look forward to meeting and exceeding the needs of Glendale patrons for many years to come at our new home.”

The new stand-alone Glendale Branch features a drive-up material return, increased access to computers, study rooms, public transportation, electric vehicle charging stations and a larger dedicated teen area. The branch is also LEED Gold certified and incorporates solar panels on the roof to cover up to 71% of the library’s energy costs, Mattix said.

Library CEO Gregory A. Hill, Glendale Branch Manager Jena Mattix and library board members gathered to cut the ribbon opening the branch to the community on March 30, 2024. (Photo/Curtis Guynn)

In addition to four private study rooms, which patrons can reserve for free online or by calling the library, the Glendale Branch includes a large community room with hearing loop, capable of hosting up to 100 people standing or 60 people seated, Mattix said.

The children’s area, named Harrison’s Orbit, is space themed and designed in memory of Harrison Strader Wood, a young boy who passed away unexpectedly at 17 months old. Prior to his passing, Harrison and his mother attended Glendale Branch’s weekly story time. Friends and family donated to the Library Foundation to have a space named for him in the new branch.

The library strove to maintain and preserve the history of both the Glendale branch and the area, Mattix said. The building was constructed to preserve the heritage trees on the property and maintain 75% of the native plants. The other 25% of plants on the property are non-invasive.

The Fox study room, which holds up to 12 people, and the quiet adult reading area feature stained glass windows from the previous Glendale branch. Vincent Fox, co-owner of Fox Stained Glass, was an advocate of the library and his daughters, Ann Fox-Clark and Claire Fox-Acheson, donated the windows to the library. 

Based on community input, unique features to the branch include an outdoor reading area, which Mattix said will be used for story times, picnics and programming when the weather is nice. Additionally, Glendale has a Comfort Room, which can be used as lactation spaces or provide physical and emotional comfort to patrons.

“I think it was just because we didn’t really have windows at the old place, everyone was just like, ‘We want to bring the outdoors in,’ and so we wanted to make it feel very homey and blend into this nice residential area,” Mattix said. “People just want the ability to kind of move in and out freely and utilize the space that way.”

Glendale also joins the ranks of other IndyPL branches that host the seed library program. March through September, patrons can pick up one of each type of seed packet — all but two grow edible plants — to plant in home gardens, Mattix said.

The new Glendale Branch is located at 3660 E. 62nd St. Full programming will begin the second week of April, with story times, adult book club, craft club and team Dungeons & Dragons. For more information about the Glendale branch amenities, upcoming programming and study room checkout, visit indypl.org

This story has been updated to include the address of the Glendale Branch.

Contact Arts & Culture writer Chloe McGowan at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @chloe_mcgowanxx.

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